Event Tip #1 – Videography & Photography
When planning for your wedding videography & photography, be sure to specify to the service providers what you want (Photography brief), who must be in the photos, photography style etc… You’d be surprised how many guests just assume they’re going to be in pictures and stick around, and how many guests who are close family that just take off…
Always demand for the 1st cut production so you can look through before the final production is delivered just in case an uncle was cut out or there is a frame you wouldn’t want included in the final production
Event Tip #2 – Power Supply
When contracting a service provider for your event be it a concert, PA unit for a wedding, lighting etc…Always insist on running on a Gen-Set as this gives a steady power supply. Often times when UMEME unexpectedly pulls a dangerous move, not only will your event need to be halted for 3-5min minimum but the sudden power interruption could damage some equipment e.g. amplifiers if they have no stabilizer and there goes your event…
Event Tip #3 – Service Providers
Planning an event is stressful, no doubt about it. It could be a difficult bridesmaid pouting through every fitting, a DJ with attitude or a budget that’s growing way out of control … not to mention your everyday stressful work life piling the tension on you. Engaging a service provider who can provide your events requirements under one roof is a sure way of managing event-related stress. This not only gives you the comfort of dealing with one company/individual but also the possibility of negotiating better prices with one due to economies of scale
If this isn’t possible however, be sure to organize atleast 2 meetings with all your service providers to ensure that they are all on the same page thus avoiding task overlaps or execution gaps…
Event Tip #4 – Event Music Players/DJ’s
Separating the professionals from the backyard event Music players (Commonly referred to as DJ’s) can go a long way in making your event a success story. Nobody wants an irresponsible music player who shows up late, plays inappropriate music, uses faulty equipment or as is usually the case here, one who won’t listen to what you the customer wants. It’s important to keep your focus on the type of entertainment you want – rather than try to get the music player into a price war. If a music player keeps dropping his price to get your business, he may not be very good. Most professional companies rely on referral business and maintain a certain pricing standard.
So how do you tell that Music Player A, B or C will get the job DONE? Make sure you ask who will be performing at your event (especially sensitive events like Introductions and weddings) and that you meet and consult with this individual. You aren’t just hiring someone to play music; you’re hiring a personality that will interact with your guests. It’s important you ensure their personality fits your expectations.
And of course make a play list well in time to avoid running to the DJ’s booth every now and then suggesting songs during the course of the event, this often disorganizes the Music player
Event tip #5 – Ambient lighting
Ambient Lighting at an event is the foundation to presenting an inviting and comfortable setting. It brings rooms to life and adds height to your environment, accentuating architectural features, support columns and brightening otherwise dark corners something that floral décor wouldn’t easily do. In Uganda for instance, most events are a night affair. Couples are always misguided when selecting their décor choices.
A couple planning their wedding will be willing to pay for floral décor worth well over UGX. 4million and yet 2 hrs into the event (most receptions start at around 5pm), visibility is somewhat impaired and 70% of the floral beauty is lost to darkness. With ambient lighting, you can have endless choices and shades of colors to create comfort, nostalgia and have surrounding natural features coming to life, the result is an over whelming unified, relaxing and enchanting feeling for the complete guest experience.
Event tip #6 – Site Inspection
Ever driven up to a “luxury hotel” expecting to see palm trees and gardens at the entrance only to be greeted with construction cranes and mounds of dirt? Such is the over whelming shock that could leave painful memories of your perhaps once-in-a-life wedding event. Many service providers in Uganda will even quickly give you a budget without ever having to do a comprehensive site inspection just so that they can quickly run off to the bank but come D-DAY and their expectations were wrong, you soon start hearing things like, “We thought the venue had a ….” Or you get to realize that the drop-down screen from the ceiling is on the wrong side of the room between the doors where most attendees will enter and that simply won’t work!!!
A site inspection will amongst others enable you appreciate any equipment on site (This could even work in your favor budget-wise), the comfortable sitting capacity of the venue which could even dictate your Audio/Visual support requirements, the time available for setup and tear down for the service providers (why pay décor worth UGX. 10million when the service provider will only have 2 hours available for set up???), how late the venue can run etc…
A personal site inspection visit is a MUST before making a final decision about the venue or facility for your upcoming event but most importantly it should enable the Service provider provide relevant logistical support to meet the unique requirements of your event otherwise you may find unhappy surprises upon arrival that would never be visible from a brochure or virtual tour
Event Tip #7: Choosing an MC (Part I)
MC or “emcee” comes from “master/mistress of ceremonies” which is a very important title to note. Make sure you have someone with sufficient experience/skill enough to be a focus of attention and to keep the proceedings running fluid and in a captivating manner.
Referrals speak volumes and it doesn’t hurt to also do independent checks on someone’s credentials too! It’s not a given that any radio/TV/public speaker/comedian or celebrity will automatically be a “perfect fit for your event, because each brand/event/target audience/lingua/activity brings with it a different dynamic…
Ask yourself how flexible that individual is and if they can adapt to my objectives? Do I need someone who is serious and can communicate to the point? Or would I rather have a crowd hype/engagement expert who will always have the audience on their toes?
Meet them, share with them your plan and expectations for the event and enable them to get a feel of the event and don’t assume they’ll be able to turn your “mud” to gold if they’re not adequately prepared…