When hosting an event, developing a plan will allow you to move forward in an organized fashion and create an environment for success.
There are six steps to developing Event Plan:
1. Organization and Community Assessment
2. Goal Setting
5. Post Event Assessment
6. Administrative Decision Making
Step 4: Implementation
Responsibilities- Delegate tasks and responsibilities, identifying clear lines of accountability, reporting relationships, and deadlines.
Be realistic about task load.
Keep in mind available amount of time.
Allow people to identify others to support the work.
Listen when someone says that he/she is swamped. Identify others to help.
Do not let things slip through the cracks and become a crisis.
Publicity- Catch the attention of your target group and make them want to seek more information. Use a variety of media and techniques. It may not be so much advertising the event as highlighting your organization. Involve members of the targeted group in designing the campaign.
Has your event historically been a sell out? If so, plan to end your advertising of the event within a day or two of tickets becoming available. Always include the ticket sale location, cost and availability in your marketing. Advertise ticket sales a minimum of one week in advance of the tickets becoming available.
Remember to include an ADA statement in all of your marketing. 'For accommodations related to accessibility contact, ___________ by ________.'
If you wish to use photography of people in any way make sure to complete a photo release form (Word Document) for each person featured.
Location- The location of the program and your knowledge of it is critical to the success of your program. Take into consideration the traffic flow, available square footage, possible set-up configurations, lighting, access, parking, technology and equipment.
Set a meeting with the facility staff early in the planning process. Tell your event story; allow them to tell you what is possible. With enough time, and bit of money, almost anything is possible.
Set specific times to meet with the facility staff throughout the planning process.
Communicate all needs and changes well in advance of the event.
Document all of your interactions; follow up all conversations with an email outlining your perceived agreements.
Equipment- Be certain adequate amounts of all needed materials are on hand and in good working order. If a trained technician is required to operate a device, be sure to schedule that person.
Check all equipment prior to the beginning of your event! Do not assume that anything works.
Be certain to get specific equipment needs for all performers prior to the event day. How many microphones, amp and voltage requirements, what type of lighting, etc.
Evaluation- Collect evaluative responses from participants. Solicit both process evaluations, on how well the planning and implementation went, and product evaluations, on the elements contained in the program itself. Use a variety of media for evaluation: face-to-face interviews, written forms, telephone calls, suggestion cards.
These are the first four steps in creating a comprehensive event plan. Organizations that take the time and make the effort to move forward in this way will have a comprehensive guide outlining the good work of the organization and an opportunity to raise the bar of success of their events.