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Event Planning and Management
Event planning tips shared by an expert
Event planning is the coordination of an event and entails logistics such as budgeting, looking for and engaging speakers or entertainers, choosing venue, theme and arranging for catering services.
Event management also known as event organizing entails employment of project management to an event planning process to deliver large scale events such as concerts. It is the process of putting together and producing an event. It involves allocation of people, resources and other services to achieve the desired goal.
Whether it is a birthday party, a graduation ceremony, thanksgiving occasion or a product launch, event planning solutions will come in handy to make your event a success.
Nuggets of putting together a successful event
Be clear on what you want
It is imperative to have the end picture in mind so that you can plan accordingly. This will help you have a clear goal of what you want the event in question to achieve. Is it a product launch you want? Is it a wedding or a graduation event? How big in terms of attendance, which day and month? Simplicity of the goal yet with details of what you want to achieve is the starting point.
An example of a clear goal is a new product launch event, attended by 200 business leaders of blue chip companies in FMCG industries, in a five-star hotel
Target audience/know your customer
You should fully understand the requirements of your client or the audience that will attend your event. If you are planning an event for a client, you should research and know the market segmentation and dynamics such as competition among others.
What does your client want? Is it a re-launch or launch of a new brand category? Has the client had such an event before, what worked and what did not work? What marketing channels did the client use? Can you recommend better ones?
If for instance you are planning a product launch such as fuel monitoring solution, then it would be prudent to invite car manufacturers and dealers as well as other partners such as banks and insurance companies to the event. Consider extending a well thought out partnership or sponsorship invitation to organizations in the motor industry.
Compose, brief and delegate to your team
If you already have an event organizing team in place, you need to brief them on the project that is in the offing. If you need to outsource or come up with one, then recruit a competent team in line with the roles to be executed, brief them on project’s scope and timelines as well as deliverables.
As an event manager, do not delegate and take a back sit, you should be proactive to follow up, guided by a checklist, so that together with your team, you deliver the promise of a successful event and beat deadline.
Once you have clarity of goal and a team in place, then you need to plan on execution and roll it out. This entails allocation of duties-who is to do what and when, coordinating of suppliers, booking the venue, doing the invitations, contacting speakers and entertainers, managing promotions, PR and advertisement.
Be guided by data
Importance of research cannot be overemphasized in the event planning process. Every decision you make should be guided by data. If you are choosing online marketing options for your event, will it work for the specific audience being targeted? Will traditional advertising be the better option?
Differentiate your event
You will create a wow! experience by differentiating delivery of your event through creativity. Wow customer service and follow up with audience and client after the event will go a long way. As guests attend your event, they should be received warmly and with a “personal” touch. Go the extra mile to make your event memorable and unique.
Quality should not be compromised. In fact, your event should embrace the triple bottom line. This is an accounting framework also known as TBL or 3 BL. TBL encompasses three P’s –profit, people and planet.
Besides the profits being the main bottom line, ensure that you have the right people (experienced) and well taken care of (trained and well remunerated). Consider offering a few tickets to community representatives for the society where you operate/target audience to appreciate that your company minds them.
In addition, environmental friendliness and sustainability should be considered. Do you have to print documents for guests attending your event or can they be projected and emailed later?
Whereas event planning can be involving and overwhelming, it is important to consider all important details including “small details.” In fact, the small things matter the most in an event. If the event manager does not remind all ushers on the dress code, you may end up with ushers dressed in all colours of the rainbow, contrary to what the client might have wanted.
Small details such as asking the sound technician/DJ to play a specific playlist will ensure that guests are treated to the music they like.
Ensuring microphones are tested and tuned to the right pitch will avoid unintended program breaks and interruptions to fix the sound and also ensure that speakers are audible. If rehearsals are required by all performing acts ensure all comply.
Have a checklist to confirm that each task is being executed and indicate status (not done, work in progress or completed).
Things do not always run as per the script. This only happens in a movie and after the editing has been done. Deviations, disappointments usually occur during events.
The chief guest can have an emergency and fly out of the country one day to the event. The main act may arrive a bit late into the program. Power blackouts can occur when the event is in progress. Have plan B to allow for contingencies.
When and where is very important. Doing a product launch when there are international events such as soccer, competing for TV airtime may not be the ideal time as this may not give your event the required attention and as a result fail to have the right impact
Tap on technology
The world is moving from brick and motor to embracing technology. In lieu of physically sending printed cards to invite people for events, you can send e-cards and ask guests to register through online platforms such as on Google forms.
Social media is proving to be a viable marketing tool. In 2016, 6.8 million Kenyans were on Face Book, 2.5 million on LinkedIn, 2 million on Twitter and 1.2 million were on Google plus. You can use social media to increase publicity and marketing of your event.
Do not multitask
Multitasking is overrated. In fact does not exist. What people may call multitasking may translate to doing many tasks unsatisfactorily in a short span of time. Aim to execute one task at a time but efficiently, effectively and economically.
In conclusion these tips will be important to making your event planning process easier and effective.
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You can also watch this motivating clip on the Journey to success by one Jamlick Kogi.