Many event planners are looking at how they are going to get “back to business” following Covid-19. Events were one of the first things to be restricted here in Australia and are likely to be one of the last things released from restriction. So how can we ensure that we are able to get our message out to our clients, customers and staff whilst still ensuring we are following the guidelines? We believe Roadshows will be a key element in the return of events, so please read on to learn how to plan a roadshow.
A Roadshow is a series of events (usually single day or shorter) run in multiple locations with the aim to reach a larger audience with your message. Essentially the main message of the show is the same across all locations. Speakers may travel to each location to ensure the message being delivered is consistent across locations. This is going to be extremely powerful in the initial post Covid-19 world as it means you can run a series of smaller events (in keeping with the health guidelines) across the country whilst still delivering your message to a large number of people.
So how do you plan a roadshow? The most complex part of running a Roadshow is the logistics. You need to be quite skilled with logistics or you could end up booking venues too close together, no connecting flights available etc. When planning an event, you need to consider what else is happening in your event location at the same time. For a Roadshow this could mean checking in 7-8 locations and trying to ensure they match up! Use the following steps when planning your next roadshow to ensure you haven’t missed any vital pieces of information:
1. Plan your route
The first step is to look at which locations you are looking to visit and which order makes the most sense. Here is an example – you have a Roadshow which visits Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth. You don’t want to be flying from Sydney to Perth, back to the East coast to Brisbane then Adelaide and then Melbourne if you don’t need to. A route like that will be more expensive but will also put a major toll on your speakers, especially if it is a short roadshow. You also need to consider the flights and ensure that it is physically possible to get your speakers (and potentially equipment!) to the next destination in time. Be sure to check time differences and remember some flights can change seasonally so be sure to check them for the month you are looking to travel.
2. Select your venues
Selecting the right venue for your event is imperative and you need to consider a myriad of elements to ensure you have the right one. For more detailed information on things to consider when booking a venue for your event please visit our blog “6 Simple Steps for selecting a venue for your event”. Once you have considered all of the usual factors, you also need to check their availability. Now this is the fun part for Roadshows! You need to make sure that all of your selected venues are available on the dates/times you have mapped out in Step 1.
When planning a roadshow there isn’t much wiggle room on available dates. We recommend not locking in any of the venues until you have confirmation of availability from all of the venues and have checked that the dates work for your speakers too. You also need to know what is non-negotiable. For example if you must hold your event in a particular venue it’s a good idea to check that one first and then you may need to make changes to your plan to accommodate their availability. Once you have availability all sorted and you confirm you have access to the required flights etc, book it all in ASAP to avoid missing out.
3. Technology & Show Information
Most roadshows try to ensure that the delegate/attendee experience is similar in each location. You ideally want to be ensuring you are delivering the same message across all locations (with a local spin for each of course!). Depending on the requirements for your event this could mean moving equipment between the locations or creating sets of identical equipment that can be transported to each venue. Either way the logistics on this can send the costs of your event skyrocketing so we recommend to try and use locally acquired equipment where possible.
You also need to consider which key staff will travel to all of the events. It is a good idea to have at least one staff member travel to all events to ensure consistency. However we often travel with more than this (such as taking the tech crew with us – especially for more complex shows). Another element for consideration is whether you can take your equipment on the flight with you as excess baggage or whether you need to courier it to the next destination. This all needs to be considered as part of Step 1 to ensure that you can manage to “pull off” the Roadshow plan you have put in place.
4. Travel schedule
We pull together a detailed travel schedule for all of our Roadshow events. The schedule details all of the movements and helps to ensure that elements such as transfers are not forgotten. This document is like a run sheet for an event however instead of timings for the show it includes flights, accommodation, transfers, additional meetings etc. You can also include elements such as booking numbers for accommodation & transfers, as well as travel instructions such as where to meet the driver at the airport. This document can then be sent to the speakers and the staff crew so that they can refer to it whilst on the road.
This information is of course on top of all of your usual event planning. You still need to plan your objectives, plan the show itself, book speakers etc. Roadshows can be really complex to plan and the smallest oversight can ruin your entire event. They are however an extremely powerful way to convey your message to a large number of people with minimal travel for the attendees. This is going to be a really important tool in the coming months as we see restrictions slowly lifted.
Planning events and especially Roadshows is our thing. We love logistics and pulling all the pieces of the puzzle together. If you need assistance with learning how to plan a Roadshow or you would like us to do it for you, take a look at our Roadshow page with further information on how we can help.