Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The highs and lows of being an event organiser

Eamon O’Brien, EventElephant’s CEO, regaled his listeners at Bizcamp Dublin recently, with his story of how EventElephant came about.

“Who here has organised a large event for business?” Eamon asked his audience. “Did you enjoy the experience, was it a success for your attendees?” The responses were typical: “We struggled keeping track of all the event information”: “Not having an online booking engine or a means of taking payment online seriously impacted our sales”. Eamon knew the story well. Prior to EventElephant he ran his own successful event management company, Event Management International . “Nine years of frustration where I aged significantly” is how Eamon described event management without proper tools.
It all started back in May 2006 and “The Heineken Cup Final Rugby Tour from Heaven (and from Hell).... Munster vs ‘Le French’ from Biarritz – Heineken Cup Final”. (We like our rugby at EventElephant). “I volunteered for the job of event managing the gig”.

Case Study: The Bright Idea (from hell)

The job : Cardiff - Utter Munster Mania / Madness
  • 60 adults & 60 kids; 5 hotels
  • 2 buses (both ended up dented... driver error!!)
  • 2 match (Bective minis vs. Ynysybwl !!)... Up the narrow street of the valleys
  • The framed jersey (how to ensure that you are always welcome back!)
  • 120 tickets from ERC
  • No system, no proper records, no payments, cheques everywhere, some early, some lost
  • No system structure...... 3 weeks work – 3 years older!
The outcome
  • “It didn’t win me business but.....
  • It made me alot of friends and admirers (no other gom (read crazy person) would have taken it on, but today it lives in the memories of 100 people so if I am honest (and it helped that we won) I got a huge buzz out of it”
  • “Made me think there HAD to be a better way of doing this.”
  • “Here comes EventElephant”
Now we are winning awards for our innovative online event booking technology and we are making event planners lives easier, as confirmed recently by Andy Carr, director of the Sunset Music Group, and the Sunset Music Festival 2010 explains: “We were searching around for a system that could handle the complexities of festival ticket registrations. We needed a system that could monitor and track daily tickets sales and at the same time receive regular income direct into our bank account so we could keep control over the event finances. We are now seeing record ticket sales.” Published in a recent article in Stand Out magazine: (see page 39).
It’s been a long way from Cardiff to here but a great journey so far”

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