Principles of supporting business events

6 June 2016

Section 1 – Understand how to support the organisation of a business event

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1. When organising a business event, describe the range of support activities that may be required.

The organisation of a business event can be the difference between the occasion being a success or a failure. To ensure it will be an expedient exercise it is important to ensure that the people organising the event know what their duties are and the timeframe that things should be done by. By ensuring that you have the appropriate people to support the planning of the event, you are more likely to have a successful outcome. A range of support activities that may need to be considered are:

Arranging a Speaker – this is imperative to the success of an event such as a conference or seminar as the speaker will be the focus of the event. Arranging for them to be able to attend is vital. This includes checking their availability, and their fee, and also whether they require any assistance with transport, accommodation etc.

Organising a Venue – this is vital. Even if the event is being held within the company building, the room may still need to be booked.

Accommodation Requirements – If any of the attendees are coming from further afield, they may need accommodation to stay in for the duration of the event. As part of the planning of the event, it may be required for this accommodation to be booked or for information on accommodation nearby to be sent to the attendees.

Organising Transport – Taxis, trains, coaches etc. may need to be arranged for attendees staying in nearby hotels.

Arranging Refreshments – Refreshments for the event will need to be arranged, whether it is simply tea and coffee, or booking a caterer. Any special dietary requirements of people attending should also be noted.

Documentation – It will be essential that all documentation for the event is in place to distribute to the attendees. This could be itineraries, conference packs, and promotional brochures.

Obtaining Appropriate Equipment – this would be determined by the scale of the event, but typical examples of equipment include – computers/screens fir Powerpoint presentations, sound systems (microphones), and stages.

Insurance & Licensing – Checking to see whether the event will need any special licensing or insurance is important. Most events will not need any extra insurances etc. as they are generally covered by the venue or the organisations party. However, it is always best to check in case any extra insurance or licenses are required.

Publicising the Event – It is key that the necessary people are aware that the event will be taking place. This could be done via sending out invitations, flyers or emails. This should be done within a reasonable time frame so that the relevant people can arrange to attend the event.

2. Complete the table below by identifying two ways of providing support before, during and after a business event.

1.Send out meeting requests/invitations.

1.Taking minutes/ notes of the meeting.1.Writing up and distributing notes taken from the meeting. 2.Arranging venue and booking speaker, if needed.

3.Collecting Feedback from attendants.
2.Analyse feedback from potential/existing customers and send out any requested information.

Section 2 – Understand the purpose of displaying professional and helpful behaviour whilst supporting a business event and how to do so

1. Explain the purpose of displaying professional and helpful behaviour when supporting a business event.

The purpose of displaying professional and helpful behaviour when supporting a business event is to ensure the success of the occasion. If you behave in an unfriendly and unprofessional manner, this will severely reduce the chances that the event will be lucrative. Having a poor attitude could also portray a negative opinion of the organisation to potential and existing customers.

On the other hand, if you take a friendly professional approach to the event, it will ensure the occasion runs a lot more smoothly and the achievement of the event objectives are more likely to be met. Both internal and external customers will be contented and this raises the possibility that there will be co-operation for similar events that may be planned in the future.

2. Describe ways of exhibiting professional and helpful behaviour whilst supporting a business event.

There are many ways of displaying professional and helpful conduct during a business event.

As a staff member you should ensure that you maintain a good appearance, by presenting yourself as a clean, well groomed individual and avoiding overpowering aftershave/perfume. Non-verbal communication is also essential in behaving in a professional manner. You should actively listen to attendees and speakers and ensure that you smile and make eye contact when communicating. Most importantly, you should always portray a polite, friendly and helpful attitude whilst supporting a business event to make certain that internal and external customers acquire a positive experience from the occasion.

Section 3 – Understand how to deal with problems encountered when supporting a business event

1. What are the main types of problems that may occur when supporting a business event? You should include at least three different types of problems in your answer.

There are a huge range of problems that could potentially go wrong at a business event. However, three of the main problems are:

People Problems

An example of this could be if the speaker is running late or fails to turn up to the event. This could have a disastrous effect on the event and could leave the attendants feeling dissatisfied.

Equipment Problems

An example of this could be if the equipment fails. For instance, if the event is a conference and the speaker is using a laptop to project a presentation slideshow but the USB isn’t being recognised. This would have the potential to ruin the whole event as the speaker would not be able to continue.

Process Problems

An example of this could be not having enough information packs to hand out to attendees on the day. This would leave delegates feeling frustrated and would look unprofessional on the organisation.

2. Identify possible solutions for each of the problems you have listed in Question 1 above.

In order to provide a solution to the above problems, we should first look at ways to deal with problems that may occur. There a three general ways to deal with problems that may arise. If possible, the best way would be to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. You can significantly reduce the risk of problems happening if the event is organised well from the outset. For example, to prevent having an event where the speaker fails to show up, it would be wise to use a speaker that you have previously worked with and know is reliable. Also, it is important to confirm with the speaker shortly prior to the event that they can still attend. That way if, for any reason, they cannot make it you have a bit of time to find an alternative speaker. Another way to deal with problems that may arise is by having a contingency plan.

There should always be a ‘Plan B’ in place in case thing happen that you cannot control. The easiest way to put a contingency plan in place is by using the ‘What If’ method. For example, in my problem above where the USB failed to work – firstly the day before the event I would have checked to see if it had worked. But even if it seemed to be working as it should do, I would save all the data that would be needed for the presentation on another USB and take along to the event as a contingency plan in case it should fail to work on the day. In regards to the third problem that I described, where there were not enough information packs for the delegates, I would also use the prevention method for this. Good organisation is key when it comes to supporting a business event.

With this in mind, I would count how many delegates were supposed to be attending the event and always bring extra information packs and materials ‘just in case’. Finally, the third and final approach for dealing with problems that may arise when supporting a business event would be to maintain a calm and flexible response should the worst happen. Even if you are panicking on the inside, ensure you continue to smile and stay calm towards the attendees. Apologise, if needed and find a solution as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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