After every Glastonbury Festival, music lovers pack-up their mud-drenched tents with ringing ears and tales of mayhem and magic. So, with Glastonbury 2017 now over, having continued its legacy as the music event of the year, we decided to explore what the UK’s biggest festival can teach us about organising events.
A key reason behind why the legendary Festival has been running for 47 years is because of the sheer amount of planning that goes into it.
So, when planning an event, plan like a pro. You need to know exactly what can and can’t be done and step away if something doesn’t fit into the budget. Consider the different stages right through from ideas to budgeting and suppliers to contractors, and you can see why even smaller events usually require a good couple of months of planning from start to finish!
Logistics is the big one. You need to think about a wide range of things, from room layouts and floor plans through to capacities and access. Risk assessments, contracts, insurances, health and safety, permissions and licences all form part of the event management process and can easily be missed. Making sure you have covered all these things and considered issues such as transport and accessibility greatly reduces the likelihood of something going wrong on the day, and will ensure everything runs smoothly.
Vital to Glastonbury’s success is upholding its reputation of providing music fans with performances from the biggest and best acts the world has to offer.
Always keep in mind who it is you’re targeting. A well-known host can make or break an event, which is why it’s critical to secure the experts, influencers and in-demand speakers that perfectly reflect your client’s brand and vision.
As for the media, not only should you target relevant outlets, but be thoughtful about publishing deadlines and airing schedules. Don’t forget to avoid clashes with big events that might dictate editorial agendas – you don’t want your story to get lost!
There are few venues in the UK that could handle and manage an event as big as Glastonbury Festival. Neither would it be the memorable gathering it is without the iconic, open-air dance floor of Worthy Farm on which festival goers have partied for nearly five decades.
With this in mind, it’s important to prioritise listening to your client’s core objectives before exploring unique venues that reflect their brand, and suit the event’s purpose. Before considering making contact with any venues, it’s important to establish what size space you need. It’s always best to pick a slightly larger venue than one which is too small. Play it safe and avoid being sorry later. Also, work out exactly what equipment you require and find out if the venues you are looking at can provide you with that service.
In 2015, when Glastonbury event organisers announced the headline act would be Kanye West, there was a public outcry. Petitions were created, and the festival’s social media pages were flooded with complaints that a hip hop artist was the wrong choice for an event which had built its reputation as perhaps the biggest rock festival in the world.
Remaining true to the client’s brand is of utmost importance when organising corporate events and assisting them in connecting to their audience. This is why it’s critical to ensure that the brand is communicated effectively throughout the event. From promotional materials to social media and video production, planners must immerse themselves in the client’s brand and vision to truly understand and share the essence of who they are.
From the moment one Glastonbury festival is over, anticipation starts building for the next. The festival promoters are experts in building an air of excitement, so by the time tickets are finally available, people from all over the world are sat at their computers, ready to nab their tickets.
When planning an event, ensuring that it’s in full attendance is critical to its success. This is why promotional strategies are key to extending the reach of an event. Don’t underestimate the lead times required to successfully promote the event – there is no point in having the most amazing must-attend event if you only have a few days to try to get bums in seats.
If you want as many people as possible hearing about it, sharing it and signing up for it, plan a few weeks ahead to get the ball rolling and create a pull together a plan of action.
Few music fans who have attended Glastonbury have walked away without an experience that will stay with them forever.
When organising an event, it is imperative that attendees leave with a powerful impression. Whether the aim of the event is to educate, promote or reward, it’s important to look beyond the practicalities, and towards creating an experience that remains an enjoyable memory for all who attend.
Organising a slick and successful event isn’t rocket science – in fact it’s a lot of common sense and a little elbow grease – much like the world-famous festival we all know and love.