Find Out How We Plan a Successful Event Every Time

In Events by Clare Grove

At DRIVE we always seem to be in event mode; with at least one or two every month, if we’re not planning one, we’re recovering from one – often both at the same time!

From roadshows to product launches, to parties, seminars and conferences, our clients keep us busy with events up and down the country. Throughout July, we’ve looked back at some of our favourite event venues over the years and as our campaign draws to a close, we thought we would share some of our top tips to successful event planning.

Plan, plan, plan

Leave no stone unturned, no scenario unconsidered, no eventuality pondered. Even the smallest event can be fraught with issues! Planning won’t alleviate all possibilities but a full plan, devised as early as possible, will help in the long run.

Be ready to adapt

An event has many dynamics – the guest list, speakers or presenters, venues, menus, props, suppliers, weather – the list is endless. As much as one can plan, a good event manager must always be flexible. We’ve once managed an event where some guests turned up, without warning, in a helicopter…! The first we knew was a call confirming landing arrangements… luckily it was at a golf club with a VERY understanding greenkeeper so we could happily accommodate! We’ve had speakers stuck in tubes and presenters stuck on the M25; having a back-up plan and a readiness for flexibility is essential for a successful event.



At DRIVE we have a fear of metaphorical buses. “What would happen if you got hit by a bus?” is a common refrain; by ensuring the entire team is kept in the loop and all suppliers, speakers and venue hosts know what is planned or happening at all times can really reduce levels of stress and help things run without a hitch on the run up to the event and on the day(s) itself.

Agree a budget – and stick to it

From the smallest to the most elaborate, every event needs a budget and a good event team will ensure that the budget is adhered to, so far as possible, every step of the way. We say ‘as far as possible’ as there may be unexpected expenses beyond anyone’s control. For this reason, we would always build in a ‘budget buffer’ to cope with any surprises. Make sure that someone on the team has cash and a credit card to pay for anything unexpected – like the time we were faced with a carpark barrier breaking and had to ferry things into the venue via a fleet of back cabs…!

Find the right team

We have worked with some incredible venues over the years (we’ve also worked with some shockers). It’s worth asking a new venue for references from clients – and under no exception would we ever recommend booking an event without a recce and meeting with the venue team. If the venue is some distance away or even overseas, we would advise building one or more visits into any event budget. It’s simply not worth the risk. The on-the-day event team is just as important. Our DRIVE team is highly experienced in all aspects of event management and we have a team of tried and tested freelance staff that supports us when needed. Trust is vital; if an on-the-spot decision needs making or a problem solving, the event manager needs to trust that person to have the confidence to make the decision or find a solution. More so, the client needs to know that the event manager has their interests – a successful event that guests or delegates will remember for all the right reasons - as top priority.

Pictured: We couldn’t let our events review finish without somewhat gratuitously incorporating this shot of the lovely Philip Schofield, gracious VIP for a corporate head-office opening managed by one of the team back in the 90s…#throwback

We hope this helps inspire you to plan great events but if you have any questions or want us to plan your next event, drop us a line: