Creating an Event Timeline With Your Production Company

By February 21, 2024 No Comments

Creating an Event Timeline With Your Production Company

Creating a timeline and schedule for pulling off a large corporate event requires a team that’s beyond the ordinary—it calls for a powerful partnership – like the legendary duo, Batman and Robin!

With mutual trust and support, excellent communication, and shared goals, you and your production partner can be the dynamic duo of events!

To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "your end of the boat is sinking".

American Radio and Television Broadcaster

In this partnership, where your role as the key planning contact for your company intersects with the expertise of your event production company, the focus lies on meticulous attention to detail while crafting comprehensive project plans.

While your responsibility likely includes the overarching vision and marketing strategy for your event, the production company’s project manager assumes the vital tasks of creative planning, managing logistics, operations and execution, along with strong and consistent communication, problem-solving and budget management.

Let’s explore the key steps and invaluable strategies for crafting timelines and project plans hand-in-hand with your trusted production company.

Dream Big

Define Your Objectives and Goals:

  • Clearly communicate your event objectives and goals to the event production company, outlining your vision and desired outcomes.
  • Collaborate with your production company’s project manager to ensure alignment between your objectives and their planning strategy.
  • Also, check out my previous blog, Spotlight on Success: Strategies for Setting Clear Event Goals!
"Show Me the Money!"

Establish the Budget and Resources:

Provide a detailed budget, including funds allocated for items such as:

  • Venue rental and union labor, in-house rentals
  • Production equipment and labor
  • Marketing design and printing costs
  • Special décor and/or furnishings
  • Insurance and permits
  • Connectivity (Wi-Fi, charging stations)
  • Speakers, including travel and special requests such as specific DSMs
  • Health and safety protocols
  • Catering for the production crew and the attendees
  • Entertainment
  • Video production
  • Attendee packets – contents, assembly, shipping
  • Travel for staff, speakers, and vendors
  • Special stage design, effects, and fabrication
  • Video editing room for on-site production
  • Team-building events
  • Destination Management Company fees
  • Event website design
  • Digital event and/or streaming expenses and platform fees
  • Translation services
  • General contingencies

Work closely with your team, vendors, and production company to pin down all the budget items and numbers, optimize resource allocation and maximize value within the constraints of the budget.

The NFL Draft
(NFL = Navigators & Fantastic Leaders).

Create a Planning Committee:

  • Designate your company’s key contact person, the caped crusader that will be serving as the primary liaison between the production company and your organization! Allocate the other members of the planning team that will support the efforts of this key contact person.
  • Obtain the contact info for the project manager at your production company that will be your single point of contact throughout the planning process.
  • Determine the outside vendors you will be coordinating or communicating with and add them to your project contact list.
  • Schedule the regular meetings and communications between the production company and relevant stakeholders to facilitate ongoing and consistent collaboration, updates, and decision-making.
  • Clearly outline expectations for your team, vendors, and your production partner, ensuring everyone understands their roles for planning. Trust in the expertise of your production company; effective communication allows them to excel with minimal guidance. In essence, empower them to “do the heavy lifting”, while you facilitate smooth collaboration, making your job more manageable in the process.
Date Knight

Choose an Event Date and Venue:

  • Work with the event production company to select a date and venue for your event, considering factors such as availability, capacity, location, and ambiance.
  • Schedule and attend the site visit, along with your production company and their Technical Director. Provide input as they consider the opportunities and limitations of the venue and surrounding site.
  • Review venue options and pricing, providing input and final approval based on the site visit, your preferences, and event requirements.
Switch ON the Bat Signal!

Develop the Event Theme and Branding:

  • Collaborate to develop a cohesive theme and branding strategy that reflects your organization’s identity and connects with your target audience.
  • Provide branding guidelines, logos, and visual assets to the production company for incorporation into event materials, stage and print design, presentation decks, videos, and overall communications.
Project Plan Mash-Up

Create and Streamline the Project Plans:

  • Task the event production company with creating a detailed event plan and timeline start to finish, outlining key milestones, deadlines, and tasks to be completed.
  • Review and approve the event plan, ensuring alignment with your objectives, budget, and logistical requirements.
  • Incorporate their plan into your own, creating an overall high-level event timeline and project plan.
Roll Up Your Sleeves

