RefTech’s Simon Clayton gives his opinion on whether companies should employ a professional event organiser.
Recently I attended an event organised by a company in the
UK that sells radio controlled things (planes/helicopters/cars/etc). The event
was at the company’s UK head office which happens to be at an airfield and the idea was
that anyone could turn up with their models and fly or drive. In addition the
company organising the event put on free food and drink, they also had the
fantastic Trig bi-plane display team put on an aerobatic display for us as well
as arranging for the local air-sea rescue Sea-king helicopter to fly in and
Anyone that wanted to could bring a model with them and
register to fly during the day and a large number of people did which meant we
got to see a very varied set of models flying.
So far it all sounds really good so what’s the problem?
Well, from the outset I couldn’t help thinking there were some really basic
errors with the event so let’s look at those.
The first problem I personally encountered was that the
organiser had a lovely page designed for the news section of their website
telling us about the event but nowhere on the site could I find any information
telling me what time the event started. After quite a bit of searching I
managed to find the start time in a comment on a YouTube video – not great.
Next, despite the organiser having put on free food and
drink, we turned up on a cool September morning to discover that the only drinks
were cans of Coke/Fanta/etc. Surely it doesn’t take a genius to realise that in
the UK we’re very fond of a good old cuppa and that tea and coffee would be
fairly cheap to provide in large quantities – certainly cheaper than canned
Those were all fairly minor things though but the biggest
problem with the event for me was really a missed opportunity. Namely, the
company that organised it didn’t use the opportunity to sell like crazy. Now
I’m the first person to resist being given the hard sell but I really thought
that they could have had some fantastic model pilots demonstrating the
company’s own models with a commentary about them. At the end of the day,
everyone was there to see models flying and the company showing off its own
stock would have been completely in-keeping with the event.
If it had been me, I would have also had a truckload of each
of the models that I was demonstrating available and both cash and card
accepted onsite. As it was, you could order stuff and collect it onsite but
only through the website which meant you had to have web access during the
event which missed a huge opportunity in my opinion.
At the end of the day, the people attending seemed to enjoy
it so by a number of measures the event was a success. My personal opinion is
that there are a lot of events like this – they deliver but fail to reach their
full potential and I honestly think that employing the services of a really
good professional event organiser could have resulted in a much higher return
on investment for them.
Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor