How to Survive a Coronavirus Pandemic as an Event Organizer
Workshops, product launches, seminars, concerts, social events, a promenade dance, and a marathon are some of the gatherings that we often hear about or attend. Many event-goers enjoy attending events because they are well planned, organized, and is running smoothly.
The reason that many participants enjoy in-person events is because of the people behind them. These people are what we call event organizers who spend their expertise in planning and management to provide a fantastic experience for all the attendees.
Event organizing or planning is not just a job that you can learn in a day; it takes lots of patience, knowledge and understanding to put up successful events. During the pandemic, many event organizers lost their job because of the protocols and regulations of lockdown and isolations.
This issue had been a big struggle for them, and now in this article, I would like to give more insights about event organizers and the things they do. Keep reading until the end because you are about to read some steps to survive a coronavirus pandemic as an event organizer.
What is an event organizer?
An event organizer, also known as a convention planner, is responsible for planning and managing events most efficiently and cost-effectively. Their job description includes locating the target audience and attendees in the market and determining when events are held.
Although event organizers can operate independently, event management businesses contact and recruit them to deal with various clients. They communicate with clients or customers to determine their needs and deliver the best events, including career, product launch, educational, music, sports, entertainment and more.
What does an event organizer do?
Whether you are working as a freelance, independent or corporate event planner, it requires working across various events or specialization in an industry. Perhaps, each client may want to focus on specific areas and responsibilities. But it is likely to involve at least some of the following tasks:
- Recognizing and planning the customer requests and requirements
- Creating a creative and logistical planning process
- Think of the best event brand
- Managing event budget
- Create event name
- Search the right place for event location
- Layouts and timelines for planning (potentially including connecting speakers or special guests)
- Organize and process paperwork and insurance, as well as ensure that all legal norms and criteria are met
- Coordinating venue, contractors and securing vendors (including equipment, food, security, first aid etc.)
- Management of marketing activities, media relations, and public relations promotion of the event
- Create and distribute the promotional plan or information to participants or team and company partners
- Organizing event team to manage the projects
- Managing and troubleshooting during the event
- Supervising venue or site maintenance.
- Reporting and evaluating after the event
How much do event organizers charge?
Every event management has its method of earning. With so many ways an event organizer charges and make, many company or customers are overwhelmed by the different costs. To give you an idea of how event pros (professionals) charge on other events, they use the following methods:
Event organizers and management charge an hourly rate based on the experience they have. A typical hourly rate ranges from $25 for a new planner to $100 for more experienced event planners. You can adjust your pricing for the type of event and based on the market you will be serving. Also, a work portfolio will help to provide you with a reasonable basis for your client.
Flat fee or fixed rate
A fixed fee is one of the most common ways for event organizers to bill and generates money. Event organizers and the client shall discuss the cost transparently and conveniently with a flat or fixed rate. As an organizer, when you outline your fee, you shall calculate how many hours you will be working plus the necessary expenses like gas, or bus tickets, equipment, etc. It is also suggested to have at least ten to twenty percent buffer if there are unexpected changes during the event.
Percentage of the Event
Creating a charge based on the percentage of the event budget is one of the risky ways to earn money in doing event planning. First of all, it is hard to present it to a client that they will approve it. If you think you can run this method of charging your client, this can be an excellent opportunity to consider. A typical charge for a percentage fee is fifteen to twenty percent of the event budget. However, take note that if you will push to charge your fees, double check first if the event you will be handling is under a corporation or not. In this way, you can adjust your price if you feel necessary.
A few event management prefer to give their clients large discounts or charge nothing for their services in exchange for a commission from the suppliers they buy-in. Some people appreciate this billing technique, while others don’t. Those objecting to this strategy argue that choosing vendors who aren’t the greatest at what they do but will pay you the biggest commission is a disservice to your client and the event’s overall success. Supporters of commissions argue that they still choose the best vendors they know, but they take a fee arrangement extra step.
We don’t recommend employing this strategy unless you’re completely honest with your client about the agenda and what you’re doing. While it may appear to be a tempting approach to undercut the competition with another event organizer, it will almost certainly lead to additional clients questioning your vendor’s decision. You can better serve your client by being transparent with them.
Other important items related to pricing:
Receiving deposits: It is recommended that you create an invoice to request a non-refundable deposit of 30 to 50 percent at the time of contract signing, with the balance due after or before the event.
Consultation fee: It is not suggested that you charge a consultation fee if you are just starting in event planning, but if you are more experienced and have a strong portfolio, you can. Take note that you are charging consultation fees to avoid the clients who try to fish for a vendor, venue, marketing, theme details and end up with a different event organizer.
Decoration charges: You can charge more for event design if you provide it. If you don’t consider décor a separate specialty, you can charge for your event design planning services as usual.
Steps to survive a coronavirus pandemics as an event organizer and preparation for next event
During an event, you will encounter delays and obstacles that could affect the overall experience of the event attendees. You can quickly solve a problem during the in-person event, but what if it is an unforeseen challenge like the pandemic? As an event organizer, one characteristic you should always consider is the capability to control and respond to a situation that might happen. You should find different ways how you can still manage an event. There are many resources online and events that you can still organize even in the comfort of your own home.
To know more about online events, read How to Get the Most Out of Online Events.
Getting into event organizing is not easy, and it needs consistent learning. You shall be prepared and flexible for the constant changes, the evolution of the industry and the market. Keep yourselves equipped with the latest technology, trends, and ways the industry works on these trial times.
Many event planning teams who successfully overcome the pandemic learned how to manage two events simultaneously since attendees participate in events via social media or a website. This can also be part of your event planning if you are effectively on the right track of being flexible.
Be willing to take risks
Once you know the necessary things to keep up with the ongoing situation, it is time to convert it into an application. You shall be confident and willing to take risks to win your business back. As long as you are on the right track, you will indeed manage an event again.
Since the pandemic is still around the area, you do not need to worry about the location of your event, marketing details and other aspects of event planning. You just need to learn to search for the appropriate tools that you will benefit from.
Rely on your team
Whether you’re a freelance event planner or a corporate event manager, you have team members to work with. Join forces are always helpful, so ask for your team’s support and opinion while dealing with clients to avoid unnecessary things. You are not working on your own to save up your profession; always consult your team to think of better ideas and solutions. As the legend says, “teamwork makes the dream work.”
Utilize social media
Since everyone is at home, the number of social media users has risen. According to research, an average user of social media in the United States spent 54 minutes in 2018, but when the pandemic came in the year 2020, it rose to 65 minutes. This data can be taken advantage of as an opportunity to promote an event online. You can set up a website or social media page for the event that you are planning to bring out more awareness and serve as one of your marketing efforts to measure success.
Not because everyone is at home does not mean you are safe. Yes, you are safe from the virus, but you might get infected by many scammers and the company or clients who are just looking for event themes and ideas. The more marketing you do, the more noise you make on a site or social media, so keep an eye when you are talking to a prospective client to identify which is the real one and not.
Embrace the chaos
Struggles will always be part of a man’s life. All you need to do is embrace the chaos of changes and learn ways to overcome them. Do not dwell so much on the current matter. As an event planner, you need to look for the brighter side. Always come up with fresh ideas, be prepared and work wholeheartedly.
A key to your next event
Indeed it is hard to remain calm during a pandemic, but the best you can do as an organizer is to apply for the abovementioned steps and work amidst the chaos. There are many ways to overcome challenges; all you need is to figure out what will work for you. Also, do not lose hope that you and your business might not overcome such things. Instead, make it an opportunity and motivation to become optimistic in reaching your business goals. So now, the next step you need to do to have another successful event is to put together your team and start selling tickets.