The Launch

Posted By on Oct 9, 2014 | 0 comments

For the past few months I’ve been involved in the final stages of a project for a new function venue in Kramerville which was launched last week. I was brought on board because of my experience in the events industry and have been managing a lot of the admin processes. I have created cost estimate and proforma invoice templates. I have compiled the fact sheet and bar list. I have setup some social media profiles and now manage those. I am also the main point of contact for venue enquiries and handle all the venue hire quotes and bookings.

Now for those who don’t know, I technically have two jobs… Not only do I work for this new venue, I also work for the events company behind this new venue. My days are spent attending to venue-related things like quotes, site visits, enquiries, etc, and events-related things like booking staff, capturing staff timesheets, attending meetings, running events, etc. A LOT of my day is spent attending to emails coming in to my FOUR email addresses. Yes, four email addresses! I used to love the sound of a new email on my phone. Now my eyes don’t even search over to have a look. But anyway…

So although we’d had a sneak peek of the venue for select clients in August, a proper launch party was a must! Once a date had been decided on, I was tasked with putting the guest list together. I was also asked to get a list together of all the events management companies so we could add them too. It was no easy task. And I ended up having a lengthy relationship with Google’s “next” button while I trawled page after page, clicking through links to see whether the company listed did in fact organise events and if they were based in Johannesburg. The list came together and then it was time to start sending the electronic invitations off.

Unless certain guests were from the same company, each guest received a separate electronic invitation via email. This meant sending out hundreds of emails. And then having to deal with out of office replies and delivery failure notifications; calling some people to get their correct email address or following up to find out if they would be attending. So most of the guests were from the events industry, and you’d think that since they know how important an RSVP is that they would RSVP themselves… I can’t tell you how many invitees didn’t RSVP.

So the launch day rolled around and I spent the entirety of it at the venue. I was there to manage the setup and make sure everything came together for the 5pm start time. Now anyone in the industry will tell you that no event is ever complete smooth sailing. We began with contractors still painting the walls. Add to this some of our staff helping in cleaning up the venue with mops and brooms. (Hello hayfever attack!) There were two bars to stock. There were bathroom cubicles to stock with bins and toilet paper. There were napkins to fold and small handtowels to roll. There was furniture to place, caterers to manage and decor to check.

The real fun started when one of our sponsors’ furniture items were late in arriving. Murphy’s Law it would be the sponsor that we’d requested the most items from. But the adrenalin surges. You find yourself moving a heavy couch with ease. Not feeling the bashing of chairs and barstools against shins as you move furniture around. Not noticing that you actually haven’t eaten the whole day and you’re now shaking. Not realising you can hardly breathe and need your Asthma inhaler. Or how you multitask between briefing the staff on what they need to do that night and ordering other staff on where to place that chair or table.

And suddenly everything falls into place and you have a second to breathe before rushing to the bathroom to change just as the first guest arrives. Thank goodness I’d had the foresight to pack a change of clothes, some perfume and some make-up.

The launch went really well! We were lucky that the weather was on our side and we could enjoy the views from the rooftop deck. The food was great. The drinks were cold. And the waiters ensured everyone had their full of both. I was ecstatic about everyone’s excitement over the venue, particularly those that had seen the space while still under construction.

I won’t lie, I’m really excited the launch is out of the way because now I can focus on attending to quotes, following up on enquiries, managing confirmed events, and just generally keeping on top of things.

Now for some pics… These have been taken during the course of the last few months. Some from the sneak peek we had in August while it was still under construction. Some a little while later when building rubble still littered the floor. And some from the party last week.

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