How You Can Prepare For Your Event - Some Tips -

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Written by T. Vijay

“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”, and Murphy’s Law strikes again! There is nowhere in the work situation so prone to this Law then at events that you organise. Ask anyone doing events if they have experienced this at one time or other….or more times that they would prefer too!

Managing a successful event requires very detailed planning, preparation and follow-through. In the course of carrying out an event (whether indoors or outdoors) you will deal with an assortment of people and organisations: from your own company, community bodies, town councils, the public, police/security and safety services, environment groups, ministries, and so on. In the process, someone, a colleague, supplier, participant or even your very own management personnel or even the weather can throw the spanner in your
works if you just get too lax! And it is when problems strike that they cost you and your organization loss of reputation and customers if you're not on top of every detail.

Experienced event personnel know this just too well. There is so much you have to look out for – details, details, and details – such as for planning and approval processes, entertainment considerations, identification and involvement of key stakeholders, promotion and media strategies, security and safety, back-up plans, manpower, administration and implementation, the budget and so on. Therefore, you cannot underestimate the importance of planning well ahead for an event.

So how can you start out? How can you take steps to minimize Murphy’s Law from occurring?

A comprehensive event planning process is what you would look at – although it cannot guarantee that you would have a trouble free event, it helps you ensure a higher probability of coping with an unforeseen problem that may occur. So exactly what goes into the event planning process? Especially when no two events are the same! What kind of planning guide can you establish to ensure a higher chance of carrying out an operationally and result-wise successful event?

A good planning guide will cover as much of the “A to Z” for staging an event – from considerations of the various factors important for planning purposes, the event manager can insure against prospective problems. Given the myriad of processes involved, as a quick overview some factors to consider would include:

  • the time from conception to delivery of the event
  • an understanding of the type or nature of the event to be organized and the various stakeholders’ deliverables to be fulfilled; profiling your target audience; identify goals and objectives – what the management expect from the event;
  • brainstorming;
  • venue; indoors or outdoors, as having an event at a community hall or shopping mall or at the beach will have a different impact on capacity provisions and crowd management; have a wrong location and everything can go wrong from the beginning-site-planning is critical;
  • the budget – a poorly planned budget will certainly create strains and pressures that an event manager will wish to live without;
  • appointment of event managers/company to undertake the project; or formation of steering and organizing committees;
  • developing an operations schedule; lists of suppliers to services, progress meetings
  • and so on; it would be suicidal to organize an event without a detailed checklist - missing important details can make or break the event; marketing/promotions planning to execution;
  • preparing how to evaluate your event; the quantifiable factors to consider; after event reports.

We have just skimmed a handful of the tips of the “event planning and execution iceberg”. When it comes to
event planning overlook nothing, schedule everything, and be prepared for the unexpected! The trick is
always in the details……