The Event Group Milestones
The Event Group, Incorporated celebrated its 20th anniversary on April 7, 2017. To celebrate, each month on the 7th we are looking back at some of the milestones that brought us to today. New entries will be added throughout 2017.
As events grow larger, they inevitably grow more complex. Fortunately, after 20 years we’ve been through it all.
Take the 3M Global Symposium on Digital Dentistry. For that event, we had to produce a four-day symposium made up of meetings, tours, VIP receptions and dinners. The registration process included building out a custom registration database, extending electronic VIP invitations and coordinating travel from 42 countries. Logistics included hotel rooming lists, audio-visual needs, coordinating food and beverages, busing, and speaker rehearsals.
All that is hard enough, but another thing that can add a layer of complexity to an event is hosting it Internationally. At The Event Group, we’ve dealt with this challenge numerous times. One example was the International MedTech Symposium at the University of Hertfordshire, which was designed to spotlight the University’s Medical Technology Innovation Centre and the opportunity for industry and academia to work together on new business concepts. The event was hosted in London but drew attendees from seven different countries. That involved a lot of planning to provide the attendees with a smooth experience and coordinate tours of the new facility, but in the end it provided great exposure for the university to a large audience.
On the flip side, The Event Group also produced the MedEdge Conference, which was hosted in the U.S. but drew 127 speakers from 20 countries. Similarly, that event involved coordinating tours to accommodate a diverse audience and ensuring that it all went flawlessly.
Another production that required major planning skills was the American Bonanza Society conference. This four-day event brought together 1,000 attendees and a couple of hundred aircraft, all of which were landing within hours of one another. It required continuous transportation from the airport to the event for attendees arriving on both private and commercial aircraft, and then transportation back to the field to allow attendees to check out the planes throughout the event. Whew!
If you’ve never done it before, it’s easy to get tripped up on these kinds of logistics, and a failure in any one area can lead to a less-than-successful experience for attendees. As your events grow more complex, our team can help things run smoothly for you and your audience.
After 20 years in the event business, we know it takes a lot of passion to get an event off the ground. Sometimes that passion comes from volunteers, who devote the time and energy to bring their vision to life.
If they're successful, they often encounter another challenge. As an event increases in scale, they no longer have the time or resources to manage the added size and complexity while maintaining the event’s quality.
As an event management company, we’re here to help. Sometimes volunteer organizers are initially reluctant to hire outside assistance. However, by doing so they get access to professionals who are able to focus fully on making the event a success. For volunteers, life or work can intervene and put everything else on the back burner. For us, your event is our 9-5 job, and we have backup when team members are out. We are also well positioned to negotiate costs based on the buying power of producing multiple events. Those factors result in increased growth as well as savings of both time and money that typically more than offset the investment.
A good example of this occurred early in The Event Group's history. On Dec. 8, 1997, we were hired to help produce the 1998 WomenVenture Conference. Up until then, the event had been run by volunteers from WomenVenture and a small internal staff.
When TEG signed on, no venue had been contracted, no keynote was secured, and it was scheduled to take place on May 8, 1998 ... leaving just six month to put everything in place. In that time, TEG was able to find and lock in a venue, secure keynote speaker Dr. Maya Angelou, and bring in nearly 2,500 attendees for an event that had previously attracted 700 people.
It was also the first year the event featured an expo, and TEG recruited 90 sponsors and exhibitors for a record-breaking fundraiser. What had been a good event became a great event, and everyone who partnered on it, including lead sponsor American Express, was happy with the results.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) produced their annual conference, Remodelers Edge, for five years using volunteers and in-house staff. To take it to the next level, TEG was brought in to handle all aspects of the event: marketing, sponsorship, registration, and all event management and logistics.
TEG's goal was to grow the event in attendance, sponsorship sales, exposure, and profitability, allowing NARI staff to focus on their job requirements while utilizing volunteers for their connections. During our time working with the event, we were successful. TEG doubled attendance numbers, increased attendance revenue by more than 250 percent, and sponsorship and advertising revenue grew from $6,000 to more than $115,000 in three years.
The Event Group not only grew the event in numbers, but also initiated additional value-added events, such as a series of smaller VIP receptions, dinners, and entertainment along with numerous seminars and an exhibit hall. Over a three-year span, the event grew so significantly that it was bought by its competition, JBL Live.
In the beginning
The opening line of The Event Group’s first press release read: "Our Mission is to creatively design and promote professional, top-quality events that provide the ultimate in satisfaction and add business and personal value to attendees at a reasonable cost."
At the time, our CEO Eileen Manning had spent 16 years working with meeting and conference management, planning, design and production for a Fortune 50 company. Striking out on her own, Eileen believed she could use her experience and network of professional consultants in the field to drive results for her clients.
The Computech! Computer Expo
The Event Group's first event was ambitious: a five-city computer expo designed for small businesses and individual users. It brought together hardware and software makers, Internet providers, Web designers, and others to discuss Internet use, marketing a business online, building a business network, buying a computer, computer security, and other of-the-moment technology issues. This first event foreshadowed TEG’s continued involvement with technology events, which continues today with the Cyber Security Summit, Robotics Alley, and others. We are proud to say that at that time, when few businesses had websites, we had already launched plantoastound.com.