1) Over-invite: you will always have a certain proportion of no-shows and those unable to attend.
2) A celebrity from a relevant field of expertise, either paid or unpaid, really gives kudos to an event and boosts attendance. It also provides more opportunities for press coverage, so be sure to invest in a professional photographer to capture the whole occasion.
3) Have an RSVP/booking requirement so you know the rough number of attendees for catering, literature and logistics (such as parking) – running out of any of these is a disaster!
4) In the lead up, make sure everyone involved is engaged and on board with event plans. On the day, gather all staff for a meeting an hour before the event to answer any queries and check that everyone is 100% sure of their responsibilities.
5) Invite selected journalists and, if applicable, broadcast media, well before the date and offer to provide them with copy and images if they can’t attend.
6) Carry out a walk-through of the site a few weeks before and look through a visitor’s eyes at anything that needs a lick of paint, or could be a health and safety hazard. Arrange to clearly label and cordon off any areas which you don’t want people to wander into.
7) Organisation is everything - make sure that the person in charge is a ‘list’ person and not a ‘last minute’ person. This will ensure that things are less likely to be forgotten and gives staff the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the event.
We helped Farley Estate in Berkshire to organise the official opening of their new indoor riding school at their luxury equestrian centre.
Around 100 livery clients, local guests and national equestrian press attended to watch broadcaster, Clare Balding OBE, and Lord Bearsted open the facility. Every detail of the day was carefully planned to ensure the TV and press journalists got the interviews they required and that each guest enjoyed a comprehensive tour, buffet lunch and a luxury ‘going-home’ gift bag. This event provided amazing profile for the new venture and helped put Farley Equestrian firmly on the map.