Event Management that Meets Business Goals and Delivers Value
Executing successful meetings and events extend beyond having tactical logistics experience. Research has shown that corporate and association executives expect meeting and event professionals to deliver tangible, measurable results on top of a flawless event. Our talented team of professionals are more than meeting planners, they are business event strategists. In a nutshell, we help our clients translate their strategic objectives into integrated, engaging experiences that achieve their business goals.
We first discover the ins and outs of your organization, events, and attendees. We work with you to determine the best intersection of your organization’s strategic objectives and business events. Ultimately, we become advisers and an extension of your team.
We always begin with the end in mind. Why is the event taking place? What is the purpose? What are the event’s goals? Are they SMART (Strategic, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely)?
We ensure the planning framework and event design aligns with the goals and objectives of the event. All strategic decisions, cost-saving measures, and cost-spending measures that support the event’s goals and objectives are documented.
Budgets don’t change goals, but they do determine the roadmap for how goals are executed. We work closely with our clients to develop and maintain a detailed budget for each event.
With strong financial acumen, our team of strategists are adept at interpreting key financial statements, making forecasts, and recommending appropriate budgetary changes when necessary that minimize the impact on the overall event experience.
A successful events strategy is futile without solid logistics. Our team does more than issue RFPs, negotiate contracts, and develop event specifications. We conduct research, ask the right questions, seek out appropriate solutions, and monitor the planning process to maximum success.
SPARGO personnel assist throughout the planning phase. The depth and breadth of our expertise ensures that each event, regardless of size, is staffed appropriately both in advance and on site. Outsourcing planning functions to SPARGO ensures continuity regardless of staff turnover at your organization.
Depending upon the event size and scope, the typical planning phase varies from one month to 18 months. Utilizing project management software, we develop a custom-tailored plan that’s accessible 24/7. Having a robust library of project plans allows us to quickly onboard a new client and immediately begin engaging all stakeholders.
You know exactly where things stand at all times. Our understanding of project management methodologies ensures overall timelines, task durations, dependencies, and key milestones are accurate and appropriate for your event.
We hold regular status meetings with clients to review the project plan and status. Our project management tools allow for in-app communication to reduce the volume of email while retaining a central repository for key event communications.
Our goal is to be an extension of your staff. We are adept in working with an existing meetings department or serving as the acting meetings department. We are also flexible in our level of direct engagement with other departments, either by funneling communication through an existing meetings staff or working directly with other departments to complete necessary tasks in the project plan. We also serve as the main point of contact for all suppliers to ensure streamlined planning.
Official Event Specifications
Managing the collection of detailed and accurate specs is key. Our proprietary database is used to gather and distribute event specifications. The submission portal allows event requests to be submitted, reviewed and approved in accordance with event guidelines. Detailed function sheets are then developed from approved event submissions. Lastly, a complete function book is distributed to facilities and suppliers.
Space Planning and Layout
Our space planning and layout approach ensures the maximum use of available space for an integrated event experience. From standard breakout sessions to unique networking spaces, our planning expertise ensures that all space is used effectively. Our detailed signage and décor plans ensure a visible brand and an easy to navigate experience for attendees.
Ancillary Event Specifications
Are you struggling to manage the ancillary or in conjunction with (ICW) events that occur during your meeting? Do you routinely have exhibitors and other groups that don’t abide by your rules and guidelines? Our ancillary event submission website allows exhibitors and other affiliated groups to submit space requests. We then review and approve requests in accordance with event rules and guidelines. The system is equipped with e-commerce modules that supports the collection of processing or opportunity fees, creating an additional revenue source for our clients.
The traditional pre-con to be too late to address major challenges. We hold an advanced pre-con typically 3-4 weeks before an event to review all specs and production schedules in detail with all key players.
Between 24 and 72 hours prior to the start of an event, we hold the more typical pre-con with the venue and suppliers. We ensure that all department heads have a very clear understanding of the event’s purpose they can relay to all managers and line staff. Expectations, hot buttons, and special needs are also reiterated.
We lead daily meetings on site with key staff and suppliers to ensure all challenges are resolved efficiently. We also review the next day’s major elements to ensure everyone is on the same page.
What matters most is our response to the challenges presented before us. We place a strong importance on contingency planning, including the preparation of detailed emergency preparedness plans and risk management plans, as well as evaluate possible threats and resulting contingencies to mitigate the impact to attendees.
We request and review banquet checks and housing reports daily. We conduct a full preliminary bill review with the facility on the last day of the event to ensure discrepancies can are resolved immediately.
No event is successful without the efforts of exceptional staff and suppliers working in the background. We ensure notes of appreciation are shared immediately post-event. When appropriate and approved, we manage the distribution of gratuities with supporting backup documentation sent to the client.
We believe debriefing after each event is critical for improvement. We hold debriefs with internal staff, client staff and suppliers to capture feedback from all sources on what worked and what could be improved. A debrief report is prepared and referenced throughout the next planning cycle to ensure actionable improvements are incorporated.
Invoice Review and Reconciliation
We review each invoice for accuracy and work with suppliers to resolve any discrepancies. Finally, we reconcile and code all expenses against the budget before submitting to client for payment.
A post-event report including metrics that demonstrate a clear ROI along with a final line-item budget vs. actual expenditure are submitted to the client to close out the event.
We also review event evaluations and attendee behavioral data to better inform our planning decisions in the next cycle.
Additionally, we work with clients to analyze their current meeting planning functions and make recommendations that allow for streamlined planning and spend
Our Strategic Event Management Services:
- Venue Sourcing
- Site Inspections, Analysis and Recommendations
- Contract Negotiations
- Budgetary Development and Oversight
- Event Specifications Creation and Distribution
- Hotel and Facility Management
- Third-Party Vendor and Supplier Procurement and Management
- Space Planning and Layout
- Site Décor and Signage Development
- Food and Beverage Planning and Management
- Speaker/Entertainment Procurement and Management
- Special Event Planning and Management
- Ancillary Events Management
- Graphic Design and Event Marketing
- VIP Management including travel and transportation, gifts, and amenities
- Onsite Event Staffing Procurement and Management
- Invoice Review and Reconciliation
- Cost-Saving/Process Improvement Implementation
Value of Event Professionals
Ninety-seven percent of corporate execs and ninety-five percent of association execs agree to strongly agree that event strategists are valued overall and seen as helping to further the organization’s goals. (Source: PCMA Education Foundation Survey)