Demystifying Event Production With Dan Assor - 10times EvaTalk
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Demystifying Event Production With Dan Assor

Event production refers to the planning, management, and execution of events, ranging from small private gatherings to large-scale events. It involves various tasks, such as conceptualizing the event, developing a budget, selecting and coordinating vendors, managing logistics, designing the event layout, and ensuring the event’s smooth operation. 

Event production requires high organization, creativity, and attention to detail to create a memorable experience for attendees. A well-produced event can provide an excellent platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and professional development. It can also create opportunities for businesses and organizations to showcase their products or services to a targeted audience. With the increasing demand for professional development and networking opportunities, event production has become essential for many industries and fields.

In this events industry expert series, Dan Assor shared a few strategies with event professionals for efficient and effective event production and event budget management. In addition, he shared his insights on how event planners can use technology in event production to enhance the event experience for attendees, such as through live streaming or other interactive tools.

Dan has 20+ years of experience in the events industry and currently holds the position of Production Director at Clear Path Analysis. This media company specializes in convening high-level decision-makers in institutional asset allocation, fund operations, treasury, and cash management. 

In addition to his role at Clear Path Analysis, Dan hosts the popular podcast, the Dan Assor Show, catering to event professionals. He serves as a trustee for the EventWell Trust and has been recognized as one of the 2022 Eventex Top 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry.

– How do you approach budgeting and financial management in event production, and what strategies do you use to stay within budget?

1. Define Your Budget: Start by determining the total amount of money you have available to spend on the event. Consider your income streams, such as ticket sales and sponsorships. Once you have a total budget, break it down into specific categories, such as venue rental, catering, and entertainment.

2. Prioritise Your Expenses: Identify which expenses are critical and mandatory for your event and allocate resources to those areas. For example, if your event’s success depends on the quality of the food, allocate more money to catering than to decorations.

3. Negotiate with Vendors: Negotiate with vendors and suppliers to get the best deals possible. Ask for discounts, compare prices, and consider buying in bulk. Be upfront with vendors about your budget and work with them to achieve the best outcome possible.

4. Track Your Spending: Keep a record of every expense related to the event. This will help you stay within your budget and identify areas where you may be overspending. To do this you can use a spreadsheet or financial management software to track your expenses and update your budget.

5. Be Flexible: Be prepared to adjust your budget and priorities as the planning process evolves. Unexpected expenses will almost certainly occur, and some cost items may be more or less important than you initially thought. Be willing to adjust as necessary to ensure that you stay within your budget and meet your objectives.

– How can event planners use technology to enhance the conference experience for attendees, such as through live streaming or other interactive tools?

1. Live Streaming: Live streaming allows for real-time broadcast of keynotes, workshops, and other sessions to people who are not physically present at the event. This enables a wider audience to participate and makes it easier for people who are unable to travel to still benefit from the conference. This will also benefit sponsors of sessions, by widening their exposure.

2. Event Apps: Event apps can provide real-time updates on the conference schedule, session locations, and speaker information. They can also offer features such as live polling, social media integration, and personalised agendas, which make it easier for attendees to navigate the event and engage with other participants.

3. Virtual Reality (VR): Event planners’ exhibitors at events can use VR technology to provide attendees with an immersive and interactive experience. For example, VR can be used to create virtual trade show booths or interactive experiences that allow attendees to explore a product or service. This can be a great way to engage attendees and make the event more memorable.

4. Interactive Tools: Event planners can use interactive tools such as live polling, Q&A sessions, and social media integration to encourage attendee participation and engagement. These tools can make it easier for attendees to interact with speakers and other attendees, which can help to create a more engaging and interactive experience.

– Would you like to share some strategies or tips with event planners to create a conference agenda and select the right speakers?

1. Determine Your objectives: Before you start planning your conference agenda or selecting speakers, it’s important to define your conference goals. What do you want attendees to learn or take away from the event? What kind of audience are you targeting? Answering these questions will help you create an agenda that aligns with your conference goals.

2. Identify Key Topics: Once you’ve determined your conference goals, identify the key topics that you want to cover. Consider the latest trends and challenges in your industry and choose topics that are timely, relevant, and informative for your attendees.

3. Research Potential Speakers: When selecting speakers, research people who are experts in the topics you want to cover. Look for speakers who have experience presenting to similar audiences, and who have a unique perspective on your conference topics.

4. Create a Balanced Agenda: When creating your conference agenda, make sure to include a balance of keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. This will provide attendees with a variety of learning opportunities.

5. Allow for Networking and Break Time: In addition to creating a comprehensive conference agenda, it’s important to allow time for attendees to network and take breaks. Schedule time for coffee breaks, lunch, and networking sessions to allow attendees to connect with each other and recharge.

– How do you work with sponsors and exhibitors to ensure they receive maximum value from their participation in a conference?

1. Understand Their Goals: It’s important to understand what your sponsors and exhibitors are hoping to achieve by participating in your conference. Ask them about their goals, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or networking opportunities. This will help you to tailor their experience and ensure they receive maximum value.

2. Provide Opportunities for Brand Exposure: Sponsors and exhibitors want to reach a wider audience, so make sure to provide opportunities for brand exposure throughout the conference. This could include advertising in conference materials, logo placement on event signage, or a dedicated space for their booth.

3. Facilitate Networking Opportunities: Sponsors and exhibitors attend conferences not only to promote their brand but also to make connections. Provide networking opportunities, such as receptions or breakout sessions, where they can meet other attendees and build relationships.

4. Follow-Up: After the conference, follow up with your sponsors and exhibitors to see how they felt about their experience and whether they achieved their goals. This will help you to improve the conference experience for future events and strengthen your relationship with your sponsors and exhibitors

– Would you like to share tips with event professionals for efficient and effective event management?

1. Develop a Comprehensive Plan: Create a comprehensive plan for your event, including a timeline, budget, and task list. This will help you to stay organised, ensure that all aspects of the event are covered, and allow you to track progress.

2. Use Project Management Tools: Utilise project management tools, to help you manage your plan and stay on track. These tools can help with task delegation, communication, and tracking progress.

3. Communicate Clearly and Consistently: Communication is key when managing an event. Ensure that you communicate clearly and consistently with all stakeholders, including suppliers, sponsors, staff, and attendees. This will help to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is working towards the same outcome.

4. Prepare for Contingencies: Be prepared for contingencies, such as bad weather, rail strikes, or technical issues. Have backup plans in place and be ready to adjust your plan as needed.

5. Evaluate the Event: After the event is over, identify areas for improvement. This will help you to learn from the experience and improve future events. Make sure you gather feedback from attendees and stakeholders, which will help you to understand how they valued the event and identify areas for improvement.

For more in the Events Industry Experts series, check out our interview with Shawn Cheng, Olivia Preston-Lee, Patric Weiler, Shameka Jennings, Janice Cardinale, Courtney Stanley, Helen Moon, Danica Tormohlen, Ashley Brown, Jason Allan Scott, Brandt Krueger, Corbin Ball, Will Curran, and Stephan Murtagh today!

Are you interested in sharing your insights or viewpoints with the events industry? Join the Eva Talk.

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