8 Essential Parts of Planning Regional Events
Micro-events, tours and roadshows. As events come back to live, these are going to be the lifeblood of your brand and organization. Across the industry, experts agree that revving up your return through targeted smaller regional events is going to be a key part of your portfolio strategy.
What do you need to consider when planning your smaller events? It is a bit of a different world. Here are some of the key things to consider when building your regional event plan.
Consistent Look and Feel
We have always advised clients that they need to start with their event story. Define what your stakeholders and audience want to get out of your event and build from there. Make sure you design and document a consistent look and feel for your event occurrences, no matter where they are. You have a brand standard for your company, make sure you create a brand standard for the event itself.
Consider Touring Logistics
Next, build a show rider for the event. A rider is a document that lays out the specifications and parameters for the execution of the event. Then, find the key elements that you need to send on the road. Typically, this is a set of presentation computers, a key scenic element for a consistent look and feel and key personnel. You may want to consider how many touring packages you want to send out. Will it be more cost-effective to build 5 and send them out on the road, crisscrossing the continent or build one that travels to all locations? Scheduling each stop will be the key factor in this decision.
Focus on a Design that can be Replicated
Leverage a network of local suppliers for common items that can be sourced locally. Things like truss, lights, projectors, and screens do not need to travel with the show. Using the touring rider you built, you can find lights and sound almost anywhere. Don’t hinge your event design on the panel chair only available in your home market. It might be the coolest chair, but if you can’t get it in another market you will be expending a lot of shipping costs to keep it consistent. Find a partner that knows each region well so that you know what can and cannot be sourced consistently in each market.
Build at Home
When putting together tours, we make sure to rehearse, document and refine the show at “home”. Whether that takes a little extra time in the first location to add two days of rehearsal and refinement or working in your own office to run through presentations, take the time to build the most important part of the many regional events you will be holding. This will save a lot of potentially wasted costs while on the road with your event.
Build an Adaptable Plan
We used to produce election tours for political parties across North America. Knowing that we needed to remain flexible and agile for the ever-changing needs of election stops, we designed 3-4 packages that allowed the team on the road to meet any demand they may have. The same applies to your event locations. Build and design a flexible plan for each size of venue. These can be as easy as a small, medium and large version. Use that event brand standard that you previously built to keep the look and feel consistent but know that your standard can scale and be adapted to larger audience sizes if required.
Make Regional Events Part of an Overall Strategy
Making these stand-alone events can be risky and might not get what you want for your long-term goals. Make sure these regional events are part of an overall strategy culminating in a large end-of-tour event or launch the tour with a large-scale version of the event to create buzz. Focussing on the overall objective of your regional events, find the right fit for these to integrate into your overall objectives.
Build a Presentation Kit
Build the touring package that consists of your content computers and key scenic elements. When we put tours like this together, we send a core team with 5-6 laptops with all the presentations pre-loaded. When your team arrives at the venue the show ends up being plug and play, avoiding compatibility issues with the local vendor’s machines. Fonts issues are eliminated, graphics work and you can save time and money on specific revisions.
Build the Core Team
Your core team should consist of a Show Producer, Technical and Production Lead and a House Manager. Your Technical and Production Lead will advance the technical and logistics needs of the event, your Show Producer will manage the content, speakers and staging, briefing the local crew on how to execute the show while your House Manager can work with the venue, F&B and house décor to take care of your attendees. This team can expand and contract as needed, but you can always leverage local networks to add assistants and additional roles as required.