Allison Bartels is Project Manager at GES...

The last pallet has left the warehouse, happy sponsors have returned home and the steady streams of emails have slowly come to an end. It all seems like such a piece of cake now that the event is over. The Oprah Magazine “O You” one-day event, with thousands of loyal and exuberant Oprah fans from around the world, provided an opportunity for us to partner with our client, LeadDog Marketing Group to produce a very special experience. 

"O You" at times had me saying "O My!"  It was challenging at times and I learned a lot.  Here are three tips for successful events:

1. Communication- Make sure you’re constantly leading and driving efficient communication. First, establish a main contact to filter questions through to keep things organized. Second, fast responses are key to building trust.  Even if it’s just an “I’m not sure; let me get back to you,” it’s a good way to let them know that you received their question and are working to find a solution. Third, keep them in the constant know with daily email updates. Listing items that require immediate attention or even pending from you/them.

2. Strong Team- From the account executive to the graphics manager and onsite crew, each person has a major role in pulling together the partnership. If one of us didn’t know the answer or the best way to handle a situation, another team member chimed in and offered up suggestions. A lot of brainstorming and past experiences helped with internal calls and meetings as well.

3. Keep Calm and Carry On- It was imperative to not succumb to the high anxiety levels of those around you.  Staying calm in turn calms your team's and client's nerves and makes an overall better working environment (especially onsite). Your attitude and personality affects everyone more than you realize. It’s easy to get frustrated, but like your mother always says, “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated!”

These tips seem simple, but often aren’t given the attention they deserve. It’s crucial to keep not only your client on track and organized, but your entire team involved and updated in order to leverage their knowledge. I’m not going to sugar coat things and act like this event wasn’t a challenge for me - it definitely was.

I've been a project manager for several years and in two different countries yet this event still had much to teach me.  I learned new ways to approach working with agencies, how to manage a large-scale event yet keep it "personal" for the passionate attendees, and better ways to leverage my professional experience. I suppose I've joined the millions of women who have been positively impacted by Oprah!

Do you have tips for successful events? Share your tips in the comments below!