“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four hours sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln
Proper planning is everything and Kingham Signature Events takes this concept to heart. While some assume that event planning merely involves selecting fabric colors, attractive decorations, and delicious food, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to planning professional events. Kingham Signature Events approaches planning as both an art and a science and clearly does a fabulous job, as the company was just honored with the Global ISES Esprit Award for Best Event for Non-Profit Organization.
The Science of Event Planning
Trace Kingham, Founder and Creative Experience Director of Kingham Signature Events, explained the science behind event planning. He asserted, “We are very strategic about what we do. We interview clients to ensure they establish three to four objectives they would like the event to achieve. Then, every decision we make is designed to meet those objectives in some way.”
Aside from planning according to objectives, Kingham focuses on statistics and ensures that clear metrics are in place to measure the success of each event. These metrics depend on the objectives. For example, a non-profit client might hire Kingham to plan an event for the purpose of gaining donations, recruiting volunteers, gaining corporate sponsors, and gaining a wider readership of its online newsletter. If this is the case, Kingham would measure the event’s success by the increase in the number of new donors, new volunteers, new corporate sponsors, and new subscribers to the online newsletter that occur as a direct result of the event. According to Kingham, without clear goals and measurable metrics, organizations are at risk of wasting valuable time and money.
What Sets Kingham Signature Events Apart From Competitors?
I asked Kingham what sets Kingham Signature Events apart from competitors. He answered, “Aside from setting goals and measuring the proper metrics, we also create unique events. We think outside the box and stay away from the cookie cutter event themes and ideas. Also, we focus intently on keeping events fresh.” Kingham gave an example, “Some companies hire us to host the same event every year. We do that, but we ensure that we create a completely different event and experience for attendees each time, rather than just recreate the same event with a different twist.”
Kingham emphasized that keeping events fresh and new significantly impacts word-of-mouth marketing surrounding the events. When attendees have a different type of experience each time they attend a recurring event, this builds excitement. Kingham emphasized, “People begin to look forward to the events, to talk about them, and to wonder out loud and online about what the next event will be like. This spreads the word about the organization and the event. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool.”
Passion for the Job
The art and science of event planning are a passion for Trace Kingham. He began his career in theater, where he became knowledgeable in set design, costume, lighting, and the art of designing a production. According to Kingham, planning a production is very similar to planning an event. The most rewarding aspect of Kingham’s job, he says, is seeing projects come to life and watching the reactions of guests as they arrive at events and as they experience different aspects of the events throughout their time there. This experience doesn’t differ much from seeing an audience’s reaction to a production.
Kingham Signature Events views clients as partners and this is evident in the company’s culture. Kingham is not an event planner who will create a plan, run with it, and forget to keep clients in the loop. Kingham explained, “We collaborate openly with clients and involve them in the entire planning process. We believe in transparency, open communication, and collaboration with clients and also within the company. Our clients are usually very pleased with that.”
Non-Profit & AMA Tampa Bay Involvement
Kingham Signature Events maintains a well-balanced client list. It serves Fortune 500 clients (such as Sykes Enterprises), but also plans its fair share of non-profit events. The company has planned galas at Lowry Park Zoo, awards ceremonies and galas for American Red Cross, and events for the University of South Florida, to name a few. Kingham also works with small low budget non-profit organizations.
AMA Tampa Bay members know that Kingham Signature Events is an event-planning sponsor for our chapter. We’re thankful for Trace Kingham’s support and he is excited to work with AMA Tampa Bay for a variety of reasons. “I enjoy working with marketers because they’re likeminded, so we understand each other. Both groups have to be communicative, creative, and mission driven. We work with goals, metrics, and measurable results. We also continuously monitor our environments and we change to fit them in order to stay relevant,” declared Kingham. Marketers and event planners are indeed kindred spirits in the professional sense!
What is Next for Kingham Signature Events?
With an elegant mix of event decorations, ROI metrics, and anything but cookie cutter event planning, Kingham Signature Events doesn’t just step outside the box. It lives outside the box…and clients are handsomely rewarded for it. After years of experience in event planning, Trace Kingham has become an expert in the field and is in the midst of writing a book to share his knowledge. The book will teach executives how to use event planning to directly and positively impact ROI and ROO. The book will be finished this fall and will be sold on Kingham Signature Events’ website. Kingham’s advice might offer just what your company needs to set it apart from competitors.
About the Author
Chiara is Digital Content Creator and Blog Manager for AMA Tampa Bay. She is Co-founder and Director of Winning the Fight, a non-profit organization specializing in neurodegenerative disease research. Chiara is also a freelance digital marketer for small businesses and is finishing up her MBA with a specialty in marketing from the University of South Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Chiara lived in Washington, DC. She earned her BA in International Studies from American University’s School of International Services in 2007 and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Defense thereafter. Her hobbies include obstacle racing, running, swimming, kayaking, SCUBA diving, and opera/classical singing. She also loves country music and chocolate!
Email: Chiara at [email protected]
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