We asked Mary Baird-Wilcock, an event-planning expert from Nottingham, for her top tips for planning an event. Mary has been awarded “Top 25 Young Event Pros to Watch” by Special Events Magazine and has worked with the likes of Google, Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, and TEDx. Mary has also been a somewhereto_ collaborator imparting her wisdom at somewhereto_ youth expo’s.
Try everything and get experience
I originally started out working various jobs in commercial radio, both on-air as a DJ and behind the scenes, producing large-scale community events, concerts and festivals in Texas. This gave me a taste of what it’s like to be an event planner and confirmed that’s where my passion laid. Passion is a must in this industry.
It takes someone nimble, sharp and can equally balance both left-brain analytical tasks like budgeting, project/risk management, but also the right-brain creative side of designing innovative live experiences that make a positive impact on people.
The three musts
You need to have at least two of the three following resources BEFORE saying yes to producing an event: time, money or human-power. Do you have enough planning time between now and then to successfully pull this off? Do you have the cash to ensure you’re hiring professional event suppliers and staffing to make your event vision come to life? Do you have enough people to handle all aspects of the event, both pre, during and post event, whether volunteers or paid staff or otherwise? We start the conversation and advise our clients, no matter if their budget is £5k or £500k, under this same basic criteria every time.