Behind the Drape, part 1
We are starting a mini-series of the planning that goes on behind the scenes to put on an event that most people think just happens overnight.
For as long as the days that run into nights that run into the next day can be, it has been what I’ve done for almost 30 years now. This COVID break has been the longest break I have ever experienced in all that time. There is so much work and so many people that come together to get an event off the ground. And in this time of shut down, it has become painfully real of how little knowledge there is out there about the events industry.
My focus has been more in the trade and consumer show industry vs sporting, live theatre, concerts or festivals side of the industry, but the basic principles and overlaps are plenty. I have both worked on the supplier side and the organizer side. When we put together a show, we are essentially building a small city that has to be controlled and laid out to ensure good flow and a logistical logic as to where to put all the components. It involves bringing together all the contracted parties at the correct time to build up this city, before the shop keepers (exhibitors) come in to make the streets come alive to welcome the towns people (attendees)
For us here at BES, our process begins when we have the opportunity to quote on our services. This can be 4 – 9 months before the event is to happen. Could be longer for biannual events. We like to discuss the needs of the event, the history, the relationships and the vision for the next event. It allows us to take a 30,000 foot view of what the client needs in a show services company to start to develop our partnership in the event. We have used the tagline of being “Your Partner in Exhibiting” since the beginning because it speaks to our approach when we get the chance to service an event. We know that our services add to the overall experience of the event. We help in making the experience memorable and worth returning to for the exhibitors. So when we take the time to look at the whole event, it is to see where we can help make it better for exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and management. We bring decades of ideas along with experiences in custom displays, customer service, event management, logistics and sponsorship programs.
When we have a good handle on the objectives of the event, we start developing our ideas on how we can bring our brand of service to the event. We put together what we can bring to the management team as well as the exhibitor base to create a holistic service program that will help it succeed. It is the success of the event that is the base of our success. Seeing a show grow is good for everyone. And we don’t take our part in that goal lightly!