On the occasion of the VI University Congress of Communication and Events to be held in Madrid on the 15th and 16th of November 2018, under the theme of the local protocol,which brings together a large part of the institutional heads of a large number of public administrations, I would like to raise some reflections addressed to these professionals, about what the event agencies can contribute in this type of institutional events so that they stop being considered as mere suppliers.
In institutional events it is very important to take into account the personalities that will attend and the institution that organizes the event, as well as their representatives, but this does not mean that the event has to lack creativity and agility, regardless of the budget with the let it be counted Seriousness is not at odds with dynamism and entertainment, because a solemn and serious act can also be entertaining, it is a matter of combining different elements that do not detract from the seriousness of the event to be performed.
Perhaps a reflection should be made on what is really important in this type of events, if they tend to respond to the marked objective, to the messages that are to be transmitted, to the protocol to be followed, to a good staging, or to have an integrating vision in the design of the event that combines objectives and interests, and that is where the professional event organization agencies can become true allies of the institutional managers in charge of carrying out this type of event.
As an example we can see the event organized by the Women for Africa Foundation for the presentation of the Phare Nador project of the Women for Africa Foundation in northern Morocco, dedicated to generating, transmitting and sharing knowledge among African women. I am aware that it is not a local event, but perhaps it will help us to see how there can be a good balance between institutional decisions and the final outcome of the event.
The event was held in July 2018 at the headquarters of Endesa in Madrid, and an event organizing agency participated in its organization: EDT, which was responsible for the staging and production of the event, a training center for organizing events, ISEMCO , who contributed a large number of interns to collaborate in the complicated protocol of this event and, of course, the promoters.
An event of great solemnity chaired by HM La Reina Letizia, honorary president of the Foundation, and attended by important personalities of the state, including the President of the Congress, the Vice President of the Government Past President of the Government, President of the Autonomous Community, and 6 ministers of the then recently released executive, African ambassadors, mayors, presidents of deputies and personalities of the business world.
The EDT agency designed a differential space that, as indicated in its blog, followed “the graphic line of warm colors that identifies the foundation” and created “an atmosphere that differentiated the presentation of the rest of the space and that, in addition, counted with three differentiated functional areas “, an exhibition area, the stage area and an area with a large photocall.
In order to avoid waiting times given the complex protocol of arrivals of authorities, greeting lines and brief ‘networking’ of. All the main authorities, a photography exhibition entitled ‘Luces de Nador’ was designed, where the attendees of the event were able to enjoy numerous portraits of the women of the city of Nador until the act began.
At the entrance EDT arranged a large photocall and a press platform in which the personalities invited to the event posed for the media and that was available for those who wanted to immortalize the moment.
In the central part, the main assembly was located, featuring a circular platform stage with two giant screens, where Monica Carrillo, presenter of the act, was giving way to the representatives of the project.
The speeches were very brief and in different formats (something to think about, since it is very much a game to change or combine lecterns with other types of scenography), brief words from the lectern, to give way to a round table in which Ana Botín, president of Banco Santander, Bárbara Hendrix, member of the Foundation’s Advisory Council, and Roberto Fernández, president of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities, commented on the need to solve the situation that women live in Africa every day .
The event was energized with several videos and people who narrated experiences, musical performance and testimonies, who gave great agility and rhythm to this event whose solemnity did not take a whit of protagonism to the objectives of this, the personalities that attended and the public that He participated and he perceived it in an endearing way.
A perfect combination of professionals who understood very well what objectives had to be achieved.
The challenge of the local protocol
The VI Congress raises the need to “reclaim the local protocol space, as well as define the new role or role of those responsible to the society of the XXI century,” and it is not for less, especially if we look at the figures that make up the local structure in Spain: more than eight thousand municipalities, fifty councils and island councils and hundreds of smaller local entities.
I consider it a success of the VI Congress to offer the opportunity to local experts about the events they carry out, their protocol, their communication, their image and projection, and to do so from a debate rich in ideas, proposals and knowledge transfer, because if something I have clare, is that we are facing the weakest link in resources to design good events, but richer in capacity, day-to-day experience and greater proximity to citizens.
To all these professionals of the local protocol I also encourage you to interact with the agencies organizing events, because among all, we can enrich our actions and, what is more important, work for the visibility of a profession that is still understood by many, such as catering, parties and boatos.
Event agencies, more than suppliers
From the professional perspective, I believe that many institutions should start to see professional event companies as more than mere suppliers of production, catering or technology, and trust a little more in what they can contribute, without the excuse that depleted budgets prevent hiring agencies to organize events.
I consider that one of the main areas of possible change in institutional events is the program itself, the sequences themselves, usually very saturated with repetitive and long-term discourses, with a predetermined script where the protagonists are the main authorities, not very conducive to shorten their interventions, without being aware that what is important is the objective and to connect with the audiences they are addressed to, through the word, but also of visual elements, staging, technologies, or introducing dynamic and participatory activities that prevent attendees from looking at the clock at all times.
An event is pure live communication, and therefore we only have an opportunity to connect with our audiences, but we can not achieve it without introducing greater dynamism and enabling, as far as possible, the involvement of the attendees.
Protocol, security, solemnity, seriousness, are hallmarks of institutional events, but if we add creativity and great quality, the event becomes a true communication strategy that will bring good returns to the institution that organizes it. If we also want the event to be covered by the media, an agile and dynamic design is still more important, which provides added value, generating content before, during and after the event to guarantee interest on the part of the media.
Why have a professional event agency
For all this, I think it is important to have professional agencies to organize events in institutional events, because they provide many strengths, among others:
- Integrative vision of the event and ability to design it strategically.
- They create added value, without it supposing a bigger budget.
- Alliances, the event organization agencies have important agreements with companies providing technology, catering, furniture, space management, etc. These alliances allow to diminish the budgets of these services.
- Ability to analyze the client’s needs and identify their strengths and weaknesses, making creative and imaginative proposals
- They present several event proposals depending on the objective and have a great capacity and agility to make the modifications that the institutional client considers.
- They adjust to the budget by prefixing, giving the best options to make it profitable and that the event is not harmed.
- They carry out the technical production work, providing solutions that add value to the event.
- It has teams of highly versatile and multidisciplinary professionals, which allows to address all parts of the event to obtain good results.
- They know how to design experiential events and actions that guarantee the participation and interaction of the audience, achieving the desired engagement .
- They maximize the reach of the message as much as possible so that it reaches the maximum public and are able to measure and quantify as many indicators of performance as possible.
- Track the event and measure results.
And, above all, even if you think otherwise, they lower your budget and provide guarantees of quality and good functioning. Therefore it would be good to talk about this issue in the VI Congressand something of great importance, the contracts and tenders that public administrations do for the organization of events and that are sometimes written by officials who do not know what it means to organize an event , others are not very transparent, or with such clauses that do not make it feasible to enter the event.
I do not want to stop expressing my gratitude to the promoters of the VI Congress for propitiating a topic of so much interest, the local protocol. Of course, I do not intend to miss this appointment.