Jonny Daymond, Entertainment Director at Yes Entertainment talks about successful event management and the expansion of Yes Entertainment.
Jonny Daymond comes to the event industry with a varied background. As a singer and guitarist, he has performed at functions, playing and singing in bands and as a solo performer. He still writes and records original music.
Prior to moving into the entertainment and events industry, Jonny spent 15 years in digital publishing where he was responsible for running sales and marketing to over 50 countries worldwide. As part of this role, he was directly involved in organising client social events, conferences and product launches in the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, Hong Kong and many Caribbean countries.
As an entrepreneur, he is motivated by challenges and finding ways to make things work, no matter what obstacles appear.
In his “spare” time Jonny teaches the Japanese martial art Shorinji Kempo to adults and children.
What kinds of events does Yes Entertainment organise?
Well, it’s a very wide range. Most of the events we get involved with are company parties like summer parties, Christmas parties, or client social events for companies looking to treat their customers. But we also get involved with conferences running AV during the day and often entertainment in the evening as well. We do private parties too including birthdays and weddings and we even did a fashion show recently which was great fun. The events we do most tend to be for between 50 and 400 people.
How does Yes Entertainment stand out from the competition?
Having experience working as performers makes a big difference when you are running events as you have a greater understanding of what makes an event work and what gets a crowd going. But you also you have an ability to deal with problems if they occur. If you have spent lots of time on stage you know how to carry on and make things work no matter what, a very useful skill for managing live events.
We’ve also had a lot of experience booking events as clients and this means we have a greater interest in what the desired outcomes are from an event. If you are spending money organising an event what do you want clients or guests to take away from it? It makes getting budgets approved much easier if you can demonstrate the benefits to the customer and therefore your business of running the event.
What key factors do you think makes a successful event?
Understanding your audience and what you are aiming to achieve from the event is really important. This should be the starting point as if you know what you want your audience to take away from the event then planning and implementing things can become a lot easier.
Flexibility is crucial. What do you do when the event goes off plan? Live events have a life of their own and very often things have to adapt on the day. You need someone in charge who can be the person who decides what to run with to make things work. Successful event management often requires you to think on your feet.
A theme helps to set the right tone, makes decision making much easier and ties everything nicely together. The best events we have seen or been involved with are those where everything is linked in with a theme. It can be something really fun for a social event, or for a company conference, a well-thought-out theme that aligns with your objectives and reflects your brand and its values will ensure that guests leave with a stronger reinforcement of the company image.
How important is the choice of venue to the success of an event?
The look and feel of the venue and how it fits your theme or the style of your event is massively important. The geographical location of the event can also make or break things in terms of attendance. Is the venue well set up to cater for your event in terms of F & B? There is a huge amount to think about when picking your venue. Cost is, of course, an issue too. It’s great to have a luxury venue but if that means you go way over budget then it won’t work.
How do you think technology will change the events industry in the next few years?
I don’t necessarily think technology will change the events industry that much as it is such a people orientated market. Of course, technology will add a lot of elements to events, and I think virtual and augmented reality and AI will be interesting from an entertainment perspective. In the future, ticketed events could be run purely on facial recognition and things like that which are massive for that market. But fundamentally the principles and skills required to organise good events will be very similar just with cooler gear!
What’s the toughest event you’ve had to manage?
We had a conference with a large and complicated set build which arrived too late and with too small a budget to achieve what the client wanted to do. We made it work and it was fine but not an enjoyable experience as it was one with really high pressure that could have been avoided.
Have you had any obscure event requests you’ve had to manage for a client?
We know a guy who cuts apples in his mouth with a chainsaw! He gets requested occasionally and we wouldn’t describe him as mainstream!
What’s next for Yes Entertainment?
We are doing more AV and conference events which is great as they are really interesting to run and often have an entertainment element to them in the evenings as well. So we’ll be building up our equipment and skills to enable us to handle more of these types of events. We’ll also be looking for people to help us run the agency too and do more selection of acts and add more of the people we already work with to our site.
What are your top tips for successful event management?
- Be incredibly polite and respectful to everyone involved. Running events is hard work, with long hours and lots of potential for falling out and stress along the way.
- Learn to function well on 2 hours sleep. Any more than that is just greedy.
- Enjoy running events. If you don’t you should really do something else because when you are the last one in the building at 4am packing up some last bits of gear you will need something positive to remind you why you are there.
- Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can. You never know what you might need along the way.
- The show will go on whether you are on top of things or not, so get on top because the show won’t stop.
If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can help you with your event, then please get in touch by email or call 0845 890 8525 and we can chat through your requirements.