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In this guest blog, Assembly Rooms front of house manager Paul McKerrow provides his top tips to keep in mind when planning your next event. 

In this industry, we all strive to host high quality events which ultimately add value for our clients and the attendees. But how do the front of house team help make an event a success?

For us, it’s imperative to have clients work with our staff when planning their event and understand the importance of working with the in-house team. You’ll get the most out of your event by utilising the expertise available – after all, we know our venue best. And there’s nothing we enjoy more than working together to ensure your event is a success.

At Assembly Rooms, we share your vision with the entire team with enthusiasm while clearly communicating what we’re looking to achieve. We believe communication is an essential ingredient to success and that a good team will help breath passion into the planning – and it’s contagious.

When planning, don’t be scared to push the boundaries and ask for something different – different is good for everyone and we love a challenge. At Assembly Rooms, we work on events of all scale and description, from interactive workshops and intimate conferences, to world-renowned festivals and high profile awards dinners.

Events are about creating memorable moments and are shaped to bring people together, whether it’s to educate, motivate, entertain or network. Annual events face a lot of pressure to stay fresh and complacency is often more risky than change. Your delegates are key to an event’s success and if you exceed their needs and expectations, your event will really stand out. We know that every event has a story so let yours shine. We’re not only here to help you tell your story, we’re also ready with ideas to add that little something extra.

A strong front of house team thrives under pressure, resolves problems quickly and can stay calm in even the most high pressure situations. Are you aware of what is going on in the reception area of your meeting while people are leaving the main conference room? Is the buffet ready? Are the stewards able to drive the crowd? Do they know where to direct them?

As a seasoned front of house team, we have the ability to keep calm and focus on the agenda at hand, all while ensuring our client’s head stays securely attached. And with years of experience, we’ve honed resourcefulness to perfection. Whether the custom backdrop arrived a foot short, your PowerPoint has corrupted, or your headline speaker is running late, our team can resolve any problem swiftly.

But success takes more than just execution. In order to understand whether you made the right moves, you need to have SMART objectives – and have these clearly mapped out from the outset. It is very easy to jump to tactics and forget your strategy. With clear objectives, you’ll know what is important during the event and after the event you’ll be able to measure your effectiveness.

Most importantly, and often most forgotten, is to ask that attendees give their thoughts and feedback on what went well, and what could be improved. Service is intangible – but intangible should still mean measurable. Find new ways to measure satisfaction and use the venue’s own channels, such as feedback portals and social media pages, to see how well your event was received. This information can be used as research for your next event, providing invaluable insight over time into the needs and expectations of your target group from their perspective.

My take-away event prof tips:

  • Keep your attendees entertained and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Think of the experiential elements that could help generate excitement and enthusiasm throughout the event
  • Face-time is becoming increasingly rare and valuable so use your events as a powerful tool to enhance the relationships and further collaboration between the attendees. But don’t forget to collect your own data capture too
  • Always ask for feedback. A key way that feedback can be gathered in real time is via social media. If you promote a hashtag alongside your event, you can then follow what people are saying

To begin planning your next event, explore our venue pages or complete an enquiry form to get in touch with multiple unique venues at once. This blog first appeared on the Assembly Rooms website.