The April 20th Fundraiser was a major success! We had over 250 people on the guestlist. We filled up the entire rooftop at Ozio with our guests. I will be picking up the check for the event tonight. I cannot wait to see how much we made in total revenue. Thank you so much everyone for making it a memorable event. I loved seeing your beautiful faces. The best feeling in the world for me as an event planner is after the event is over. Being able to look around and see the fruits of your labor. For every event, I have a process I go through to ensure I am approaching the event in the appropriate manner. How do I go about planning an event? The way I approach an event is the way my professor taught me to in my Tourism 220 class. Thank you Professor Faine for teaching me the event planning process. One of the best classes I took at Mason for sure. The event planning process is as follows:
-Research -Design -Planning -In and Out Coordination -Evaluation
Some people do planning first then design. However, I believe it is important to have a blueprint of what you are trying to achieve then executing the plan. Now, I will go into further details about each step.
Research In this step, you will figure out the objective of your event: Who this event is for, what are you trying to accomplish, when would you like to have the event, where you would like to hold the event, and most importantly why you would like to have the event. You also do research to understand the quantitative and qualitative data of the past events. You want to understand who was this event for the in the past, was it successful, what were the complaints, understand the past event evaluations, what were the positive things and what direction you should take the event this year. This is your chance to brainstorm ideas, ask others for advice, talk to past planners of the event, talk to vendors, guests, and understand the meaning behind the data. You also want to perform a swot analysis to have a clear understand of what are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your event. Strengths and weaknesses are factors that can be spotted before an event. Opportunities and threats are factors that either present themselves during an event or afterwards.
Design In this step you take the information from the research phase and create a blueprint of what you would like the upcoming event to look like. You create the objective of your event, the vision, the theme and answer the who, what, where, when, and why of your event. You also delegate tasks to the appropriate people, set deadlines, and provide transparency of your plan to all stakeholders involved. There are examples of event design templates on the internet. Pick the one that is best suited for your event.
Planning The planning phase is usually the longest phase of the event planning process. It is the preplanning process that brings your vision to life. The design of your event serve as a guide on what steps to take to bring your event to life. It also determines how much time you have to plan the event, what pace you should be working, and who needs to be involved in your event.
Coordination Coordination is the on site management on the day of the event. It is all activities involved from the minute you arrive to the event location until you clean up to go home. It is very important to have a production schedule with a minute to minute guide on when you would all activities completed. It helps create a sense of urgency and helps everyone on your team know when to finish all tasks. Tasks are assigned for the day of the event before you arrive to the location. However, everyone should help with all tasks involved to get ready event.
Evaluation Event evaluation should be clear, concise and straight to the point. If people get tired or do not understand what you are asking of them, you will not have accurate information for your next event. The evaluation can also ask questions in a variety of ways from true and false, open ended, to selecting an option. The evaluation can also provide a link for your next event, a link to your personal site (a way to market your services), and thank them for attending your event or helping with setting up the event. Yes, you should have a separate evaluations for your guests and vendors. It is also important to provide an incentive to help motivate people to fill out your survey as most people do not want to or care to fill one out.
In conclusion, make sure all items involved in your event consistently support the purpose, vision and theme of your event. The 5 step planning process is a guide on how to get started on planning your event. You can move back and forth from one step to the other as you have a need to make changes. After planning several events, you will have a better understanding of your style and the time you need to spend on each step given the event and the time you have for the event.