The Five Cs Of Event Planning
ALTHOUGH it does take plenty of creativity to design an event that is memorable and meaningful, it also takes careful attention to detail, adaptability, effective delegating, and a lot of work. The process of planning an event from start to finish may be divided into 5 basic phases, which we have called the 5 Cs. These are Concept, Coordination, Control, Culmination and Closeout.
In conceptualizing an event, it is important to determine the following:
The WHY of the event. Is it to inform and/or educate the community about a cause, or to raise funds, or is it an award ceremony, a funeral rite for a departed loved one or even a wedding? Whatever it is the event is to achieve must be stated very clearly from the onset.
The WHO of the event i.e. the major stakeholders of the event. This also dictates the type of event to conduct and helps with the necessary information to bring together the creative elements of the event.
The WHEN of the event.
The WHERE of the event, and
The WHAT of the event. This must match the needs, wants, desires and expectations of the audience, and must synergize with the why, who, when and where of the event.
This is the planning phase of every event. The activities in this phase include developing a theme, budgeting, establishing timelines, selecting and reserving event venues, planning the food, selecting speakers, arranging for equipment and facilities, coordinating transportation, contingency planning and so on. It is taking note of and giving attention to every detail that makes up the event.
Having defined the scope of your event, it is highly important to put control measures in place. Event control compares event progress to the actual plan, measures resources with scheduled work and adjusts what needs to be done to avoid scope creep and to ensure that event is delivered on time and within budget. Event control also deals with conflict resolutions as well as supplier and vendor relationship management.
This is the highest point of every event, the coordination of the event day itself where the result of all the previous planning is seen. The activities in event culmination include event team management, supplier/vendor coordination, crowd control, security, frontline management, backend management and communication. All of these define the event experience for the attendees, whether or not the event is a memorable one.
After events are completed and the client has approved the outcome, some post event activities are equally necessary to highlight the event process. These include review and evaluation, reporting, quality improvement, reward and recognition to team members, and formal termination of contractors where applicable.
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