Special Guest: Montse Escobar, Directora División Comunicación GREY GROUP SPAIN

I have been in the profession for many years, too many to count. I think I was born with this vocation and life gave me the ability to devote myself to it. Today I thank my nerves, my suffering endured to achieve the perfect event, because we now know that is an essential discipline for brands that want to make the transition from being famous brands to loved brands. In this equation, the brands at the forefront are those chosen by consumers.

Communication today is very mixed. There are many different buttons to push in order to build up a reputation, a word that is increasing in value all the time and is already part of our jargon. Friends and family say that we speak like doctors, that we have our own language. And it’s true! I laugh because we use words such as metrics, front row, perfect delivery, flow, rundown, photo call, press kits, save the date and others that they do not understand. Those of you reading this blog know very well what I mean.

I have been invited to write for this blog and this is an honour because it is a literature that does not exist anywhere else. It is an information box, a documented gift from others like us who are in this land full of minefields…. and we want to alleviate them…

This is an extremely demanding profession. With zero tolerance for error.  We cannot go wrong. There are no second chances here. You go to a bookstore to look for the definitive book, to tell us how to create a perfect event and it turns out that it doesn’t exist. Is it because there are no formulas? Is it because it is a discipline that is wholly dependent on people? And where is that written? Right here in the Business & Events blog.  A tool that I will follow as a disciple, because here you will find professionals of the highest calibre who want to share, to nourish us all so that we become more expert. Generous people who share their successes and things that you should never do.

When a company approaches me for an event it is always an exciting moment.  It provides a stage for the brand. Everything has to be perfect and success is measured in many ways. For me the only one that is valid, although there are many, and the most appropriate is yet to be defined, is the final customer satisfaction. The thank you e-mail that gives you goose bumps and makes you realise that this profession is worthwhile.

But … what determines its success? One way to begin is to have a full briefing. Validate the event objective together with the company. I always tell my team to do this first exercise. If a client asks you for a dog, ask what kind of dog. A golden retriever pops into my mind but perhaps the client is thinking of a Yorkshire terrier. That tells you everything you need to know. Define each objective in the mind of the client hiring the service.

Minimum and maximum number of guests, catering, room temperature, Wi-Fi, number of waiting staff, ambient or live music, decoration, hostesses, audiovisual, branding, public address system, accommodation… a perfect rundown to be able to share the same KPI that the client has in  mind for their “perfect event”. And always add an extra ingredient, which for me is the most important…. Make it memorable; make it a memory that lasts forever.

I work in an international company with presence in 166 countries, and far from being impersonal, and having the best creative and senior executives that an agency possibly could have, we believe that emotions are above ideas. And that is what I do, even if it doesn’t sound very technical. My job is to stir up emotions. There is not a more powerful weapon.

To do that, I need a good team, aligned with my strategic guidelines. But to create an event with these added values we need partners that are highly professional and with great human qualities.

Location is something of a drama. Everything is invented. Except creativity, this is infinite. Referring back to the beginning of this piece, you need people who will work with you throughout the process and have a sense of vocation and responsibility. Just like all of you I have had a thousand experiences of great places where the contact person does not bother to accompany you. Or less ambitious places where the management team put their soul into it. I always choose the latter. When you find a place that has it all, it is a true Eureka! moment.

For reasons of confidentiality I cannot say the brand name, but I had one recent experience in Business and Events where everything ran smoothly. Smoothly means that as always we had to improvise but it was NOT noticed.

A place where there are many locations in one. From a shareholders’ meeting of 10 superestablishments to a convention of 3000 people. And it always seems a different place. A building with not only a perfect architecture, but also a sustainable and eco-friendly one, two words that carry great weight nowadays. And a team of hundreds of people, who I obviously have not seen, because I’ve been able to centralise everything in one contact who created a task force, an extension of my team.

An event with many people where meat is served all at the same time and at the same temperature. Where they smile at each unforeseen incident and remain calm when you ask them to make room for 50 people because we had a great response rate. A place where the team building starts with them. And of course…we all finish looping around on a ride (subject to advance notice and booking).

I go with the best looping….the satisfaction of my client who has sent me an e-mail from the heart because friends and fellow sufferers… behind a great company is a team of professionals. Always search for a suitable location, but interview anyone who will help to make everything a success, because at stake is YOUR OWN REPUTATION.

Thank you Business & Events for your skill to be able to turn an event into an unforgettable experience that you always want to go back to. We will return again!

I end by making a request to all who are dedicated to this field to add your posts and secrets to this vessel of wisdom; perhaps between us we can write the book that still doesn’t exist…

With a smile and an eagerness to continue learning

M. Escobar

Communications Director for GREY GROUP SPAIN