Event Management, as is obvious from the term, refers to the organized planning and research involved in the proper execution of any event. The event may range from simple social events like birthdays, weddings, family reunions; more complex corporate and official events such as Annual General Meetings, brand promotion meets, product launch parties and also special entertainment events such as live concerts and award ceremonies.
The art and science of managing an event has become a specialized discipline and requires multi faceted skills. Following are 10 things to keep in mind while organizing an event –
Knowledge is power: In order to make an event successful, understanding and knowledge is crucial. No two events are the same and understanding the nuances of what is required for a particular event is crucial. Events such as corporate meetings have their own demands of protocol and procedures. Entertainment events such as concerts require knowledge of various supporting resources to be put in place. Before actually commencing with managing an event, do make sure that you understand what exactly needs to be done. Talk to people who have participated in such events before, talk to other people who have managed such events before, keep yourself constantly updated with the evolving dynamics of each type of event.
Set the Stage: What is perfect for a few persons may turn out to be a claustrophobic experience for a hundred. It is very important to know the number of people who are expected to attend the event beforehand. Make sure the customer has intimated his requirements to you clearly. The choice of the venue will depend on this factor. Very often the decision of choosing a venue is taken jointly with the customer. After the venue is chosen it is essential to obtain maps, scout the location, and take notes.
Prepare today, execute tomorrow: Once a high level understanding of what needs to be done is obtained, it’s time for the planning phase. Chalk up a plan of which actions to be taken, and when. Assign responsibilities to the various actors within you team. Track the progress of each such planned action to completion. Before a big event, it is crucial to conduct dry runs and simulations. If possible, do involve the customer in such a dry run and walk him through of what he may expect during the actual event. This will prevent unpleasant surprises.
Time it Right! When planning an event, work out a plausible time span. No event should be hurried, hectic affair and neither should it be a long drawn affair which puts the audience's patience under test. The agenda should be well balanced, with adequate time contingencies built in.
Tools of the trade: It is also very important to have a grasp over the technicalities that run the show. Arrangement of proper technical equipment and skilled technicians is of prime importance. Nothing can be more embarrassing than a piece of equipment malfunctioning in the middle of the show. Pay attention to detail – for example when two projectors are beaming simultaneously on two ends of the stage, they must be in sync and have the same color balance. Have the technicians check and recheck the equipments before the show starts.
Rules are not always meant to be broken: Organizing an event also requires number of approvals, permissions and procedures to be obtained. These range from permission from the police, civic authority clearances, environmental clearances etc. Make sure you, or your customer, have sought and obtained all necessary approvals and permissions. Stick within the boundaries of the provisions during the event. Never ever make the mistake of landing up in the wrong side of the law.
There is no "I" in teamwork: An event involves a number of players. In some large scale events, it is mind boggling to think of the sheer number of players involved. For example, in a music concert – musicians, sound technicians, light technicians, stage technicians, sponsors, celebrities and of course the general audience. Each of these parts has to function smoothly in order for the whole to work. Communication is the key. Frequent meetings, briefings and rehearsals are needed for everyone to understand what their responsibilities are and how they need to coordinate. During the event have effective communication and coordination mechanisms like wireless headsets, or cell phones. In teamwork, most of all, it is important to forsake egos. Don't try to blame others for anything for might go wrong – instead the entire team should work in close coordination to cover for the slightest mistake made by an individual.
"If anything can go wrong, it will": In spite of the intricate planning, rehearsals and the best of your efforts, things may not always run smoothly and last minute glitches can occur. Do not panic - be prepared for such exigencies. Have a backup plan in place. Arrange for emergency power backups and other technical backup systems. If an inordinate delay occurs (for example a performing artist does not show up on time), plan in advance how to handle the situation and keep the audience occupied.
Safety is paramount: While it is important to have fun, safety is a very important factor. Ensure that emergency exits are well marked and that you have adequate trained personnel to handle the situation in case anything untoward happens. Have the fire brigade and paramedical ready in case of very large events.
Smile!: Last but not the least, always remember that managing an event is all about interacting with people to deliver the best results. Keep a cheerful and positive disposition - it lowers stress for everyone concerned. The customer is always king – some things may not always go your liking, but in the end your satisfaction would come from seeing the event getting executed perfectly.
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Debjita writes for Chillibreeze.
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