Ask the Expert
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Ask the Expert is our thought leadership series featuring experts from around the business on a variety of topics to the events industry. In this edition we sit down with Encore’s Commercial Director, Michael Magafa for his production and venue expertise.
How effective venue and in-house event production relationships create the perfect combination for exceptional events.
By Encore’s Commercial Director, Michael Magafa.
Events typically involve highly emotional decisions. Whether you’re organising a conference on behalf of a client, or the Executive Assistant wanting to impress your CEO, and most definitely the bride – they’re often based on emotional decisions as you’re responsible for the experience of many people. So how do you appeal to an emotion-based buyer?
As described by renowned sales stratgiest and entrepeneur, Siva Devaki, success in sales is driven by trust and education. By providing valuable education along their planning journey, you’re building trust and positioning yourself and venue as their trusted advisor. This should be at the heart of sales relationships. Who’s best equipped to provide this important event information? Both your venue sales teams and in-house production partner of course. If they pitch a strategy in collaboration from the beginning, they can show not only the what, where, why and how but the what if. This is how both teams — those hosting the space and their chosen production experts — help clients achieve the extraordinary together.
Event production experts and venue sales teams need to be close collaborators. You’ll maximise space, increase room turnover and expand a venue’s creative potential. Here, Encore shares insights on how your venue can capitalise on a resurgent market in Australia and the South Pacific.
Improved pitching, adding value and event enhancements
Set your venue for success by having the right people in the conversation from the start. Better technical knowledge, production expertise, and an awareness of what the space and teams are capable of can sway briefing discussions and put your venue in pole position. Days aren’t lost relaying messages, ideas and potentially losing to a faster-moving competitor.
Clients get to see both teams working together from the beginning to share creative ideas and innovative solutions, instilling confidence in the venue and event production partnership and their ability to deliver successful outcomes. We make sure there’s always an answer to the brief; a clear solution and event design, and that this is communicated perfectly, as we’re there together along the journey.
Meanwhile, a picture says a thousand words. At Encore, our video and image renders not only illustrate what our clients can expect, but give us the chance to show how our solutions enhance the event experience. The level of render sophistication also means we can provide client’s with options to influence the design to their liking and play around with ideas to increase engagement and make the day more enthralling.
We often use digital visualisations or renders to help clients understand how we’ll prepare and design a space, assisting our venue partners with the sales process. Recently, Encore worked with a Sydney venue, taking the initial brief and designing life-like visual renders for an overseas client. It gave them an exact representation of how the event will look on the day. Our venue partner showcased their space in the best possible light, leading to an event booking without any physical site inspections.
A strong partnership helps with maximising venue usage too. Rather than lose half of the event to another venue, an experienced event production partner can transform spaces for the same effect. Commonly, for instance, venue A hosts a conference but venue B hosts the gala. Event specialists think creatively to adapt a room, completely “flipping it” for another function so venue A can host both. By strategically using technical and creative solutions, production teams can transform a traditional conference into an immersive enchanted forest for a gala dinner in under an hour. Pitching these advantages correctly not only provides more solutions for the client, it makes the venue’s offering much more appealing.
Better budget conversations
By integrating sales and event teams, it’s far easier to price many of the must-haves and could-haves the client may be asking for. Attending site inspections allows both parties to understand the client’s needs early on, allowing both to present concepts that not only match the brief but make suggestions to fit the proposed budget or what’s possible with more.
In addition to avoiding unwanted surprises, audio visual consultants can suggest ways in which to achieve an outcome with varying options. If your event production partner can meet the client early, they can explain costs, their impact on the event and which alternatives are viable.
By bringing your production team into the sales cycle early, they can also offer their own unique, creative services and production expertise; all leading to an expert, end-to-end solution that ultimately strengthens your client relationships.
A recent Encore survey showed that our clients want a tailored approach to their events, bolstered further by our research on event planners’ changing attitudes to technology and venue equipment. We found that 61.9% of event planners would prefer to remove some installed equipment for more flexible staging, lighting, audio and other production demands.
Events, of course, take a lot of technical and logistical planning — even more for bespoke arrangements. From large conferences to workshop rooms and breakout meeting spaces, there are countless configurations to perfect such as run times, audio and lighting cues, rigging, screen placement, seating, and stage positioning. For large productions, having the support of a partner with access to a wide range of inventory allows venues to present even more options, showcasing their versatility even further.
Intricate venue knowledge means that event production partners can use a combination of installed and mobile equipment to deliver a flexible layout and design. This can be wheeled out and packed down for a freer, more customisable setup. With event production teams having gauged the space well in advance, they can work faster and more precisely, dealing with quick changes as they arise.
The Value of the ‘Peace of Mind’ Experience
Knowing their event, and the experience of attendees, are in safe hands provides the peace of mind and confidence event planners look for in their venue and event production company. When the two parties work in unison to develop and execute your event from the very beginning results in a better event experience for everyone.
Our teams are passionate about creating the very best event experiences for our clients. Our venue partners trust us as we are a local company with global reach, following our customer journey throughout. Developing strong relationships between both the venue sales team and event production company allows us to showcase spaces in their best light while building confidence with clients to ensure they continue to return.
Encore are proudly the chosen in-house event production company to over 2, 100 premium venues and hotels worldwide. Across our region you’ll find us in at over 115 venues! If you’re wanting that peace of mind event production experience, speak to our team and we’ll help start your event planning journey with the right people in the right room for your requirements.