By Ellie Nicholl, deputy event centre manager, Kent Event Centre
2018 was a big year for Kent Event Centre and we hosted a number of music concerts from large name artists including Little Mix, Craig David, Rita Ora, Simple Minds, The Pretenders and KT Tunstall. Little Mix attracted our largest ever single-date audience of 30,000 people, which tested us to our limits and saw us achieve things we never have before.
The concert taught us a lot and these are the lessons we learnt…
Expect the unexpected
We initially expected 10,000 concert-goers, but there was so much interest in the event that the organiser asked to increase the event to 30,000, which meant more infrastructure in the arena to ensure that it was a safe and secure site.
Concerts require lots of administration
Despite hosting the event, not organising, a lot of our time was taken up with answering attendee phone calls, social media enquiries and emails. We often find that most people assume that if the event was held at your venue then you organised it. As you can imagine there was also a lot of health and safety admin that went along with the event.
Communication is key
For an event of this scale to run smoothly, communication between the promoters and the venue is key and this sometimes falls short. Where promoters are used to working at so many different venues, details they may see as minor can sometimes be perceived as major for the venue.
Preparation and organisation are essential
We sat down and prepared for every situation that could possibly occur and this was vitally important in hosting a concert for this amount of people. Having a backup plan is essential for any type of event.
Teamwork is crucial
The magnitude of tasks around an event of this size requires a team of people all pitching in and working round the clock!
Keep your neighbours happy
Kent Event Centre is located in close proximity to a number of residential houses therefore keeping our neighbours informed and happy throughout an event like this is essential. We meet with our neighbours regularly to keep them updated on what’s happening at the venue.