I had an opportunity recently to view an event from the perspective of the audience, and provide the feedback to the client. This was an excellent opportunity for them to understand what experience the guest gets, but from the perspective of a professional planner.

I’m often critiquing events, sound, production quality, OH&S, crowd control, etc. It becomes a part of our DNA just like any other profession. Once you see, you can’t un-see it. There was a few things I picked up for this client that they probably wouldn’t have known about unless someone complained.

  • make sure guests know what to do and where to go when they arrive. Especially if it’s an awards gala and nominees have special instructions.
  • Check the table setting (particularly place cards) well before doors. If you’re like me and are pedantic about space between serving utensils, etc., you want to give the venue staff plenty of time to create what you want. And you want to be checking place cards again with plenty of time to change. There’s always someone’s name spelt wrong.
  • Allow at least 1 hour for sound/presentation check and do this at least 1 hour before doors. Give your team time to fix or change what they need to, rather than giving them 5 minutes to edit that video that was supposed to be 3 minutes, not 10 minutes.
  • Have a lead staff member that you can trust. Someone who knows you intimately and can support the team. It’s my view that someone looks after the audience and someone looks after the stage. I don’t believe you can be in 2 places at once and give the best service.
  • Make sure you welcome guests into the room and support them to find their seat quickly. And if someone needs to leave the room during the proceedings, again have someone on the doors so they can leave quietly and without disruption.
  • Invest in a Stage Manager, seriously I cannot stress this enough. Give someone the job to assist with the stage procession.
  • And on the notes of the stage, check the colour wash of the room and the stage. Ensure that VIPs or presenters know what the colours are going to be, so they can wear complimentary colours or colours that won’t change in that light.
  • If you’re addressing an audience that has a tendancy to get a bit roudy. Utilise your floor staff or venue staff to politely address the people individually and ask them to take their conversation outside of the room. It’s impolite to speak over speeches and performances, and if the guest is bored or just plain rude, in my view there’s no problem in asking them to be quiet or leave the room.

But these were just a few things from a very long list of about 100 items I picked up for this client. If you run an event on an ongoing basis consider engaging someone to by the “mystery shopper” and take the guest journey from beginning to end, and then offer you an evaluation report on their experience.

Get in touch if we can help. www.redlanyard.com.au/workshops