AIIA (Australian Information Industry Association) iAwards was a three day event that attracted over 1,000+ delegates from government, small to multi-national corporates, Australian start-ups to students. It celebrated Australia’s smartest innovators and hottest digital innovations. Over 25 speakers featured on the two day agenda. Best Case Scenario was awarded the honor to provide pre-event planning services and on-site support for four events/activities within the conference:- Hills YIA pitchfest, VIP lunch, Business mentoring workshops, VIP cocktail reception, Gala dinner.
About Our Client - click red line to expand
AIIA represent digital organisations nationally, including:
- global brands such as Apple, Adobe, Avanade, EMC, Deloitte, Gartner, Google, HP, IBM, Infosys, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft and Oracle
- international companies including Optus and Telstra
- national companies including Ajilon, Data#3, SMS Management and Technology and Technology One; and
- a large number of ICT SMEs and digital Incubators.
Best Case Scenario has been an AIIA event partner for over seven years.
95% of delegates indicated they would attend again
89% rated it as a high quality, professional event
93% indicated food & beverage was excellent
The Project Brief
- Manage operations budget
- Build theme, recruit speakers & marketing material for workshops
- Assist with sponsor recruitment
- Manage delegate registration
- Negotiate financials with venue
- Manage venue logistics/ AV/ room set up/ run sheets
- Manage all food and beverage requirements
- Speaker management – run sheets, bio collection, create speaker briefs
- Collating and testing speaker presentations pre event & onsite
- Sponsor support – pre event and on site
- Coordinate travel & accommodation for speakers
- Gala dinner – run sheets, scripting, seating plans, speaker management, entertainment, theming, awards production and filming.
- Conduct post event debrief with recommendations
‘It’s not the first time we have run an event of this scale, but we treated it like it was. The key to managing a brief this size is to keep channels of communication open with all stake holders. We have an open door policy with all our clients’
Luli Adeyemo, BCS Director
Looking retrospectively uncovers areas for improvement
Our first activity was to review the event debrief from the previous iAwards. We wanted to get an indication of what worked and what didn’t work. The worst thing we could do is dive head first into an event without looking at its past. Our job wasn’t to reinvent the wheel but to add value and expertise to where it was needed.
All events need improving and it’s the ability to find faults and act on these that make events a success year after year.
Areas of improvement for this particular event included:
– Smoother Registration Process
– Improved Signage
– Reduced no shows
– Improved AV and reduced noise during awards ceremony
– Sponsor tables more prominent
– Allowed free time in agenda for delegates to visit exhibitors/sponsors
– Ensured program design attracted sponsors
Although some of these improvements did not directly fall under Best Case Scenario’s brief, we felt the need to contribute to help overcome these challenges.
Preempting Challenges - Preparing for the Best
Best Case Scenario prides itself on bespoke event management methodology that assists in preventing any unforeseen events arising. Our tried and tested operations planning toolkit and process certainly contributed to making this event a success. The following will give insight into some of the tools we used during event planning that worked well for this particular event.
These are useful if a speaker is considering to speak at an event or has agreed to speak and wants greater insight to help plan their participation. It contains the event theme, dates, location, agenda, their slot in their agenda and expectations. The speaker brief has proven to be the key to building a bridge between the presenter and event – preventing misunderstandings on theme and content. Another speaker brief was issued closer to the event and it contained information on AV set-up and confirmation of their requirements.
High Level Operations Tracking Document
This was key to keeping on top of every task, it tracked clients, logistics, suppliers, creative, venue, accommodation, travel, signage, collateral and awards, exhibition, gala dinner, audio visual, speaker management, VIP networking lunch, budget and post event activities. It gave the client access to how each item was progressing and the expected outcome at any time during the project. Nothing slips through the net with this document.
Sponsorship Entitlements Matrix
This matrix avoided any misunderstanding as to what was agreed during the negotiation process with sponsors. It’s an extremely detailed matrix but the detail pays off in terms of keeping sponsors on track and expectations meet. It provided detail on participation for example if exclusivity sponsorship was granted, complimentary tickets granted, invitation status to VIP events, attendance listing, media contacts, participation in marketing activities, priority placement during gala dinner, on-site signage, recognition by MC and much more. There is no denying that these tracking documents/matrix’s provided the pillars of success during the event planning and execution phase.
The Results – A challenge that stretched us but did not break us!
The event brief was meet and the event itself surpassed client and delegate expectations. It was truly an outstanding event, the jewel in Best Case Scenario’s crown in terms of event management.
Best Case Scenario were recruited to work on this event from April 2015 – that was just 3-months to pull together the logistics, operations, program, sponsorship and speakers – a challenge that certainly stretched us but did not break us.