Although presenting can be a daunting experience for a majority of people, going into the event management industry presenting becomes inevitable.
You will have to present one way or another every so often either to potential clients or employers within your company to more so to your current employers.
Therefore it becomes a necessity to understand the do’s and don’ts of presenting, this can be done with practice and critical feedback, by analysing the threats and being able to turning them into opportunities for future references.
In the third year of an event management course this particular module ‘Contemporary issues in event management’ consisted of an assignment that each student had to become part of the preparation and delivery of an engaging and informative 50-minute workshop on a topic of their own choice on a first come first served basis. The group was made up of 5 students in total, including myself.
I purposefully chose Social Media as I believe it has a large role to play in the Events industry. They both cooperate well together and are known to have significant importance to one another. Social media is used for many different platforms in everyones day to day life due to the rapid evolution, its pretty much all we know and what we depend on to create brand and company recognition, including Events.
(The Rising Impact of Social Media on Media and Events)
In consideration of my presenting experience and the feedback that was given to us as a group, I have recognised the good and the bad points of our presentation, so I wanted to create a ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of presenting so myself and others can apply it for future references… seeming as presenting is unavoidable..
- Use useful and informative contents – This is one of the most important parts of a presentation, Making sure you have all the fundamental and current information that is relevant to the topic. This was positively recognised in our Social Media workshop, reflecting on this, each person had their own area to discuss, we covered areas like; Generation Y and how they use Social Media to the importance of social media in event management giving step by step guide to successfully market an Event.
- Introduce tools – I recommend suggesting a relevant function of an existing tool that the audience can benefit from and take away with them and implement it for their own purpose. As a group we suggested ‘Hoot-suite‘ which is a social media marketing tool that schedules posts from a variety of social media platforms, this is beneficial; to save time, consistency and marketing approach. (Take a look)
- Engage the class – Keeping the class engaged and motivated is
highly important, it is discouraging for you as the presenter to see people fiddling with their thumbs, looking at their phones and chatting with the person next to them, it has been researched that humans possibly have a shorter attention span of a fish, it takes an entire 9 seconds to averagely switch off…
For our workshop we used a variety of ways to interact with our audience. We provided a case study so everyone could form groups and work together to then present their answers, we also had a questionnaire and a group discussion. We found this suited our topic and encouraged interest through the feedback we collected. You can also be engaging by using visual elements like photos and videos..incorporating humour is also necessary, just to be sure you don’t use anything that may be offensive.
- Content overload – Do not write tonnes of information on each slide, it’s off putting and quite literary boring… people just want to know the relevant and exciting things, literally use visuals and bullet points..don’t assume the audience have the same knowledge of the topic as you do, you have to start from the bottom and make it relevantly easy to follow
- Do not mix content – It is important the presentation flows, especially if there is more than one person presenting… Keep the style the same keep it well organised and clear.
- Reading – try not to focus your attention on your notes.. Read from the slide and TRY to freely speak about particular points of the presentation… In our feedback we were told not to read of our iPads or paper notes as much as we did, its important to gain eye contact with the audience…
What I have learnt from this experience?
Although I have managed to learn the do’s and don’ts of presenting, I have managed to collect a range of transferable skills in order to take away and adapt them for future references, Group work is really important, being able to efficiently communicate to one another to bring together a successful project can be a little difficult, everyone has different levels of work ethic and a different mind set therefore communication is really important…
Maintain a good balance of communication between the group, regularly update one another and give feedback.. Work out an equal amount of work between each other to minimise conflict and stress on individuals if they feel they are doing more than necessary… for future presentations I will learn to not read of my notes as much and freely speak with the knowledge I have learnt.
Terrorism and the Event Industry
What is Terrorism? it notoriously known as an act of illegal violence and/or intimidation, which is motivated by religious agendas, political stances and other inequality reasons all over the world. The Daily Mail Online reveals that there was an 80% increase of deaths caused by terrorists world wide in just a year from 2014/2015 Terrorists attack with the intention of gaining a significant amount of media and public attention world wide, usually by targeting places that hold a high level of international tourist.
With that being said, this is where I now get to incorporate the event industry to this discussion and show how terrorism affects events… I found an informative source online The Conference People , which provides some of the affects terrorism has on the event industry.
The Event Impacts influenced by terrorism
The biggest impacts terrorism has on the event industry would be the unwillingness of attendees not wanting to go to the event, as attendees are a key component it is important to strongly influence those to want to willingly attend even after a terrorist attack has taken place, locally or nationally… The attendees may not want to travel to and from events seeing as though transportation like planes trains and buses are mostly targeted during terrorist attacks…(Terrorist attacks and Transport systems) this is then hard to reassure a mass audience of their safety.
Terrorist attacks leave people vulnerable and scared..Having no attendees strongly affects the profitable aspects of the event.. the organisation and event managers will lose the money they initially forecasted, plans would break down and the reputation of an event will unintentionally fall apart for reasons out of their control…After recent terrorist attacks in Paris 2015, the threat of international terrorism increased but the UK event industry positively responded to the public to certify they had considered the ongoing events during the period of the Paris attacks and those due to proceed that extra security procedures would be put in place, An example of this was during the ATP world tennis finals at the 02 Arena, the management had implemented extra security and airport like procedures were put in place both at the door and before entering the main arena… statements like these influence attendees to feel more secure in their surroundings at events especially after an attack or threat had been made.
This shows that logistical plans need to be put in place when possible threats and attacks are made, being able to deal with the situation as soon as possible keeps an extraordinary outlook on the event itself. If a specific event was targeted by terrorists its future representation will be damaged due to the potential world wide media coverage focusing on the event itself… Negative outlooks will be pinpointed. ‘Why and how did the event managers fail to use initiative ideas to reduce it from happening and so forth’ although these situations are literally out of our control.
Future implications to the Event Industry
Due to the increase of terrorism around the world, I have figured that it may negatively influence my future career in the event industry (and the industry as a whole) because of the significant amount of internationals events bring together, being the Olympic Games, Concerts and so forth, the more often they are targeted, the less likely committees and governments will allow them to happen in order to minimise risk of terrorism…for large scale mega events, the industry will be affected massively..
How can this be prevented?
- Following all legislations and applications to reassure all attendees and those involved in the events that everything is being done to prevent terrorists – (Legislation) ; this link shows all types of security, police and protection acts which can be followed and implemented to an event.
- Media coverage to be minimised at events – although it defeats the concept of a mega-event or any event intact, it personally seems as if the media coverage of an event has a strong influence on the terrorist attackers choices.
WHY aren’t we accepted in the Generation Y?
Generation Y : the people that are between the ages 20 and 35, Being part of this generation I find it interesting to see how we are characteristically known because it really is something we can relate to… we are known to be the fastest growing generation in business, management and leadership and have extraordinary knowledge and experience using technology due to being in the midst of its creation and evolution, we are very open minded and somewhat more independent than any other generation.
However Generation Y are negatively perceived as being self-centered, needy lazy and having poor work ethic, which in some sense can be true. We expect so much from everything we do in a lot of situations either in a working environment or by being an attendee at an event, due to our demanding nature we want reassurance, appraisal and acceptance… criticism and acknowledgement for everything we do… literally.
I have considered the negative characteristics of our generation that are influenced by the opinions of others and figured the potential implications it may have on my future career in the event industry, will we stand for that? No.. I certainly won’t be.
- Generation Y employees lack work ethic and are Lazy – suggesting that we don’t want to put as much effort in or work as older generations due to us wanting a balance in our lives with other social elements outside of work…That much is true, balance is imperative but I’m certain my personal work ethic is just as durable as anyone else’s I’m actively getting a degree and I work 2 different jobs evenings and weekends. This could drive hard implications for my future career in the industry as employers of older generations may not want to employ my or others as they feel we may not reach their ethical needs.
- Need a continuous amount of feedback and reassurance – feedback given can be time consuming for employers, they don’t understand the need to be reassured so often they want people to get on with their job as after all thats what they are employed for..HOWEVER I don’t see the harm in wanting reassurance nor receiving feedback, As I am aware, to improve and better yourself especially in a working environment feedback needs to be given so you can turn we
aknesses into strengths – These implications may negatively influence employers want to employ someone that seeks feedback, but as a member of Gen Y and my career in the event industry, as a potential owner of future events I will be sure to get feedback and implement improvements for later events.
- Experiences not things – Being a 20 year old myself studying an event management degree, soon to become part of the significantly evolving profession it hasn’t gone unnoticed that as a generation we are motivated by experiences rather than materialistic products…I often look at the next dance music event I could attend to on the weekend more so the next music events I can attend throughout the entire year out of London, in places like Barcelona Ibiza and Berlin….These are incredible experiences in itself and I strongly believe that money doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to memories and experiences…Like having a driving licence but no interest in owning a car.. However opinions of others may differ ; the implications for my future career can only be negatively influenced by Gen Y and younger generations demanding nature, However the desire to WANT to experience events, live music concerts, shows, exhibitions and what not, this drives many benefits for us event managers.
So why should we listen to the millennials and apply their demands and expectations to our events? BECAUSE millennials and their consumption of experiences are what drives the event industry to excel and reach management expectations, both in employment and as consumers there is no wrong in prioritising generation Y and adapting to what they expect from us in the event industry ‘
Reflecting on everything i had found in the research process of Generation Y i can generally relate too, however i feel people need to listen to us as a generation, just because we do things differently to others, doesn’t mean we are doing anything wrong, it is just what’s efficient to us… We have got the whole world in our hands… Take a chance.
Are Music festivals doing enough to prevent the misuse of drugs and alcohol ?
Drug and alcohol misuse is unavoidably a momentous issue in todays society, however it is out of curiosity wether or not music festivals create a platform for people to excessively drink, take drugs and also sell them…In 2012 an estimated £100,000 worth of drugs were seized from attendees in 10 of the UK’s biggest music festivals alone. However I cant help but overlook the bigger picture and realise how many incidents that are caused at music festivals due to people being under the influence of drugs and alcohol; anti-social behaviour, accidents/casualties and more dauntingly, Deaths most often caused by drugs.
BUT the matter is, Are Event Managers doing enough to reduce and control this underlining issue, is there anything really that will be able to solve it or do they need to accept somethings are out of their control?
Whilst one half of the debate is focusing on whats being done to minimise these affects, the other half focuses on the fact that ‘Not enough is being done’, I guess it is an ‘each to their own’ kind of situation but out of interest I believe it to be a crucial consideration to see what implications I am to expect for my future in managing events.
In one case a tragic indecent that had occurred at Electric Daisy Carnival (a large dance festival which is known world wide) had reported a number of deaths caused by drug overdoses… The situation was out of the organisations hands at this point, but all they could then do was apply the situation and create awareness to everyone else that would then attend a future event of theirs.. They created palm cards explaining the risks of drugs and highlighted the ways to reduce dangers of taking them (seems appropriate?) However it wasn’t enough and the public created controversy (over the fact cards) insisting the organisers were glamorising drug consumption, when innocently they were just creating awareness. I personally think the organisers did the right thing in creating the cards, people shouldn’t turn a blind eye on the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse and therefore facts and figures need to be shown especially at the festivals.
Whist communities world wide are generally concerned about event organisers not doing enough to minimise alarming incidents, the outsiders believe that the organisers need to then take full responsibility for any incidents that do occur, is that Harsh or the harsh reality? Recent articles argue that people need to focus on the bigger picture and see that ultimately the government and policy makers need to reconsider laws in regards to drugs, caught selling or consuming. Although it is easy to point fingers and say who needs to do what, it’s in everyones hands as well as our own to enforce awareness on drugs and its affects, more rules should be put in place YES, but event organisations could have more initiative plans to control situations a little more without putting of those wanting to attend their events.
The same goes with controlled drinking at music festivals, although its more acceptable due to it being legal, there are actual legislations put in place to prevent excessive drinking.. What can events do to control this?
- Have options of food at events and preferably free water
- Capp a maximum amount of drinks that can be purchased at once
- No drink into events ( Unless its camping, if so then it should be put into plastic bottles AND if the security think its too much for one person they can confiscate it (Glastonbury)
How may these affect the event industry as a whole?
Hopefully statistics will eventually reduce in regards to consumer behaviour incidents, casualties and deaths… However as I actively work towards becoming an event manager, I see that the issues may cause events, especially music festivals, to be shut down or better still minimised.. the wellbeing of each persons health and safety is considered but if nothing can be put in place to minimise affects they will be forced to demolish.
The event organisers careers, jobs, profits and what now may be put at risk if incidents are ongoing, the events will be shamed creating an uproar and potential protests would be made against them, leaving less and less attendees attracted to an event that once was the ‘go to place’
Reflecting on the research that was made, many organisations are trying to implement ways to control negative situations, but sometimes whatever they do isn’t quite good enough, so maybe they need more than a helping hand….
Thank you for reading!
(All photos are linked to their original domains)