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Make It Work: Five Tips To Help You Execute A Successful Event The events industry in the Middle East region is booming, thanks to markets like the UAE and KSA hosting large-scale international events as well as initiating national legislations to grow their events sectors in recent months.

By Yoann Coulon

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The events industry in the Middle East region is booming, thanks to markets like the UAE and KSA hosting large-scale international events as well as initiating national legislations to grow their events sectors in recent months.

Most recently, KSA launched its Events Investment Fund (EIF), pledging US$3.7 billion in capital for the sustainable infrastructure development of the cultural, tourism, entertainment, and sports sectors. Similarly, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism have implemented strategic steps towards positioning the UAE as a global hub for business and leisure events.

Consequently, the demand for staffing the burgeoning events and entertainment industries has continued on a positive upward trajectory, with agencies seeking to hire highly skilled event organizers and experts who can hit the ground running. From our experience at THA Staffing, we understand that organizing a successful event involves a substantial amount of pre-planning and efficient on-ground support to ensure everything runs smoothly. Event organizers in the region must thus consider the following five key points to ensure a seamless event:

1. Know your audience It is essential to identify the demographic, interests, mindsets, and behaviors of your target audience. Focusing the bulk of the planning phase on building and setup activities may not always guarantee a noteworthy event. However, organizers who prioritize guest touchpoints and curate bespoke experiences in the planning process will set themselves apart from the competition. From the moment a guest arrives at the venue, to the time they leave, it is crucial to check in, and see how the guest feels at various points of the event. Ensure guests feel comfortable, inspired, and appreciated, which will ensure guest satisfaction, and, ultimately, retention for future events. The first event will also help determine what type of activities guests resonate with, and it creates the opportunity to distinguish a mediocre event from a great one.

2. Incite positive emotions Successful events often inspire positive emotions and appreciation between the organizers, attendees, and staff. Whether it is an awards ceremony, an event, or an exhibition, it is important for event experts to connect with the guests, ensuring that they're enjoying their time, and perhaps even forming a sense of belonging. This results in greater satisfaction, leading to positive reviews, and repeated visits. Guests often share their experiences with others and on social media platforms, generating a buzz around the event, leading to word-of-mouth marketing, and a better reputation for organizers.

Related: Time For A Zig (Or Zag): Four Signs A Pivot Might Be Needed To Keep Your Entrepreneurial Dream Alive

3. Be different Organizers need to be creative in their approach. Thinking outside the box and using innovative concepts will make a regular event memorable. Offering personalized experiences by incorporating guests' needs and preferences in the planning process is vital. Furthermore, integrating the use of technology to create immersive experiences will enhance moments, and differentiate the events from other competitors. For example, using interactive displays, augmented reality, or virtual reality will create a unique and interactive experience for attendees.

4. More is not always better From our experience, the concept of "more is better" does not hold true for events. Deploying excess staff causes confusion, inefficiencies, and higher costs for organizers. That said, understaffing leads to unfulfilled tasks, disgruntled staff, and unsatisfactory guest experiences. From conceptualizing an event's creative narrative, to way-finding staff guiding guests onsite, every staffing role must be well defined. For example, the role of a project director is that of a conductor in a symphony: managing the efforts of everyone, and ensuring harmony between all the distinct roles.

5. Focus on knowledge retention By retaining knowledge of what worked and what did not in previous events, organizers can make informed decisions and streamline processes across the planning and execution phases. Collecting and analyzing guests' feedback can help organizers to identify improvement areas and adapt to future events. This iterative process leads to continuous progress, ensuring each event is progressively better. At THA Staffing, we average over 1,000 events per year, ranging in size from the deployment of promoters for a product launch, to the deployment of hundreds of staff for music festivals, and as such, we are often approached to provide advisory services to validate and confirm staffing levels for major regional events. By implementing a thoughtful and strategic approach, event organizers can thus create unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Related: Rethinking Recruitment: NoBueno Founder Christian Eid On Why He Launched His New UAE-Based Enterprise

Yoann Coulon

Managing Partner, THA Staffing

Yoann Coulon is the Managing Partner of THA Staffing.

A French national, Coulon has mastered over 15 years of experience in the event industry and founded THA Staffing in 2015, a company that provides corporations with flexible and customized staffing solutions.

With excellent leadership skills, he combined his passion for technology with his knowledge of the event industry to serve as a catalyst for the company's vision.

A disruptor by nature, he brought together a team of innovative and target-oriented professionals to revolutionize staffing in the events, retail and hospitality industries, among others. 

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