HA Quick Bites for Spring 2014

Holland Alexander Newsletter

Three days before- the main event

Tuesday we have a conference for an important client which is being hosted at the Leicester City Football Club. With three working days to the event there are a number of key tasks that have to be completed. Below are some of the activities that an events team would be partaking in three days prior to an event.

 Three days before an event

At this stage the majority of the event would be in place, we would like to be sure that only the final stages of the event needed to be done with just three working days to go. We would ensure all the event collateral has been produced, any printed agendas, guest information or delegate packs would be collated. The team would have created and double checked all name badges/place cards to ensure they match the latest guest list (this are often still being done on the day of event due to last minute guest changes!).  Any non respondents from R.S.V.P lists would be contacted and followed up. Any contractors and the client will have been sent the event plan a few weeks in advance, and the latest dietary list will be issued to the venue with any other pieces of information they may need.

 The day before the event

We always aim to set up the venue the day before the event if possible. This allows us to sort any changes needed to be made in the office and makes sure that we can get all the details right on the day of the event, making the event the best possible. By setting up the day prior to the event, this also saves time in terms of jobs to do on the day of the event, and allows us to focus on the minor details and special flourishes that make that bit of difference!  On an event day the last thing you want is to be running around looking for a place card and not be able to reproduce one; so we would ensure we had spares of everything and all contingency plans thought through. Below are some of the things we would aim to do the day before

–          Set up all technical requirements

–          Build the stage

–          Set up the registration desk

–          Set out the tables

–          Put out any flowers/centre pieces/props

–          Place name places

–          Ensure flow/movement of event layout is correct

–          Have all equipment needed for day of event out and ready in place.

 The day of the event

Early Arrival: Early arrival is key, the specific time obviously depends on what time the event is but we aim to be there first thing, which makes it even more difficult it the event goes live at 7.30am! Once at the venue, we would check all the name badges are correct and up to date- placing any changes that were made the day before at set up. Any other equipment from external suppliers would be set up and secure (e.g tech desk/stages/music).The team and venue would be briefed on the run of the event and all questions would be answered. The event team would allow five minutes to do a walk through in the eyes of the guest to ensure all areas have been covered. All team members would be placed in position ready  and waiting for the event to commence prompt and professionally. Preparation, time scheduling and a proper team plan is they key to success!


‘’Luck is when preparation meets opportunity’’.

And opportunities arise with success. – the great eagle.

Our next placement student Cherie Rickets looks forward

Our April placement student has very kindly written a blog for us. Having just completed the De Montfort University Cultural Exchanges festvial, she is about to partake in a months long work placement with holland alexander. We asked her to discuss the experience she has gained and what she hopes to acheive during her time at holland alexander.

As a third year Arts management student the option of taking part in a student led festival called Cultural Exchanges was made available. Generally I have a keen interest in events management and would like to pursue a career in such an area. I quickly realised that through working on the Cultural Exchanges festival I would be able to gain necessary experience that would provide me with a basic platform of knowledge and understanding of what is needed to ensure success. I personally believe that within the events industry there is no such thing as perfection but the careful management of obscurities and possibly problematic circumstances. Throughout the Cultural Exchanges festival our small team was challenged by potentially difficult situations that could have impacted on the programmed events. However as we found out, team work is absolutely key in the deliverance of an event or festival. Working with my Cultural Exchange colleagues was amazing, we identified that the continuity of communication is a given but communicating the right information was crucial. As part of my BA Honours Arts Management course I am expected to organise and undertake a placement in an appropriate organisation. I chose Holland Alexander as I have found the organisation to be highly recommended and also have a broad scope of events. During the placement I hope to deepen my understanding of the events circuit and gain confidence in areas of working. Holland Alexander will help me to gain an additional outlook of what it means to be a team player and establish a better professional manner when dealing with cliental. As a temporary member, I intend to contribute possibly innovative ideas and organisational skills. Due to previous working experiences I have effectively delegated teams and completed tasks given; if an opportunity arises I will try my best to represent Holland Alexander. Eventually I would like to adopt an Eagle like persona when dealing with tasks/projects allocated; the initial target or goal is clear to see and is achieved through strategic planning accompanied by the power of team work.

Cherie Ricketts

Top five ways to good customer services at an event

Claire from the team has put together her top five ways to good customer services at an event, see what you think 

  1. Look professional: This doesn’t just mean keeping your appearance tidy and in fitting with the type of event. For instance  if it is a conference wear smart work clothes,  if it is an evening event perhaps a smart evening dress- this is still important but it won’t complete the picture. Essentially it means look like you are there to work and to help the guest, don’t be eating a biscuit when they come in and don’t be talking loudly about last nights football match.
  2. Be Visible: At holland alexander we wear black to events to ensure that we are all on brand but also so that we are not the main focus, the event isn’t about us. However we know that a guest/client needs to be able to find us if they want something. Make sure that a member of the events team is always around and visible ready to help anyone that needs it. For example if it is at a conference, have a main desk where there is always one member of the team there to help- and make sure the customer knows this.
  3. Go above and beyond: Each guest is special and deserves to be treated so. Make sure they feel welcome, ask them if they have everything they need, if someone looks lost ask them if they need help. Go the extra mile, after all that person could be a potential client, employer or even well disguised Royalty. By treating everyone the same it saves any embarrassment at a later stage.
  4. Know your stuff: All event staff should be well briefed not only on what their own role is but on everything to do with the event, this doesn’t mean they need to know every song on a soundtrack. It does mean that they should know the answer to as many questions as they can. At holland alexander once we have set up a venue for an event we leave and enter again as a guest, walking through their route and their evening, during this process we try and trouble shoot, thinking of any questions that may arise, and the answers. Although you can’t be prepared for everything you can certainly try!
  5. Deal with complaints with grace and poise: It is a fact that at an event as a member of events staff you will be the face of the event, this means that the client, the guests and even the venue will come to you when something goes wrong. If any of these people are frustrated or are having an issue then they will come to you, and they may not be very nice or reasonable about it. At this be polite and listen to what they want. Think about number 3 and go above and beyond to help them in any way you can. It may be the difference between them having a good evening or not. It may also be the difference between your client getting a complaint from one of their guests. Although it likely isn’t your fault, and the person in front of you may not be very nice, take the high ground and be the best you can and ‘make great things happen’.

aire from the team has put together her 5 top ways to give good customer services an an event. See what you think


event management new business- the eagle is soaring

February for Holland Alexander has felt like spring with signs that warmer times are afoot and we’re not just talking about the weather! In the last few days we have been selected as the preferred events management company for a trade event for Manchester Airport Group and for a Leicestershire public sector organisation, a conference in March. Today has been just as exciting with securing a new client for the agency from the manufacturing retail sector. With a call just in we have received an invitation to pitch to provide a multi-events function for a global electronics brand generated from a random google search. Well done Claire for the site’s strong look and content. New business acquisition has been the primary focus for the last quarter, as well as delivering great work for our existing clients – of course – and one could be encouraged to feel like the gods are dancing with us, but I’m not saying that, who wants to tempt fate? Not me. I’m looking forward to next week already! Good luck to City and the Riders on Saturday. I’ll be watching both. Enjoy tobe-le-rone over the weekend

Lou Holland