The secret to a truly smooth-running event is to get on friendly terms with key members of staff at your venue. It is an obvious fact of life that friends do favours for friends. Therefore, it always pays to befriend those on the inside.
Richard Edwards, Director at Quatreus, has organized 100s of events from small intimate client gatherings to huge sales events catering for 1000s of people. Here are his top five suggestions for the people you must befriend when organizing an event – of any size:
The easiest people to befriend because there are relatively few of them and they are often keen to make a good impression.
Management will direct the venue’s resources on the day, so if you need more chairs, for example, they are the people who will decide whether it is possible and with what discretion they can be sourced. Do you want half of your waiting staff to disappear for 20 minutes just to come clattering in with some uncomfortable chairs, or would you prefer management radioed the grounds staff to discretely wheel in some comfortable seats for your guests? That is the power of the management team.
Caterers are a bit more numerous, making them a trickier to befriend. However, you will probably be given a single point of contact for the catering team, so they are always a good place to start.
All too often at events you will find that person who forgot to mention a food allergy or other food restriction. It may well be their responsibility for not having mentioned it but that won’t stop them feeling bitter if you can’t supply an alternative.
This is just one example of a situation that requires the support of the catering staff. Having them on-side means that you can quickly resolve issues like this, ensuring your guest can relax and enjoy their meal.
You may not have security at your event, but for certain occasions they may be absolutely essential. Whether that trouble comes from outside gatecrashers, or from inside with a drunk co-worker, security is the safety net that stops the situation spiraling out of control.
Security has the ability to completely ruin your evening; if you are met by polite security staff with a welcoming smile then your event is off to a good start, if you’re met with perceived hostility then it can quickly put you on the back foot.
If you are friendly to the security staff then they will be more relaxed and friendly around you and, by extension, your guests.
4) Waiting/bar staff
The most challenging group to win over – due to their large numbers, but they are the ones who can really make or break your event and they have the least to lose if they screw up.
In the grand scheme of things, would it really matter to the nineteen year-old pouring your drinks if he was fired from his minimum wage job?
Making friends with the waiting and bar staff can transform how they perceive you and therefore how they will behave. If they see you as a real person and understand the aims of your event then they are much more likely to serve your guests with a smile and polite chat, helping your guests feel happy and at ease.
5) The DJ
Whether sophisticated classical music or a fun party atmosphere, music really sets the tone of any event. And the behavior of your DJ towards guests who may ask for requests will influence how people feel about the event.
Get your DJ on-board and make sure they get what sort of atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you’ve made friends with the DJ then they are more likely to respond positively to any requests you make of them or feedback you give them during the event.
Event management is a tricky affair, one that only gets easier with experience. In our experience it’s the people at the venue that can really make a big difference and getting them on-side makes the biggest positive difference of all. They can make or break your event – so making friends with them isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential.