When the world’s first event took place, I’m leaving it unsaid. But what we today refer to as event marketing can be attributed to, among other things, when Coca Cola started handing out beverage coupons to market its product in 1886. In 1893, the first World Fairs took place in Chicago. Around 1970, American breweries began to physically activate themselves to attract different demographic groups. However, I would say that today’s event marketing was born at the start of the 1984 Olympic Games in LA. It was the first games that created financial success for the organizers and this was partly because the sponsors were allowed to activate themselves in a more clear way and hence both the games and its partners were able to make use of this moment. I have held a lot of events since the day I activated my own car sponsor via my own snowboard invitation competition in Bydalen in 1992, UMI, Ulf Mård Invitational. For me, it is a natural way to work and I think there will be room for more events in the future as the physical meeting is a must for real chemistry to arise between different people, brands and employees. To not only be the talk but the workshop, I will give you some hands-on tips on how to think when arranging an event, or for that matter order an event.
- Always make sure you have enough resources so you don’t have to do everything yourself
- An event is often heavy, i.e. most of the energy and planning takes place initially in the project. This must be taken into account in your project planning and also in budgeting. Many customers and actors who do not have insight into this often come late with changes, sometimes too late.
- I hate Post it notes, but once I’m planning an event, I bring everyone into the steering group and do a little creative exercise. Everyone gets their own Post it block, then we each write down the milestones we come up with. When everyone feels ready, we simply paste the Post it notes in turn on a wall, then we can move them back and forth until we have agreed on a good order.
- Details of the project always come up in this way, which are not milestones, but we can only paste them on each milestone and get involved in the project when it is to be detailed.
- Now is the time to bring this into some kind of digital format. Trello, Monday or other desired project management tool. When it comes to budget, I’m old-fashioned, I’m still running Excell. Once the plan is set, I first check that all programming in the document is correct. Then I run the entire project plan from the end to the beginning, then I will find it easier on which parts I may have forgotten to include. I want to avoid those pits.
- Don’t forget points in your plan such as the environment, waste sorting and climate-positive efforts: these are hygiene points today.
- Once the budget and project plan are set, the communication in the project is everything to succeed! How do you make all the details of the project visible to your stakeholders? Who does what and how do you report it to a steering group?
- Be sure to get clear sign offs from your client. Many people have fallen on this, when many people think and think and you as a supplier are very keen to make a good delivery, it is easy to interpret when someone thinks something that it is an order. Always return by email to your client to get verified that it should be considered an order. If it makes a difference in budget, tell me immediately.
- Now you’re most likely up and running with your project. Everything looks good, budget is in place, the project plan is clean, the client is satisfied. This is where it all happens. A project is never a straight line between two points, rather a navigation between pitfalls, dead ends, rules, new project members and more. This is the part that I think is so cool about an event, that it is a living format that usually has so many details to be overlooked and a lot of people want to be involved. Your ability to never lose momentum will now be put at risk, if you drive fast you will have to find a new way forward towards delivery. When something happens, never panic, you will solve it with a little tactful work.
- Tell me you’ve survived all of this above, then it’s almost time for D-day. If you can, do not fall into the temptation to pre-party with the participants who may have already arrived for the event. IF you have to out and represent, drink alcohol-free, it looks serious. If you live in a culture where you have to party, take a beer bottle and fill it with water, then you can keep up even though you are going to be on your toes the next day.
- D-day. Make sure that everyone who is going to participate is well informed about where, when and how. There are many technical aids, alternatively run with printed formats. I like to have super professional radios, then you can communicate with everyone in your group without having to move/disturb anything that is going on.
- Whatever kind of event you are about to deliver, once you are standing there with the visitors, everything should go wrong. The food should be on top, the sound should work, the screens should be in sync, etc. This is the moment you create magic.
- If you’ve managed to create magic, you’ll feel immortal. It’s a great feeling. Make sure not to just stand and glisten in your implementation schedule, raise your eyes and create eternal bonds with your audience. Because I promise, the next day, another agency will be standing there outside the door of your client with a bunch of arguments about how they can do this, better looking, smarter, better and more cost-effective.
- The next day, now comes the hard part of working with events, first everything has to be rigged down, cleaned up, sorted and so on. Well, what’s even more interesting is that your brain is smarter than you think. When you have uploaded so hard for a long time for this magical moment, then the brain is cut so that it will tell your body to rest. It does this by blocking the supply of dopamines in your skull, i.e. you feel no joy, you can even start thinking thoughts like you are the worst in the world. Then think back to all that magic that you did, then the smile bands will still be turned upwards. But it is important to understand that this is just a normal reaction, the same applies to, for example, an artist who goes on stage, there will always be a dip.
- So, now it’s time to sum up the project. Do it as tactfully as you started it. Meetings, interviews, etc. that lead to lessons learned how you and your event can be even better. In your project you have most likely photographed and filmed, use that material in a neat and smart way to surprise your client once again
Good luck! If you need help along the way, we are here!
Hug from Ulf mård and Team Louder Family.