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Propared Blog

Tips and Advice for Managers, Planners, and Event Production Professionals

January 19, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Labor Management Right: Part 1

Whether you work for a production company or any other organization responsible for managing events, you have probably found yourself in charge of booking and/or paying people.


Over the coming weeks we’re going to bring you a series of blogs that address the process of labor management in live events and how to get it right! Today, we’ll start with an overview of benefits and challenges and from there move into the two major parts of labor management: Booking Labor (everything before the event) and Tracking Actuals (everything after the event).

January 3, 2017

4 Ways Good Planning Enriches the Event Attendee Experience

 

As marketing and sales professionals, we all know that the experience of your attendees is critical. Businesses need to differentiate themselves more than ever, and in-person events are still a great way to do this. For the fifth consecutive year, “in-person events” tops the list of most effective marketing tactics! However, for event attendees to get the most out of their experience (and for you to get the most out of your money!), it is critical that the event be planned well.

December 14, 2016

7 Mistakes Event Planners and Managers Must Avoid At All Costs

Event planners aren't perfect. Despite our best efforts and experience, sometimes we screw up. We forget to check parking and delivery street signs near the venue. We underestimate power needs or forget to plan for inclement weather. We recover from most of these mistakes quickly. It might cost some time and money but in the end, the event goes on as planned.

But sometimes, the fix isn't so easy. Sometimes, the mistake is much bigger. You know what I mean; the game-changing, face-palming, ruin-an-event blunders that make you want to crawl inside a storage closet and stay there for days. If you've experienced this feeling before, we feel your pain. We've compiled seven of the biggest mistakes we've seen and ways you can address them. If you do, we bet you won't have to go searching for a storage closet anytime soon.

December 8, 2016

5 Effective Techniques for Event Managers to Resolve Team Conflicts

Event managers work in stressful environments. In an industry that cannot function without the efforts of hundreds to carry off an event, conflicts are bound to happen. Here’s a few thoughts about how to resolve conflicts at work when they happen and some tips to reduce the likelihood of them occurring again.

October 17, 2016

12 Inspiring Books Every Event Planner Should Read

These days, to be a successful event planner, you need to have a pretty broad set of skills. You need to be creative and strategic. You must understand how to manage logistics and analyze data. You create unique experiences that are memorable and engaging but must still be able to measure their impact when they end.

There are many ways to boost your knowledge: attend industry conferences, network with fellow planners, enroll in specialized training courses, or curl up with a really good book.

There are dozens of well-written books that can help you become a better planner. And several of them aren't about event planning at all!

Here are 12 of our favorites every event planner should read. They'll help boost your creative thinking, while making you think more strategically about your decisions. We've also included links to each book in case you want to add them to your shelf (virtual bookcases count, too). When you're done, you'll be ready to tackle any event that comes your way.

October 7, 2016

Want to Run Your Own Event Planning Company? Answer These 9 Questions

Running your own business can feel like a hustle. How will you make money? Where will you find clients? Is what you do unique? This mindset will seem familiar to long-time freelancers. They're used to the uncertainty of gig life and can manage the stress.

The very best are able to think long-term. They make sacrifices today in the hope that they reap the benefits tomorrow, next month, or next year. They have essentially become business owners, even if their businesses have one employee. You must shift your thinking from "the gig" to "the client" and focus on building lasting relationships if you, too, want to start your own company.

There are many questions you'll have to answer along the way. We've put together 9 that can help you build your plan. If this sounds like a journey you're ready to take, read on.

 

September 29, 2016

The Development Desk: Building Event Schedules That Don't Suck

Hello from the land of Propared! It’s been an interesting month as we leave summer behind and look forward to Fall. Any event planners who work in the Northeast can back us up; there is nothing quite like producing an outdoor event in the changing of the seasons.

But we digress; we’ve gathered together today to talk about our most recent event management software development work! Getting excited? We know, at times this stuff can seem dry. Who wants to sit through a long thread about requirements and testing? That’s why we try to approach these entries as logically and simply as possible. We want to give you a little insight into the real conversations we have about what we work on and why.

Here’s what we’re chatting about this month!

September 19, 2016

How Event Managers Can Conquer Task Management in 5 Easy Steps

Congratulations! You’ve closed the deal with a client and are off to plan his or her event. Before you've even had time to celebrate, an overwhelming number of tasks have been probably been dumped in your lap. Here are just a few:

  • Hire personnel and staff
  • Create and sign contracts
  • Choose the venue
  • Contact vendors
  • Build designs

There are so many moving parts, it’s easy for the event planner to miss something. And this is just for one event. When you work for a professional event company, you’re often juggling dozens of events at the same time.

July 1, 2016

8 Career Lessons Event Managers Can Learn From "Game of Thrones"

Warning: there may be Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. Read on at your own peril.

If you’re like us, you’re just now settling in for the long Winter. That is, the 10 to 11-month period of darkness that is life without new Game of Thrones episodes. We’re just trying to immerse ourselves in our work, trying to push “Winter” as far from your mind as possible.

But that doesn’t mean we have to completely let go! We combed through 6 seasons to find some of the best quotes from Westeros and across the Narrow Sea. These 8 gems of advice have surprising relevance for event managers, no matter where in your career you are.

May 11, 2016

Event Management Technology Isn't Sexy (But it Can Solve Real Problems)

Imagine that innovation is a fast moving river. A lot of the time, it can feel like we are just gripping the edges of our rafts, trying not to capsize and get lost. But every so often, we’re able to catch a calm eddy and take a breather. From here, we can take stock of our journey: where we've come from, where we are now, and where we are headed. And most importantly for any company, what is the best way to get there?

As an event production manager, this moment came for me at LDI in 2013. I was wandering somewhat aimlessly up and down the aisles. I marveled at the new lighting gear, sound, video, and special effects. As I was ticking through all of the ways I might be able to use these new toys on my future events, I hit my eddy. And suddenly I was staring at the full scope of the industry with new eyes. 

Nearly every production department leaps forward year after year. Processes are improved, gear is more flexible. The design elements available to event planners continue to evolve in exciting ways.

But I say nearly because I noticed one department glaringly absent from the innovation party. Management.