In the third of our regular series of blogs, Amy Brown who has recently been appointed Conference and Events Coordinator at Robinson recalls running her first event at the College and how lots of lists, run-throughs and support from other members of the team resulted in a successful meeting and a happy client.
The event was a half-day meeting called ‘Cloudforce – Social Enterprise Essentials’ last March for an agent called PB Projects whose client was Salesforce.com. Over 500 people were invited and numbers not confirmed until a couple of days before – final attendance was around 250.
The meeting comprised: registration and arrival coffee, plenary sessions in the Auditorium, themed tea and coffee breaks, lunch and a further optional session before concluding at 4pm.
A key challenge was the level of technical requirements including fast internet access. Before the event, we had held planning meetings between the Client’s technical; team and our own AV and IT Managers. Although the conference was only half a day, it took the whole of the day before to set up the Auditorium stage as there was a complex set and an interesting technical display that were integral to the successful presentation. The Dining Hall was also transformed into a state-of-the-art exhibition area. This was achieved by erecting several demo pods, complete with their own flat screen televisions, which required careful planning as they needed high-speed wi-fi connectivity and power to each demo pod. A baptism of fire for anyone you might think!
Additionally, there were multiple branding and signage displays that the client wanted to place around the College. Everything is possible but sometimes we have to pause and remember that first and foremost, we are a College so some aspects need an intervention from College authorities.
The organisers were very thorough which kept me on my toes and helped me to learn the event inside out. I prepared for the event by making lots of lists and actions for myself. This helped me to keep on top of what was going on and reminded me what I still needed to do. I would say to anyone who is going into events that check lists are vital! They are a great way to keep an eye on what you need to do and always give you something to refer back to! I would also say that building a good relationship with the organiser and team is crucial to a smoothly managed event.
When I initially created the proposal for the event, I had a meeting with Sarah Harold, our Food Service Manager. Sarah has a great deal of practical experience in events with catered exhibition space and her advice was invaluable. It was also very reassuring to experience the support of the entire Robinson team, standing behind me as event manager. They are great at focusing on the needs of the customer and delivering to a really high standard – just what you need as the client point man (or woman).
And on the day itself, all the hard work and planning paid off. The event went really well and both the agent and the client were very pleased with the venue and attendance. I received a thank you email from the agent shortly after the event: “Many thanks for all your help with the event. You made it very easy for us to host delegates in your lovely venue”.
It was a great start to my new job - I enjoyed the event itself and was so pleased with what we had achieved.