Having worked in the Makena 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 Makena, 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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A useful event planning guide needs a large section on what exact equipment you will need. Have you ever been an event planner at an event and had the spine chilling moment when you realised that a vital bit of equipment had totally been forgotten about? Yep me to. That is one of the reasons I put this article together. The amount of technical equipment you will need will depend on what kind and size of event you are organising. A good Event Production Company will be able to advise you. A good place to start is to think about what media you want to use to get across your messages? Meanwhile, here are a few things to get you started.
Ask yourself and your speakers/presenters:
- What visual mediums will be used in presentations? PowerPoint slides, video, DVD?
- What type of screen is needed, a simple screen, projector and lap top, or a more complex stage set with lighting and graphics? All of these may depend on the size of your audience generally the larger the audience the more equipment you will need.
- Plus, do you want, front, back or fly projection?
- Will you need a Public Performance License? i.e. for Videos or DVD's or music you plan to play?
Now for some practical stuff..
- What size PA System and how many microphones do you need?
- What type of microphones do you need: Lapel, Hand Held or Lectern?
It's handy to have backups too. I was at an event recently where there was a shortage of roving mikes available for a question and answer session. The audience was about 300. The client gave the organiser a significant grilling after the event. Remember that errors like this can often lose you and your company a significant contract. That is why planning ahead is so vital to run a successful event. Something that is necessary is a supply of mike runners, or mike stands. With many companies recording events to leverage afterwards having all questions on tape is vital. A few agile mike runners will ensure that everyone has a mike at the correct time.
How will the organising team communicate, can you use Walkie Talkies?
How many technicians will you need and can the Event Production Company provide the right amount of people resource as and when you need it?
Finally a really good event production company can tell your more about systems such as:
- Electronic badges,
- Data readers to collect bar code information,
- Credit card payments for offers made at events
All are increasingly being used at larger events. When you know exactly what it is used need, create your own mini event planning guide that is bespoke to your event. Sometimes the simplest
ideas are the best. Mine becomes my 'event bible'!