Tips to manage your international client’s event when they’re not on the ground
In today’s world of PR and communications, it is not uncommon for agencies to service multinational clients whose operations are located around the world. With the advent of technology, it is becoming more and more prevalent to have virtual relationships with clients who are based in Geneva, Brussels or Dubai. International clients are also looking to outsource their partnerships to agencies located in places such as South Africa, due to favourable exchange rates and quality expertise.
However, when it comes to on-the-ground execution, specifically events, clients might not have the budget or capacity to physically attend these and as such, are relying on the agency to oversee everything from start to finish.
To avoid hundreds of messages on WhatsApp, late night phone calls, and a flurry of emails from clients asking whether everything is going OK, there are a couple of simple steps to keep in mind which will help maintain not only your sanity, but the client’s peace of mind too.
Get a clear brief
Event planning and execution has a multitude of moving parts and it is important to clarify upfront with the client who is responsible for what so that there are no assumptions or unmet expectations. This includes asking all of the right questions from the get go, such as who is taking responsibility for the logistics, content for the event, people to invite and budgets. Define this clearly first and everything else will flow more easily.
Have a plan A and a plan B
Your client might be on the one end of the ‘level of detail’ scale or the other. However, having a plan in place which includes timings, a checklist of activities and a clear outline of roles and responsibilities will help keep everyone on track with progress. Couple this with regular status calls, which can be ramped up closer to the event and provide your client with feedback on the checklist as and when things are completed. As events have a set date, everyone is then aware of the deadlines they are working towards. But things can change so it is important to have contingency plans in place too.
On the day
Clients love nothing more than to know how it’s going once the event day rolls around so keep them informed via WhatsApp by sharing images, videos and voice notes. They are probably missing out on not being there themselves so make them feel as though they are part of the experience.
Events can be very intense and once that final guest has left the room, it is tempting to give a sigh of relief and move on to the other work. But mopping up after an event is just as important as the meticulous planning that went into it in the first place.
It is an opportunity to share great results with the client, wrap up on any administrative tasks and give some recommendations on what worked well and what could be improved. The strategic insights you can share with a client after an event illustrate you are not only there to implement but are looking for ways to improve going forward.
With proper preparation and consistent communications, event planning for clients who aren’t on the ground with you will keep them happy and safe in the knowledge that you have everything under control.
By Claire Williams, Account Director
Have an event coming up soon? Contact us to find out how we can help make it an incredible occasion that meets your business objectives.