Apologies for not writing for a loooong time. Workload got the better of me and those year end events are just around the corner..its only 4 months to December! How time flies. With year end parties just around the corner, you are probably planning your year end parties by now. You should – coz almost everything especially the good hotels are booked up.
Well good to think about what are your party themes that you would want to organise for this year. The themes can run gamut from “Under The Sea”/”Safari Jungle” to colours like “Black/Gold” to movies – think “Hollywood/Bollywood Nites” and current events themes like F1 Racing, Olympics, Casino. The list is endless.
Just to start your engine on thinking about the party themes, below are some ideas which you can use for your next “partay”! Read on!
To your success,
7 Ways To Ensure That Your Event Go As Planned!
Sit in a quiet room. Breathe deeply and relax…you are letting go…Now see yourself walking into the event hall, it is arranged as you have planned, your event staff are standing around attentively. When your guests registered at the sign-in desk, they are greeted enthusiastically before being ushered to their seats. The event starts, the emcee came on stage, the audience responded appreciatively. Everything from the sound systems, banquet, and programme was executed flawlessly. At the end of the day, your boss, client came to you and congratulate you on a job well done. Everyone was smiling, you heaved a sigh of relief…..its another day in paradise…:)
Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” Lets minimise this by getting down to the basics and ensuring instead that your event will go as planned!
You must learn to visualize exactly how your whole event will turn out. Spend some quiet time before you start planning for your next event to sketch the picture in your mind and picture it as a successful event.
When I first started planning my first event many moons ago, I was so nervous but I know in my heart that everything will be fine and the event will turn out great. I pictured a great event with a fantastic turnout, everyone enjoying themselves and that everything went smoothly. That calmed me down alot and I set to work on the details next.
Visualising is a powerful tool. It is difficult to create something before you can picture it in your head. Before anything is built, it is first a thought. So have that successful event in your mind first. Now, let’s get on with the details…
2) Have An Onsite Event Timeline or Programme Schedule
This is important so that you and everyone knows what is going to happen minute by minute of the event. The flow of the programme is determined by no one but you, so create a schedule to plan out the start of the event to the end. This will give you an idea of how much time to allocate for each item on the programme. How long should the CEO’s welcome speech be, when and how long will the timing be for teabreaks and other meals. How long should you allocate for each exercise or games that you want your participants or guests to take part in.
Once you have allocated the duration for each item, get it down on paper and distribute to everyone who is involved at the event including the banquet staff, your event staff, the people involved in the programme such as your emcee, your speakers, presenters,performers,etc.
Make sure that everyone involved has an updated copy everytime you make changes. Changes are bound to happen. The key is to let everyone involved in the programme know what the changes are and not leave anyone in the dark. This programme schedule should be more detailed that what is given out to the audience (if you decide to give it out). It should spell out in detail what is going to happen during each item on the programme.
If however you are planning a one-day workshop where you are hosting it yourself, then only you, your event support staff and the banquet staff should know what is going on and act accordingly. How much
details to put in depend on the complexity of your event and the number of people involved.
3) Have An Event Task Force With Their Job Scope Spelt Out On Paper
Depending on the size of your event, you must know who and what support you need to make the event happen. If it is a 1000 pax 3-day conference involving 7 to 10 speakers per day, you may need a team to handle registration for delegates, usherers, a team to take care of the audio visuals, speakers liaison officers and media liaison officers and so on.
Know what their exact job responsibilities are and write it down. As the event planner or project manager, you must work with all of them and ensure that everyone knows what needs to be done and when to do them. Get it down on paper, allocate responsibilities and assign a team leader if need be.
The same thing goes if you are planning for a corporate dinner party with entertainment. You will be working with entertainers (singers, dancers, magicians) emcee, DJ (disc jockey), talents, stage manager, floor manager, greeter – the works. So get everyone’s task down on paper and let them know what they need to do and when.
4)Banquet Instructions To The Banquet Staff/Venue Manager
If you are organising your event in a hotel or convention venue, you will be working with someone from the banquet department. No matter how many meetings and prior discussion you have with them, it is not enough just to instruct them verbally. They must be given clear instructions on how you want everything to be set up in writing. From the wordings on the signages and seating arrangements, what food to be served, where the banquet will be, stage and registration set up – you must write down a list of instructions to the banquet staff and venue manager.
Most times, the venue manager will have a banquet order that will list out what you want, I dont really like to use them as I find them restrictive – its an order form, some of the things that I want at the event may not even be there and the remarks column just don’t cut it for me.
So I suggest you create your own instructions. Make it clear, with subheading such as :
ROOM SET UP:
STAGE SET UP:
5)Run Through Everything That You Planned The Day Before With Everyone Involved
This may sound like common sense but not everyone practice this. You must have a mini-rehearsal or at least an event briefing before the event starts. Go through the event schedule, event task force list, banquet instructions, with everyone that are involve. Ideally this should be done on the day before. If it is not a big event, two or three hours before the event starts should be sufficient bearing in mind that everyone already has a copy of the event schedule and the event task force list prior to the briefing.
Go through with your venue manager onsite before the event and walk through the instructions with them including going to the various spots or locations at the venue where you want your set up.
Once you are comfortable that everyone knows what needs to be done on the event day, you can then brace yourself for the event to start!
6)At Your Event – Have a standby technician to help you with the Audio Visual
The number one thing that can go wrong at any event is the audio visual systems. Its always a “technical fault” Remember that when you do your events at hotels, they only provide a basic sound system. If you want your event to go smoothly, get a reputable sound system vendor – you may have to pay a bit more but it is worth it. What’s more, you can get them to standby at the event to ensure that the AV system works and if it
doesnt, they can rectify it immediately.
If you use the hotel’s sound systems, their technician has to take care of other rooms in the hotel if there are other events going on. To get them to give you a new microphone if yours suddenly did not work can take ages and as you know some guests do not like to wait.
7) Anticipate! Anticipate! Anticipate!
As the event manager, even though everyone has been briefed on what must be done and when, you must be able to anticipate what is going to happen minute by minute of your event. For example, if the first item on the programme is the welcome speech and the CEO is already on stage speaking, you must always anticipate what is next on the agenda and ensure that whatever it is that must be there is already standing by.
If the next item is a lucky draw, for example, make sure that the person in charge of the prizes and the glass bowl to draw the names is standing by near the stage. If no one is standing by, go look for them – and do something!
The idea is to anticipate what must happen next. I can assure you that if you follow all these 7 tips, your next event will go smoothly and as planned!
©2009 Maya Kuchit-Desjarlais, Convention Links (S) Pte Ltd
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