Event Advice

Event industry experts share their knowledge and how they can help

John Radford

Advice from: John Radford, owner, JR Event Services
Specialism: Event service consultant
Contact: 01275 406760 / info@jreventservices.co.uk

How can an event organiser turn their vision into a reality?
Early engagement and communication with the event suppliers, local agencies and local residents is key to ensuring that everyone understands what you are trying to achieve. Lack of information – or the wrong information – can lead to misunderstandings and objections based on rumour and perception; get those facts out there and be happy to discuss and engage. Quite often this communication can lead to previously unseen benefits through great relations with these stakeholders.

How can your services help?
Every event is unique and every vision is different. Our core ethos is to listen first and then take those ideas and help turn them into reality. We believe that there is no such thing as an ‘off the shelf’ solution, so we work hard to ensure that our clients’ reality matches their original vision and not our version. We don’t simply provide what suits us, rather we look at what is truly needed to make the event the success it deserves. This can mean searching out new suppliers or solutions to problems that haven’t been encountered before – but that’s part of the service we pride ourselves in offering. We also believe in not over committing to work, thereby allowing the right amount of time to our clients to create those truly amazing experiences.

Things to avoid?
Try not to lose sight of the reasons you wanted to put an event on in the first place. Invariably it’s led by a passion and creative vision – don’t forget these primary reasons and maybe even make them part of your overall ethos for the event or your business.

Guests want great memories to take away with them so don’t focus purely on a single aspect but look at the whole experience you are creating – from the very first point of contact to the post event follow up.

Sidmouth Folk Week
Sidmouth Folk Week

Where you have helped before?
Sidmouth Folk Week has been running for over 60 years but every year we work hard to move the event forward; be it through environmental sustainability or recreating a well-loved event space. Local engagement with the authorities, landowners and residents has allowed us to develop future plans that work hand in hand with the stakeholders across the venues. Having multiple sites across the valley from town centre parks and agricultural land through to community halls and pubs means we have to work hard to get the right information out to everyone involved throughout the planning process. All this while ensuring that the fundamentals of the festival remain and it retains its position as a much loved and creative event.


Scott JamesonAdvice from: Scott Jameson, GL events UK Group MD
Specialism: Temporary structures
Contact: 01332 631 606 / www.glevents.co.uk

What temporary event structures might organisers consider?
The variety of temporary structures on offer these days is amazing. At GL events, we provide everything from compact pagodas: boutique, stylish and more intimate; to the huge, multi-level temporary venues seen gracing major horse racing meets, golf tournaments and international sporting events.

Temporary structures are highly scalable and versatile. For start-up and growing events, it helps to think smaller and, as events grow in success, think about increasing the space. Equally, depending on the desired guest experience, consider hiring premium options for hospitality and fine dining.

What advice can you offer organisers on selecting a supplier?
First things first, give suppliers as much detail on your event as possible. The number of people, information on different areas and spaces; right down to entertainment, content and catering. Like us, many of your suppliers will have a lot of experience working across many different events. Ensure they are consulting you, not just answering your brief.

Utilise suppliers’ experience as much as possible. Find out what worked for other events and see how structures have been used before. You’ll benefit from different ideas and genuine input into your event, as well as advice on the structure and temporary event infrastructure.

GL EventsWhat options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
Temporary structures needn’t be hugely expensive, however, if you want top of the range hospitality there are some fantastic options to delight your guests. For smaller, more relaxed festivals there are more basic, well put together builds too. The cost is as scalable as the structures themselves so make sure you obtain quotes for the most appropriate structures, those that will add value to your event.

Please mention a case study where your units have been used
We’re really proud of our relationship with Hay Festival and, last year, were delighted to sign a five-year agreement to supply its temporary event village. This is great for both sides of the partnership; our long-term commitment allows us to be more of a partner in the development of the event. Equally, it means the best possible deal for Hay, allowing organisers to budget and plan with certainty.

In this case, the structures are very, very good; but not overly elaborate or luxurious. They’re perfect for creating and contributing to the festival’s immersive, intimate atmosphere of sharing, discussing, learning and celebration. We install seven ‘stages’ – temporary theatres, hosting all kinds of speakers – along with restaurants, bars, activity tents, a giant bookshop, pretty reading marquees and expansive food halls across the festival. Each individual space is brought to life by the creative event professionals at Hay. It’s a great festival and one we’re delighted to support.

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