Have you ever wondered why you might attend two different events, both of which cost the same, and had a similar number of individuals involved in the planning, organization, and implementation, yet observed a noticeable difference in the quality, and actual and perceived value, etc? Great events rarely occur by accident, but rather are generally a result of a considerable amount of effort expended, and comprehensively examining numerous aspects and considerations, so as to maximize the ability to be fully prepared for as many eventualities as possible. Although it is a somewhat complex process, it becomes far simpler and less stressful, when performed and overseen by a professional planner. Here are 7 key steps to consider, in the professional event planning process, in order to achieve the best possible result, and maximize the proverbial, bang for the buck.
1. Consider: If you want your function to proceed as smoothly as possible, take the time to thoroughly consider the various potential ramifications and eventualities. This means that you should not merely plan, but rather must do so, in a manner which looks at the event in its entirety, from the earliest planning, including budgeting, etc., through the oversight of the actual program, including all the steps in-between.
2. Predict: What do you believe is the most likely result? What might go wrong, and why? What do you base these predictions on?
3. Identify: Begin by focusing on, and identifying, as many relevant factors, as possible. This includes not only looking at the obvious, but those aspects which might impact the overall result, including the goal of the event, as well as the budget, demographics, venue, and how you might best enhance the perceived value.
4. Remedy: Once you’ve identified what might potentially go wrong, what are you going to do, to overcome these obstacles, and what actions will you take, to assure getting the most desirable results? It serves no purpose, if you merely permit obstacles to become problematic stumbling blocks, but rather you must proceed, in an organized, efficient, knowledgeable, efficient and effect way.
5. Observe: Let your past experiences, both as a planner, as well as an attendee, help to guide you to improving your event. Have you observed those factors which drive a value-driven perception, as well as those which have underperformed in the past?
6. Act: If someone says he is a top-notch event planner, beware! Planning, without performance and proactivity, rarely achieves the most desirable results.
7. Tweak, as necessary: Avoid the My way or the highway trap! Wise planning means proceeding with not only a preferred plan, but fully considered contingency or backup plans. Remember that every organization and each event, has some unique aspects, and thus, you must be flexible enough to be ready, willing and able to adjust and make tweaks, in order to get the result you seek!