5 Essential Rules for Events From Yifat Oren

Here’s how to execute impactful events and maintain positive relationships—with minimum stress.

Yifat Oren urges minding the tiniest of details, while not taking one's self too seriously.
Yifat Oren urges minding the tiniest of details, while not taking one's self too seriously.
Photo: Courtesy of Yifat Oren

With an A-list client roster including the likes of Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, and Reese Witherspoon as well as corporate clients, industry veteran Yifat Oren, founder and creative director of Los Angeles-based Oren Cove Productions, has a finely honed event strategy. She's distilled her decades of experience into five key takeaways that can help any event professional execute flawless live events while also retaining perspective on their jobs and relationships. Here are Oren’s five golden rules for events.

1. "Go through every event from the guest’s perspective."
During the planning and production process, event professionals can sometimes find themselves too close to the minutia of their decision making—or conversely, too focused on the big pictures of theme or overarching marketing message—so that they fail to imagine what the final product will feel like from the guest’s perspective. For instance, guests experience an event beginning with their drive or ride to the venue, through the check-in process, and all the way to the end of the program. “Get in your car or shuttle and arrive like a guest,” she suggests. “Is there a billboard for [the host brand’s] competitor across the street? [What are the] parking logistics? [How are] the sight lines? Where’s the trash?” These are the little things that will directly impact the guest’s experience. So, Oren says, “Do the drill from head to toe—then do it again.”

2. "Listen to your clients."
Whether your client is the leadership team within your company, or an entity that hired your third-party firm, communicate from a place of mutual respect and understanding… even if that can sometimes mean digging deep to bridge a creative or personality divide. “Find a balance between voicing your opinion and respecting your client’s goals,” Oren says.

3. "Commit to excellence and always strive to do better." 
Complacency can be the enemy of event producers: Executing one flawless program and then repeating the same style again and again indefinitely can turn off guests, donors, bosses, and clients alike. “Learn from every event you do and strive to do better,” Oren says. One of the ways she suggests doing that is reviewing each event carefully, scouring for lessons to learn. “Do a postmortem checklist after every job,” she says.

4. "Every detail matters."
Event producers know that the smallest of decisions are noticed by guests, and can directly impact their experience of a live event—sometimes making the difference between a positive experience and a negative one. “Identify your event brand and make sure all of the elements provide a seamless quality experience,” she says.

5. "Don’t take yourself too seriously."
“We’re not curing cancer, unfortunately,” Oren says, a refrain echoed throughout the industry—but something that can be hard to keep squarely in mind when stress takes over. “In the moment when you’re pulling off [an event, consequences] may feel very important. And doing your job well is really important,” Oren says. “But we have to remember how lucky we are every day to work with good people. Focus on what really matters to you: friends, family, pets, philanthropy—those core principles."

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