We lucked out in the intern department. When Nanyang Polytechnic contacted Wildfire to let us know they'd be sending future MICE professionals from their Hospitality & Tourism course our way, we didn't realise we'd become students as well as teachers. Kang recently wrapped up his six-month-long internship with our Sales & Marketing department and before leaving, he shared some pretty valuable insight. Check out Kang's top five takeaways for event organisers from his time at Wildfire Entertainment.
- Chelsea Curto, Managing Director
Hello everyone! My name is Kang and throughout my internship at Wildfire, I was given the chance to understand and learn about the many new things that will help me in the future as an event planner. There are many takeaways from my whole internship adventure, but to summarise, here are the 5 top learning points that I think will most help current or future event planners with their events.
1. Being kind to vendors gets you extra attention.
As a Wildfire team member, I spent a lot of time contacting event organisers, suggesting suitable acts for their different events and event themes. This is a whole new different experience from my previous part-time jobs where customers come, pay, and leave straight away. When event planners work with MICE vendors like Wildfire, there is lots of going back and forth, providing different options for different scenarios. When event organisers were nice to me, I looked forward to going the extra mile to answer their questions or pushing my manager to give them a discount. When event organisers were demanding or rude, even though I still answered their questions, I wasn't as eager to support them. Next time, when I am an event planner, I will remember being on the vendor side and always try to be extra kind when I am dealing with a service provider.
2. Trusting the experts gets you better results.
When we were hired by an event planner that let us create something amazing for them and trusted us to do it well, we were always able to produce a performance that topped the client's expectations. I understand that it is hard for event planners to let go because they have to make sure nothing goes wrong for their client's sake. However, event planners come to Wildfire for a reason and this is that Wildfire are the entertainment experts. In the future, when I am on the other side of things as an event organiser, I'll know that good, clear communication with my vendors will create a good relationship with them, and when we have a good relationship, I will be able to trust them to execute to my standards.
3. Seeking a creative consult can help you win your pitch.
During my time at Wildfire, we customised existing acts to suit different event themes. Sometimes event organisers who came to us at the pitching stage would inspire us to create a brand new performance, which set their pitch apart from others. Later, when they won the pitch, we were able to bring the new act to life onstage at the organiser's event. We were also able to give ideas for customisation at the pitching stage so the event organisers had a realistic picture of what it would cost to produce their "dream act." When they won the pitch, there were no budget issues for a custom act. In the future, I will be sure to reach out to a creative agency during the pitching stage even if it is just to run my ideas by them (of course, this will work better if I've already followed tips number 1 and 2).
4. Entertainment really does enhance the event.
If there is no entertainment at your event, your event is just another boring awards ceremony or dinner & dance. Your event will be so much better if there are little pockets of entertainment here and there to improve the experiences of your guests. When I went onsite with the Wildfire production team, I could overhear guests talking about the performances. They took photos and messaged their friends. Live entertainment, especially short and high-impact entertainment or immersive entertainment, has a big effect on the success of the event. This is something I didn't really think about when I was studying, to be honest. At NYP, when I was doing a project for an event planning module, entertainment wasn't on my priority list because I thought the budget would be better spent elsewhere. Now I know how wrong I was. When I am working in the real world, I will make sure to always consider entertainment as part of the programme because I've seen firsthand how it can improve the energy and memorability of an event.
5. Performing a "2nd pair of eyes” check ensures quality assurance.
Many times, everyone involved in a project has different requirements and different opinions of different aspects. At Wildfire, all creative and content are vetted by a second person with a critical eye. Their feedback is used as neutral opinion to refine the product (from dance acts to blog posts) before it is released. This ensures that everything Wildfire produces is of the best quality, well rounded with everything checked off the checklist. I will definitely steal this protocol and use it in the future when I am planning events!
It has been a great pleasure to be serving event organisers and assisting them with their entertainment needs. Now I'm ready to join them as an event planner myself!
Until next time,