Long-term event planning, short-term event readiness, event-time delivery, post-event lessons. It's easy to see what gets forgotten if you're only considering lessons learned after the fact. Whether you're delivering a major event, managing a large venue or delivering a series of events for a client, it's essential to put 'lessons learned' at the heart of planning and delivery.
The easiest way to scrutinise your processes is through automated reporting, set up to show you the information you need to analyse. Look at your data holistically, view interactive tables and charts, and combine that with your own thoughts to make improvements for next time.
Especially in this very difficult period for events and venues, there's going to be plenty to learn from day-to-day. Make sure you're integrating learning these lessons every step of the way.
You're probably working on multiple complex projects at any one time. There's going to be cross-over, similarities, and things that you could have done better, and things that you could have done worse. It's important to always think critically about the progress of your projects, particularly if you are working towards fixed deadlines.
Risk and Issue Management
For accountability and good practice it's essential to have a risk management process that learns from the past. Whether you're opening a 60,000 seater venue or running a 100 person event, a lot of the uncertainties will have existed for iteration after iteration and will continue to be there. How you approach your risks really defines how much confidence you can have in your operations.
Readiness programmes are complicated. The biggest events will test 1000s of capabilities at 10s of events - and capabilities can be anything, from evacuation procedures to ticket scanners to waste collection! It's big, and there'll be plenty to learn both from each readiness test activity as well as the process of event or venue management as a whole.
Similar to readiness - but at event-time. So there is plenty to learn as you check your venue, whether it's before opening the doors or after closing them. Be aware of common issues, and spot patterns, so that you can focus your checks more directly on known pinch-points.
Event or matchday is where your planning needs to come together into smooth delivery. It is impossible to deliver the perfect day every time. Look critically at how the day progressed, what elements fell behind or slipped in quality, and adjust suitably for next time.
Incident Management and Event Control
Live event days are unpredictable. But you can easily group similar incidents and analyse how you dealt with them. Do you have clear procedures in place for dealing with incident types such as a fire, a lost child, etc? When you deal with such an incident, think critically about what went well and what could have gone better - then refine your processes.
Writing up your lessons learned a few weeks after the event or matchday does not cut it. Share knowledge in a collaborative process across your team throughout planning and delivery to integrate learned experience into future operations.
Interactive reporting is included in every WeTrack module. Explore them all here.
View our full guide to re-opening your venue, event or attraction during COVID-19 here.