Having worked in the Makawao event planning industry for almost 7 years there are not many surprises left – but occasionally I still get the, “They did what?” pass my lips! Why am I not surprised anymore – because over the years the number one rule for event planning is putting time into the pre planning of the event, and then planning contingencies for the exceptions that may happen?
So where do you start? As far out from the event date as possible as getting space is the first step. In Makawao, where we do a lot of work, it is not unusual to be booking one year out at some of the venues, as they are booked solidly every week.
The first few decisions are the easiest. What is the budget? What is the event about? A party, corporate seminar, convention, festival, wedding, or an anniversary – the list is endless, but one thing remains constant once the event has a name and the type of event is decided, the next step will be to decide where to hold the event. This is where the real event planners stand out from the crowd. So you have an event – okay lets book a hotel is normally the next answer but why would you miss out on an opportunity to create a unique experience?
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Time management is an essential part of event planning. Event planning is not a casual affair; you need professional training for proper planning and management of the event. Time is very important. We keep wasting a lot of time and at the end of the day we realize that time has passed away and nothing has been accomplished yet. If we would have used this time in a proper manner we would achieve more in less time. Time is a tool which can either help you in making your career and it can even break your career.
Stress is a part of job; people feel stressed out due to working for long hours. Working for long hours is actually not the real issue; in most of the cases managing time is the real problem. You have to manage your time properly in order to remained relaxed and stress free.
Time management is a simple process. With proper time management you will recognize that you achieve more in less time. This will help you in doing extra work and providing time to other important jobs. When you try to get a job in an event planning company; you can easily get a job if you have taken event planning courses. This is because the employers feel that you are well aware of the important of time management. Here are tips for managing time in an effective manner:
1. In time management; you have first identify the most important jobs and the least important jobs. You should focus on the important ones and you should give the least important ones to your subordinates. This way the most important jobs will have all your attention.
2. You should be more focused on results and less focused on tasks. People develop a do list. They feel that if they have this list; they will never miss out on any work and they will be able to manage time. Do list is of no great help; instead it wastes your time because too many jobs are listed on one paper and you waste a lot of time on identifying which one is the most important job.
3. Balance is very important; entertainment is as important as work and sleep is as important as work. If you do not rest and keep on working; you will figure out that the quality of your work is deteriorating.
Time management is the core of event planning. If you have mastered this art then you can become a successful event planner and will be able to manage all affairs in the least possible time.
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You've been tasked with planning an event and don't know where to begin. Take a deep breath, anyone with any level of event expertise can take an event from good to great. Here is how:
For beginners, it is imperative that you do your homework. You must first generate an event plan and consider the building blocks of any event: target market, situational analysis, the 6 P's and planning.
Let's get started. Think very clearly about the people you are trying to attract. Ask yourself the question: Who is your target market?
Once you identify those that will be attending your event, allow yourself time to travel into the hearts and minds of your potential audience. Believe me; knowing what kinds of things they like to see, do, buy and eat will be helpful as your event plan begins to come to life.
Now that you have your target market in mind, let's take a look at your situational analysis. You will need to examine your internal strengths and weaknesses and your external opportunities and threats as they relate to whatever you are planning to do. You must be brutally honest with yourself when analyzing the various components of your event.
The next step in taking your event from good to great is to identify the 6 P's of event planning: Purpose, People, Product, Place, Price and Process. Outlined below you will find the questions related to each P that you should answer prior to diving into the planning phase.
- Why are you doing this event? (Purpose)
- Who will attend? (People)
- What are you going to do? (Product)
- When and where? (Place)
- How much is it going to cost you? (Price)
- How are you going to get the job done? (Process)
Now that you have identified your target market, have performed a situational analysis and have answered the building block questions of planning an event, you are ready to develop a formal event plan and begin execution shortly thereafter.
A formal event plan has several interrelated components: goal, objectives, strategies, tactics, budget, timetable and evaluation. Your written detailed plan of action will serve as the backbone to your master event plan. Keep it close at hand and refer back to it often.
Congratulations, at this point you have finished your homework and can now move into the imaginative, fun side of event planning! Take your events to the next level by identifying a theme and carrying that theme from start to finish.
Planning a successful event is no walk in the park. It is tedious work and requires an individual who always keeps their dancing shoes and party hat nearby. One who is forever excited about the adventure and who remembers that problems that will inevitably arise but the beat must go on.
You've got a plan, now the let the event begin. You are on your way from good to great!