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A Day in the Life of an Activations Manager

    No one could ever accuse life in activations of being boring. In fact, that is one of the things I love most about my job – every day is different, even activations we have done many times have enough variables for things to be completely different each time. There is something very special about taking the smallest nugget of an idea or brief from client, and managing its development through to the big day – ACTIVATION DAY!

    There is always so much excitement the day before an activation. We hope that all the months of planning result in something truly wonderful for our clients and that they get the return on investment that they hope for.


    So as we settle in for a (restless) night’s sleep, we await the morning…


    04:00 – Alarm goes off.


    04:10 – Snooze alarm goes off, get out of bed.


    05:00 – Leave home.


    05:15 – Fetch promoters at the office.


    05:30 – Fetch last 2 promoters at another general point, as they couldn’t get to the office in time due to no public transport at this hour.


    05:40 – We are on our way!


    06:30 – Arrive at destination XYZ.


    06:35 – Find site manager, introduce myself, and find out where to set up.


    06:45 – Manage our amazing Ops Team in setting up an assortment of Bedouin tents, gazebos, giant inflatables, table, branding, banners, etc.


    07:00 – While this is going on, I need to round up my promoters. I will assign them to their posts, ensure that they are in optimal condition to offer their very best service to us and the client!


    08:00 – By now the set-up is pretty much complete, bar a few changes that might need to be made, or crises to be averted – generator won’t start, weather issues, a vital piece of equipment in the wrong vehicle, etc.


    08:30 – It is go time – the activation is about to start. Why does it feel like I have had a full day already?


    09:00 – Time for me to grab a cup of coffee. First time I’ve had a minute to myself all day! This is when I usually work out a break schedule for my hard-working promoters. To ensure that they remain energetic and enthusiastic all day, we need to ensure that they are drinking enough water and that they have at least 1 break to eat a hearty meal.


    09:00 – 15:00 – The activation is in full swing. The promoters are on top of their game, running the activation exactly how they were trained. This is why we insist on using promoters that have not only been through our training academy, but also attended an activation specific briefing the week before the activation. This eliminates any confusion on the day.

    A prepared team is a well-oiled team.

    The less margin for error we have, the more successful the activation on the day. As the Activations Manager, my job is to manage any consumer queries that are out of the ordinary, settle any issues that may arise and ensure that the activation area is spotless and professional all day. I am also there to interact with the client should they wish to visit the activation on the day. The Ops Team is at the ready all day – they are there to replenish stock, supply giveaways, maintain the cleanliness of the area and assist with any heavy lifting. They are usually available on a 2 way radio, which is most effective for a busy activation where cell phone network connectivity could be compromised.


    15:00 – This is when the Ops Team start to evaluate how much stock and giveaways they are bringing out. With just a few hours of the day left they need to make sure we have enough supplies at the ready, but not too many to make packing up a big deal.


    16:00 – This is when we the team gets a powerful surge of energy before the completion of the activation. This is the time to really push the activation objectives, and ensure that we have reached EVERYBODY that we possibly could have. This is the make-or-break time of the activation!


    17:00 – Time to pack up. By now, the whole team has really bonded over the course of the day. Everyone gets stuck in to ensure a quick, efficient set down. Once all the small elements are packed away, promoters go to change out of their uniforms, with the Ops Team tackling the big elements.


    18:00 – The site is empty, the sun has gone down, and it is time for me to find the event organizer, offer my thanks for a great day, and get out of there.


    19:30 – Drop promoters off at home/at the office for their transport.


    20:00 – Arrive home exhausted, wind-swept, possibly sunburnt, but with a feeling of great accomplishment. Once I have soaked my weary bones and had a bite to eat, I fall into bed with a happy heart and enjoy a well-earned rest.


    Depending on the duration of the activation, that alarm may be set for 04:00 for tomorrow again!


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