Organize the Event Program and Agenda:

  • Work with your production company’s project manager to curate an event program that’s both captivating and comprehensive. Together, explore a vibrant mix of informative sessions, interactive experiences, and networking opportunities. Tap into the creative talents of your production team to infuse the program with excitement and compelling options, ensuring attendees are engaged from start to finish.
  • Review proposed speakers, presentations, video ideas, and entertainment acts, providing feedback and final approval as needed.
Get the Party Started

Promote the Event:

  • Take charge of marketing and promotional efforts for the event, leveraging your organization’s channels and resources to raise awareness and drive attendance.
  • Utilize the full range of services offered by your production company, including event website design, promotional videos, packet assembly and mailing, and DMC management, to encourage registrations for your event. Leverage their expertise to create captivating reels and graphics for your social media campaign, effectively promoting the event and maximizing reach.
  • Collaborate with your production company’s project manager to coordinate all the promotional activities and ensure consistent messaging and branding across all communications.
Registration Hacks

Plan the Registration Process:

  • Consider outsourcing registration and check-in services to your production company if they offer such assistance.
  • Have your production company choose and implement an online registration system that suits your needs and is managed internally. Work with the production company to design the registration forms and grant them access to registration data and attendee information for seamless coordination.
  • Work closely with your production company to monitor registration numbers and communicate updates or changes as necessary, so that there are no surprises regarding general session or breakout room capacities.
  • Keep registered attendees informed about event updates, changes, or important deadlines. Utilize email newsletters, social media posts, and your event website to communicate. Send reminders to inform late registrants about registration deadlines.
  • If not outsourcing the registration portion, create online registration forms that capture essential attendee information – include pre-registration and late registration design options. Include these forms and make sure they can be filled out on the event’s website. Keep track of the numbers and watch for trends regarding attendee demographics. Ensure there’s an option for you to answer questions the attendees may have while registering.
Roll Out the Red Carpet

The Check-In Process:

  • Have your production company plan and organize the check-in process to ensure a smooth experience for attendees upon arrival. Technology such as QR codes or mobile apps to streamline check-in procedures will likely be presented.
  • Be prepared to accommodate on-site registrations for attendees who decide to join your event at the last minute. Have production company staff available to assist with registration and check-in for late registrations.
  • Have the swag and literature assembled, organized, and staged at check-in for quick and easy distribution. Your production company should also be able to help with this, otherwise think about utilizing co-workers or volunteers.
Step Back While They Step Up

Execute the Event:

  • Delegate on-site event production responsibilities to the event production company, ensuring execution of logistics, operations, and on-site management.
  • Ensure you have the direct contact information for your Live Event Producer/Project Manager and any backup contact information you may need, such as their Production Assistant or Show Runner.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact during the event, addressing any issues or concerns that arise, providing guidance as needed.
Back at the Bat Cave...

Follow Up and Evaluation:

  • Once the event has finished and you’re back at the office, it’s time to assess the positive aspects and successes, areas for improvement, and learning opportunities. Collaborate to gather feedback from attendees, sponsors, your production company, and stakeholders following the event.
  • Have in-person conversations with key attendees, a Plus Delta meeting with your staff and the production team, send out surveys or evaluations to assess satisfaction and gather insights.
  • Review event performance metrics and outcomes, analyzing data to identify successes, challenges, and areas for improvement.
What About Apps?

Several group project planning software applications are popular among teams for their collaborative features and ease of use. Stay tuned for April’s blog post, ‘Appy Hour: Exploring Essential Mobile Apps for Events,’ where I’ll review the details of these popular apps and how they can enhance your event planning process.

In Conclusion

By taking an active role as the key contact person and collaborating closely with the event production company, you can ensure that your event is meticulously planned, expertly executed, and delivers exceptional results aligned with your organization’s objectives.

As we conclude our discussion on event planning, it should now be clear that the key to success lies in the strong partnership you have cultivated with your event production company. As the Dynamic Duo, you’ve confronted challenges head-on, embraced creativity, and achieved remarkable results together in powerful ways that would make even Bruce Wayne proud! With meticulous planning, relentless communication, and unwavering trust between you and your event production partner, you will pave the way for countless exciting adventures in future events!