I’ve worked in events for over 20 years, you can probably describe me as a logistics and planning geek. I love when I experience well planned and managed logistics and do get a bit disappointed when things haven’t been planned or considered.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to get my first vaccine. It’s fair to say that my vaccine experience was pretty perfect. Good signage from the road, marshal directing me to parking, good signage from the car park and then people greeting and directing me to each stage of the process and then exiting through a different door which took you back into the car park. It’s a great example how good planning and people signage can make moving around a venue feel seamless and lead to a really positive experience, and this approach and process can be applied to events.
Why it worked?
It worked well as someone had planned it all from the eyes of someone arriving who had no clue where to go or what to do. They had walked through the journey and had thought carefully about each step, factoring in what the person being vaccinated needed to know, what they needed to achieve with added social distancing and lots of hand gel.
Apply this to your events.
This approach and attention to detail can easily be applied to corporate events and with the added challenge of making live events covid safe, now is a great time to start approaching planning in this way.
- Walk through the attendee journey.
Plan your event logistics with the attendee in mind. Walk through their journey, consider things like signage and the arrival process. Then plan the whole day based on their requirements and the experience you are creating. This will also help alert you to any issues, for example everyone arriving at once and help you plan a safe solution – eg: staggered start time.
- Add your agenda into the plan.
Work the basic agenda into your logistics plans. This normally will help split the day into sections. A slightly different logistics approach might be need for each part of the day. For example, you may need a larger team to help out as people arrive – more than you do for managing breaks.
- Use people to help direct attendees.
At the vaccination centre, they made brilliant use of people signage. Not only did they help direct you to the next stage, they also asked relevant questions or passed on information for the next stage of the process.
We love using people to help move attendees. It’s a welcoming and friendly approach, which can be more effective than signs. But make sure you brief your team and get them familiar with the venue so that can help attendees effectively and add value to their day.
- Think about the small details.
When I left the vaccine centre there was a bin right outside the door for people to put their masks in. Planning small details like this can really make a difference and should make life easier on the day as you are not trying to sort as much out in a live situation. It’s also the type of thing people notice when they aren’t there.
- Tweak, review and improve.
I can’t image the vaccine centre got everything right on their first day, they have had months to develop and improve their plan.
Onsite if something isn’t working don’t be afraid to tweak and dynamically review how things are working. After each event review things from a logistics and attendees’ perspective, think about what worked, what didn’t and how the plan could be improved. Write this down and refer to it when starting to plan your next event.
Obviously, attendees are there for experiences, content and messages, but they will let you know if something isn’t right logistically. You want them to leave talking about the messages and not moaning about toilet queues or the lack of bins.
Making the attendee experience as smooth as possible, this will help enhance and improve your event and will mean delegates leave thinking about the purpose of the day.
I do have one small negative about the vaccine experience, I had to go to the old Central TV Studio’s in Nottingham. I was very disappointed that they didn’t shout my name and ask me to ‘come on down, that would have would have been amazing!!!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 702 2180 for a friendly chat about how we can help plan your events.