11 Tips for Organising your First Event after Lockdown
Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newbie to organising your first event for a few months, whether for the team or for clients/prospects can be a daunting task. There will be mixed feelings about attending. Some will be desperate to interact with others, whilst some will still have trepidations. Lets look at what you can do to make this first post lockdown event a success.
You cannot be too prepared
Between the government announcement and the date the events industry can open is less than 11 weeks. It’s time to start planning. If you think about it, it’s only 22 weeks until Christmas!
Get a budget and stick to it
If this is the first time you are organising an event, get a budget from the budget holder. If it’s a staff event, the budget holder may be HR, Operations or even the Finance Director. Talk to them asap.
See if you can find out what budgets were given for previous events, and what type of event that was. This will help you understand what type of event to deliver and give you a clue as to how lavish, or not, you can be.
Best to stick to that budget for your first event, but if you need more money to deliver what is wanted, ask early and know what you need. If you do need to ask for more, make sure it is the only time you need to ask. Going back to the budget holder multiple times will suggest your project management skills need improving.
Select a date and time
The earlier you choose potential dates, the more likely you are to get what you want. Thursdays are, after all, the new Fridays so these will book up fast. Call us to find out what availability we have if that will help.
Think carefully about the time you want. Too early a start and you risk it turning messy, as your drinks budget gets consumed. Too late, especially if this event is for clients, and they will have gone home. Nobody likes hanging around after work too long.
If people are still nervous, how can you ensure that people aren’t invading their space? We have wristbands (red, yellow, green) that will help people clearly show whether they will to be approached or not. Would you like some?
We have revised our room capacities to help you ensure your event meets social distancing rules (you can see some of the recent pictures on Instagram). If you have any other concerns, please let us know.
The government is recommending masks should be worn in all enclosed public spaces. Our recommendations are….
Choose the type of event
What sort of event is going to work as that first post lockdown event? Something quite casual, or something a little more formal, such as a sit down dinner? Whatever your choice, there will be things to consider:
- How to social distance effectively
- How many people can the venue accommodate
- What types of food and drinks will be appropriate
- and many more…
Who else can help you with this, from within your organisation? Even having someone as a fresh pair of eyes will help ensure you get things right. Ideally someone with some experience of events, so they will know the things you don’t know you don’t know.
If that isn’t possible, you can rely on our team, who can support you with our range of third party suppliers so as to meet your budget whilst delivering a great event.
As well as who should be on the list, think about timings. Formal events often need more notice, whereas casual events do not. It wouldn’t surprise us if there are a lot of events booked for October, so you may be competing for your guests.
Food, along with entertainment, is one of the key focus points for any event. Prawn vol-u-vents and triangle sandwiches won’t impress anyone. Your food needs to have that wow factor and there needs to be enough. If there isn’t enough to go around, you will have unhappy guests.
Your budget may mean you need to dial down the “Wow” to ensure there is enough, and this may be one of the reasons you have to ask for a little more budget. Better safe than sorry. Our team will be happy to discuss the varied catering options available to you.
Finally, make sure you are catering for different dietary requirements. Many menu choices can encompass a variety of dietary requirements to include Celiac’s as well as Gluten-free. Ensure you have considered allergies and religious restrictions. Ramadan isn’t before Christmas until 2031, but do other religious commitments impact what your guests can and cannot do?
What and how much are the two questions when it comes to drinks. The first time people get out may lead to a little bit of over-celebration. If that does happen, social distancing rules may be flouted by a few, so it may be sensible to ensure that non-alcoholic drinks are in plentiful supply too, from tea/coffee to water, fruit juice and non-alcoholic beers. We have a range of drinks packages, including pre-paid options, meaning you will stay within your budget.
Last, but not least, how is everyone getting home? Lots of people will want the event to run into the wee, small hours, but are the trains/tubes/buses running? Across London, you can be relaxed but if staff, or guests, normally commute in, they will need to leave in time to get that last train home. If the event isn’t on Friday or Saturday, an early-ish finish is going to reduce the impact on the next day too! Remember that people need to be wearing masks on public transport. Please remind everyone at your event, so they don’t get into trouble.
Organising your first event after lockdown is a lot of pressure, but it will be a lot of fun too. We hope these tips for organising your event prove useful and make sure you use the experience with the venue and within your organisation to help you make this the highlight of the year. If you want to talk to us about anything to do with events after October 1st, give us a call on 020 7403 3300 or click here and complete a contact form.