From the outset it’s very difficult to identify who are the truly great event management companies and who are let’s say brilliant at selling that they are a great event management company. There’s definitely both out there, so in order for you to make a confident decision you’ll need to dig slightly under their sales front to find out more. Does a great, super, flashy website automatically mean that the event company is great at events management or does it mean they are great at marketing? Does great sales spiel mean they are great at events management or just……great at sales? My point is this, unless you find out for sure you could make a very expensive mistake indeed…….. Expensive in the fact that you could waste your company’s money. You could also find that as you’re the person responsible and accountable for your company’s important event your reputation could be shattered by their poor performance and worst case, jobs could be at stake. If you have been in this boat before or currently looking to contract an Events Management Team to assist with your event/s here are 7 recommended steps to follow to ensure you have found a true Event Management Company, with both the experience and focus you require for the success of your event/s and help you avoid those that focus on just fast sales.
- Speak with them – Don’t just rely on the look and style of their website or brochure, Event Management is a service more than anything else, so by speaking with someone you will have an instant feel for their corporate service. It will give you a ‘second impression’ as it’s likely you would have seen their website or some marketing from them first. Also, by speaking with them you will find it easier to identify those that display great experience on the outside, but don’t seem to have much substance on the inside, which could be fatal for your event success.
- Are they asking you any questions? – An experienced event co-ordinator should automatically start asking you questions about your event specifics once you start explaining your initial requirements.
- Ask them questions about your company event – You’ll be able to assess a service provider quickly by asking questions relevant to your enquiry measured by the speed and clarity of their answers during your initial conversation. You’ll get a feel for their enthusiasm and passion for organising corporate events. Watch out though!…………….if they are not giving instant answers or say can we just take some details and send you an email that they probably aren’t as experienced as their marketing suggests.
- Ask for References – Most Event Companies or Event Management Agency will offer some sort of references or testimonials on their website, but how real are they? If they are right at the top of their game, they will have clients who would be more than happy to personally tell you their experience/s with them. Our recommendation is to ask if you can contact 2 references who have had similar requirements to you.
- Independent Reviews – Another recommendation is to see if the event company is signed up to an independent review supplier such as Trustpilot or Feefo. Reviews through these types of companies are heavily vetted and can be taken in most cases at face value.
- Ask to meet – If you like the ‘second impression’ they have left you with following your initial conversation it would be wise to meet with them. See where they live and what surrounds them. Event Management is all about organisation, so see if their environment looks organised. This will also ensure that the people involved at their end reflect well on your company’s image, especially if you are looking for the event company to be in attendance at the event.
- Don’t become “Price Lead” – Corporate events are one of the most important ways for an organisation to communicate to its internal and external audience. Your events are a major part of your company’s positioning, so don’t just select such an important service provider on the cheapest you can find. Most Event Management Companies or agencies will have a daily fee for their event management service and should be able to discuss with you how many days work will be required to ensure your event reaches its fullest potential (which should be a lot quicker than you doing it yourself by the way….otherwise what’s the point). Be cautious of event suppliers saying ‘well what’s your budget’ when you ask, how much do you charge. The best will say we charge £XXX per day and we believe from the brief you have given us it will take our experts 3 days to organise and 2 days onsite. If we go over this time without you changing the requirements there will be no further charge to you. If you were to change the specification then we may have to relook at the costs. If the event team is that good they will be confident with their remuneration.
- Get everything in writing – Following any initial conversation and event meetings and planning, ensure that you leave nothing to chance and ask for everything that was discussed to be sent to you in writing by a certain time on a certain date. This will then show you if they have the resources to work to deadlines, have listened to conversations and made appropriate notes and their administration is to the level you would expect.