An event can be referred to as many things, for instance a competition, a ceremony, a festival, a party, a demo, etc. In our industry we see a combination of these.
Creating and operating an event, regardless of whether it is grassroots or large scale, is a juggling act. Many issues that you may deal with often can happen in the beginning. One of the first rules of event planning & management is to figure out why you are doing the event. When planning any event you must ask yourself a series of questions to determine if its something that people would want to come to. Listen to what people want, differentiate your event and stop doing exactly whatever everybody else is doing!!
A few things when creating an event you must take into consideration and I have broken down some of the main elements in that process:
First you conceptualize the event (define it) – what is the name of the event, what is your target audience, what’s the mission, where should you have it, when will the event be held, etc. When developing an event make sure you know why and for whom you are creating it. In this stage you will also need to define your sources of revenues (ticket sales, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, etc) – because ultimately you want and need to make money.
After you create/define the event you must then budget it. You will need to be very detailed in order to accurately budget. This is very important, because you may find yourself out of business before you even get started. I would like to point out that even though the cash flow plays an important role, it is also important from a non-financial standpoint that the event becomes an annual event.
Finding a location is a critical part of the process. When selecting a site you need to do research to make sure the location you have chosen is the best for your event. Knowing the local marketplace and the community will only help guide you and in my opinion you should become part of that local scene.
Once the location is selected, comes the most challenging part, in my opinion of the event planning process – finding your sponsors. In most cases the sponsorship support is the very lively-hood and it can be very discouraging at times. I have learned not to take anything personally, because in the long run you are far more productive when staying focused and not letting the intimidation get to you. Finding sponsors is a sales process that is typically a lengthy one.
Once you have done all of the above and more, you will then have to promote it, produce it and basically MAKE-IT- HAPPEN! Many other things will come up along the way and issues will always arrive – that is the nature of events. My advice is to always stay calm and in any instance prepare to have some sort of contingency plan. Creating a list of issues that may happen in the pre-event planning process will help you be better prepared when something does occur.
In the end you must hire & staff the best team possible to make sure that everything is intact and you are ready to go. Essentially no event can run by itself and without the help of a great staff that is motivated to go the extra mile you may run into more problems than necessary. Keep your staff happy and focused on their priorities and this will only help you in producing a successful event.