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Event Management in Manchester: Roxana's Day as an Event Co-ordinator

Event management in Manchester
Event Management in Manchester: Roxana's Day as an Event Co-ordinator

I get to the office at 08:45am and start replying to all my emails and check the office voicemail. There's a lovely 'urgent' message from someone who's concerned about our payment protection insurance, as well as a call from one of our clients in Berlin, asking us to change the appointment for his transfers, as his flight is late.

After making a brew, I always log a little time on Twitter and Facebook and check the newest updates in the industry. Today, I had a look at new upcoming incentive destinations… It looks like Dubai has launched a new destination brand and logo in support of its goal to become the world's most visited city.

Next, I have an event to design. I need to focus on preparing the proposal today and putting together a quotation before it is approved by Steph. I have to find the right hotel that will accommodate 200 people for an overnight stay and a conference.

The doorbell rings… I am looking at my diary and I am sure that we have nobody scheduled in for today. I answer; it is a financial advisor who thought he may be able to 'help' the business… We have a short chat and then I am back on my venue research. So far, I have sent out twenty-five emails… Time to tweet about our exciting invitation to Hotel Football tonight.


Lunch time!

02:00pm and I get a call from a client that wants to add an extra person to the incentive trip tomorrow morning! I grab the phone and try to get in touch with the reservation team from EasyJet to ask about availability on the trip. Five emails later, everything is sorted! Phew! I managed to do it....

Now, I have to continue writing the conference brochure… I started it yesterday, but I was waiting for some of the sponsors to send me their profiles' description. I am tweaking it before sending it to everybody else to proof read and…

05:30pm, really? When did that happen? Mad rush to pack up my desk, we're due at the summer party at Hotel Football in the city and if we don't get out of the office in the next five minutes we'll be late. VERY excited for those mini BBQ treats!!! They are going to get some attention!
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Burglars and the Art of Goal Setting

setting goals when planning your conference event in Manchester and Cheshire

Event Management in Manchester: Burglars and the Art of Goal Setting

“I really hope that this conference/incentive/awards dinner I’m organising comes across as mediocre and that people aren’t too bored” said no-one, ever.

It goes without saying, that whatever the event you want to organise, you will want it to go well (whatever that means to you). That’s a given.

The challenge is working out the “whatever that means to you” bit.

What we’re talking about here is setting objectives, identifying goals, and looking for outcomes from events. And ideally, with some sort of measurement, to be able to establish whether a goal has actually been met. Now I appreciate that this last part is not always possible, certainly immediately after the event, but perhaps it could be measured with the passage of time.

Too many times we have come across briefs or even been to events, where the objective of spending significant amounts of money almost seems to have been brushed over, or at least the focus has been lost. We recently went to an evening showcase at a new Manchester hotel. We wanted to see all the spaces and particularly its unique event space – a feature we knew our clients would love.

There were hundreds of people in a huge bar area, slurping free drinks and we were struggling to even find hosts to give us a show around. We couldn’t even get to see the unique space…because it was booked for a private function.

Really?

Hundreds of potential customers are on your doorstep to see your new space and you’ve taken a booking.

No clarified objective had been established. Or at least commitment to achieving the objective had not been managed or enforced.   Too much focus had been given to getting feet through the door rather than what to do with them once they were there.

Setting objectives is difficult – much, much harder than not setting them. But the rewards are self-evident and this is true in any aspect of life whether it’s a health programme you want to follow, your career, or running an event.

A few nights ago I saw Anthony Crolla on the news. He’s a boxer from Manchester. He was due to challenge for the WBA World Lightweight title in January this year. Unfortunately he spent last Christmas on the sofa with a fractured skull and broken ankle after burglars hit him with a paving slab. That could seriously damage your plans to become a World champion.

But Anthony used his experience with the burglars to channel his focus even more intensely on his goal. He recovered and had a crack at the title in July this year and was controversially beaten by spurious judging. He was immediately granted a rematch this November. I wonder how he’ll be feeling this Christmas, if he wins.

You don’t have to be a boxing fan to admire this man’s focus on goal setting and his commitment to achieving them. (The burglars, by the way were caught immediately – no team points for their goal setting.)

Goal setting is a habit forming. Try setting a goal today - something achievable. It can feel quite uplifting when you nail it. Then do another one tomorrow, and so on. After a while you’ll naturally be thinking of more challenging goals and objectives with timeframes further out.

If you’re organising an event, apply the same approach. Don’t allow burglars (or other problems) to distract you. Identify your objectives and be committed to achieving them.

You can read more about setting event objectives in our free 9-step guide “So you want to run an event?” available as a download from a number of pages on this website.

(And fingers crossed for Anthony.)

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Incentive Planning in Manchester: Our Recce to Dubrovnik 2015

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Incentive Planning in Manchester: Our Recce to Dubrovnik 2015

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Private MICE Forum in Dubrovnik, run by Great Hotels of the World. I’ve never visited Croatia before, and haven’t really looked too much into Dubrovnik, but I guess that my limited knowledge of the country’s recent history meant that I was happily surprised by the stunning scenery, clean streets and overall fantastic impression of the city. More surprising was the recurring scent of Lavender in the air (Croatia is one of the largest producers of the plant that I would usually associate with English country gardens!).  I was beginning to think that this place may have incentive trip potential after all!

We stayed at the beautiful 5* Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik . You enter the hotel into an impressive lobby, full of natural light from the glass roof. Most of the rooms are on floors below the lobby, as the hotel is built into the rock face, and the majority of rooms face the Adriatic Sea where large balconies have views over the water towards Dubrovnik old town (a UNESCO site, only a 15 minute costal walk or short bus ride away), and Lokrum island. The hotel has a spa and both an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as private access to the sea, all located on the bottom floor of the hotel.

I also had a fantastic dinner at the 5* Valmar President Hotel, down by its own private beach; this brand new hotel is also stunning, built into the rock face and the terrace bar provides fantastic views of the sunset over the sea.  When planning an incentive, it's important to see things through the eyes of winners and I think they would feel very special and spoiled dining here.

I got the chance to try my hand at sea kayaking (organised by DT Travel). I am most definitely not an athlete, and although I was looking forward to it, did think I would struggle. I was pleasantly surprised however; my paddling buddy and I had great fun bobbing over waves in our boat and easily kept up with the group. We paddled out to Lokrum, a beautiful island just off the cost of the city, home to a collection of free roaming Peacocks, an old Benedictine monastery and beautiful botanical gardens. Game of Thrones fans may be aware that the Dubrovnik old walled town is the setting for the fictional capital of Westeros - ‘King’s Landing’; as well as this a replica of the iron throne resides within a Games of Thrones visitor centre on Lokrum, within the old monastery that was also used a set!

After taking the decidedly more relaxed boat option back to the old city I had chance for a whistle stop guided tour of the old town. The old town is surrounded by walls which range from 1 metre to 6 metres thick in some parts, and the wealth of history within them is huge (it is worth noting that the old town can become incredibly crowded when up to 5 cruise ships dock in port on the same day and their guests visit the city, we were lucky!). Later that night I also visited the Revlin club, just inside the city walls; a great night spot for dance music and drinks!

My time in Dubrovnik was short, but I definitely want to make a return trip and explore both the city, and rest of Croatia, more.  What's more, Dubrovnik is now firmly on our list of potential destinations when planning incentive trip options for clients!

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