What one thing have you learnt in the past year from attending someone else's event?

Aside from being professionally involved in events, many of us attend other people’s events for business and pleasure. Even if it’s a social visit your event head is never far away. Has anyone taken away a learning to use on their own events or just been impressed by something or learnt how not to do something based on what they’ve seen at someone else’s event?

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Something I always look out for at other peoples events is a warm and friendly welcome, event managers are relationship builders not one time sales assistants. Its amazing how a friendly welcome can brush off any delegates negative feelings about the day or the bad journey they experienced before arriving and it works wonders with their feedback!


I’m obsessed with the catering. At other people’s events I notice how much the delegates make small-talk about the quality of the coffee, number of pastries and suitability of the lunch for the format of the event.


Me too. I mentioned on another thread that I paid £12 for a freshly made but not great small pizza at a recent sporting event I attended. Also because I’m vegetarian I always clock what the veggie option/s is/are even if I’m not planning to eat there. If the option/s are box ticking rather than catering it doesn’t make me feel welcomed or valued at that event/venue.

Definitely! I was at a fun run admiring their ‘reversible’ signage and pinched the idea for my events whilst thinking ‘why did I never think of that before’.


Hi Jess, How do you mean reversible? Does the signage show through both sides or do you have a design on both sides or do you reuse it to point the other way?

Hi Melissa, it is as simple as arrow signs which have the event logo on both ways up so they can point any which way. Rather than printing off a set of ‘left arrows’ a set of ‘right arrows’ and some ‘straight on’ ones.
Hope that makes sense?


Keep speeches by sponsors/organisers short and don’t have too many of them! No one wants to be stood around too long with an empty glass and grumbling tummy!


Brilliant stuff & great you could use it almost straight away!

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I had a really warm friendly welcome at Royal Ascot this year which you just don’t expect at large events. Also love the way they’ve created a ‘moment’ with the singsong around the bandstand at the end of each race day. The atmosphere was amazing!

Loving that signage tip @JessG!
I recently went to a “Young Lawyers Society” Ball and whilst it was black tie, they had ‘beer pong’ set up next to the photo booth! It created such a buzz as we walked in the room.
As I organise in-house corporate events, I can’t really use the idea… but it’s definitely one I’m keeping in mind for the right event.

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Our event is based completely around what we have seen at other events. I go to around 30-40 music festivals and one day events each year so I am constantly looking at what they do right and wrong to make my own festival the best of everything. I have picked up some great ideas from other festivals and I know others have come to mine to collect ideas as I have seen them go away and announce the same idea I had a year before! I suppose that is a compliment.

My main objective is to see what is wrong, what I would change if it was my event and then use that information to relay back to my team and make sure we do not make the same mistakes. Never a day off in my world!

Fortunately for me, as a radio station manager I get to go to a LOT of festivals as press so I can run around backstage and see what is happening. Everything can look rosey from the front of stage but behind the scenes is usually a different world altogether!

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Definitely save that idea in a safe place. You never know where your career is going to take you and what random thing you might need or challenge you might need to address one day!

Sounds like you have a lot of fun in your work and great that you are constantly looking to improve things. There’s been a lot of negativity around festivals this year so loved reading how you’re driving things forward.

There are a lot of us doing swan impressions in events - trying to appear calm and serene on top but paddling like crazy below the waterline/behind the scenes!! :joy: