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Propared Blog

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

January 23, 2017

5 Life Hacks to Make You a Better Event Manager

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).

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 7, 2016

4 Ways to Keep Your Venue Standing Through the Holiday Event Season

The holiday season is traditionally the busiest time of year for most event planners. Between weddings, corporate parties, and other year-end celebrations, your calendar is probably full up.

Venue managers are no different. After all, events need spaces. Your venue may be booked every night of the week from now through the New Year. More work means more revenue but it also means more stress on the equipment, systems, and staff. Here are a few things to think about to make sure your take care of your space while still delivering the best service to your clients.

November 29, 2016

4 Pro Tips from LDI for Production Managers

At the end of October, I attended LDI Conference in Las Vegas. I usually attend as a Production Manager with the intent of scoping out new gear and tech toys. This year, I also had the honor of being invited to join Mark Randel as a presenter in his 2-day class “Production Management 101”.

Mark’s goal for the class was to examine the critical components of the role of Production Management when managing events. We had an incredible audience full of experienced production managers and venue managers. With that much knowledge kicking around the room, what started as a “back-to-basics” presentation turned into a massive roundtable.

I had trouble keeping up with all of the amazing ideas floated over the two day intensive. But I managed to grab some of the most important ones and I’m excited to share 5 of them that will really boost your production management skills.

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 13, 2016

8 Awesome Websites to Help Find the Perfect Venue for Your Event

Few decisions are as important (or as stressful) as choosing a venue to host your event. It is both the backdrop and setting for every element; catering, design, guest accommodation, travel, even the basic technical capabilities of the space. The venue is going to be your home from the moment you ink a contract to the moment the last guest steps out the door so you better love it.

Here's the problem: there are literally tens of thousands of unique venues to choose from. You probably don't have time to research them all, especially if you've got other projects. Thankfully, these eight terrific websites can do the heavy lifting for you. Once you've settled on the basics like where and when, these venue finders can drastically speed up your decision-making process. 

For this blog, we focused on sites that primarily serve the US market. We'll tackle international sites in a future post. For now, sit back and let the search for your dream venue begin!

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 22, 2016

Debriefing Events: Why It's So Important and 8 Ways To Do It Right

Have you ever heard this quote:

“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”

To sports fans, this will seem familiar. Turn on any post-game press conference and there's a coach or your favorite player giving an assessment of the team's performance. The point? Win or lose, what worked today won't be enough tomorrow.

Event planners face the same challenges in a competitive market. If you don’t take the time to properly review each event, you may miss critical opportunities to identify mistakes and grow.

"Debriefing” is vital for continuous improvement. Yet many companies still don't do it, let alone freelancers. Here are 8 tips to help you design a strong debrief process to ensure you and your event planning company are better tomorrow than you were today.

September 21, 2016

3 Quick Tips for Building Event Schedules that Make Sense for Vendors

Stop me if this sounds familiar. You’ve just sent out the latest production schedule for an upcoming event. Shortly after, you get a call from a slightly harried vendor.

So, I just got your email and...what am I looking at? I’m not sure what applies to my crew. Can you just tell me where and when we need to be on site?”

This happens all the time in events. Coordinating so many intricate details is complicated, especially with multiple stakeholders. You’ve got your team, the client, vendors, the venue, freelancers, and/or volunteers. But each group, even each person may only be responsible for a few tasks.

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