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FEATURE

www.theevent.co.za

West Coast launch of their new route on the exhibition floor © WTM Africa

10 GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF EVENT DESIGN

PCOs and exhibition planners share how they design a show, what planning techniques work best, and what pitfalls to avoid. Kim Crowie reports.

D

esigning an event has innumerable detailed elements to keep tabs on, and a mountain of expectation to manage, from visitors and clients to exhibitors and suppliers. It is the job of a professional conference organiser or an exhibition or event planner to hold all of this together and ensure the client’s vision for their event is realised in all its glory.

1. Choose people you trust One of the most important principles of event design, says Conference and Event Specialist Zelda Coetzee-Burger, is trust. “Choose your event or design team carefully. They should be people you fully trust.” She

uses the recent Stellenbosch Business Tourism Indaba as an example, explaining how, once she had signed off on the event’s look and feel, she felt confident in her event designers’ ability to understand and capture the vision. “Then, if the client decides they want to swap something last minute, it’s not a train smash because I know that overall I trust they will know the look and feel. You have to work with a team you feel completely comfortable with,” she adds.

can help gauge delegates’ overall experiences, which in turn assists in conceptualising the event and making informed decisions. “How do you know what makes your customers happy? Ask them! Whether you are considering a new show or concept or whether it has been running for years, customer surveys and market research will help you drill down into your customer needs and help you deliver on their objectives.”

2. Data is king

3. Event design before budget

“Data intelligence is key. Always start here,” says Carol Weaving, Chairperson of AAXO and MD of Reed Exhibitions Africa. Surveys

According to Zelda, it’s important to understand the event design and concept properly before putting a price

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