Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Event Landscape Changed Today

Today MVKA, an iconic Vancouver event production agency announced it was closing. For me, this signals the end of an era. When I entered the industry 18 years ago, Martin was one of the first people I met, and while we know each other through the social fabric of our event community, I have always been impressed with his graciousness, instilled through the entire organization. As an example, last year when we won the bid to produce the Welcome Reception for the MPI WEC in Vancouver, the second email (after hearing we had won) was from JP, the DOS at MVKA, with their congratulations. Soon after they won the bid for the Closing Reception for MPI, and my perception as an attendee was that they rocked this, and took risks with the perception of Vancouver I might not have. Bravo!

MVKA (from the outside) has always been a team of professionals who added to our industry with the high caliber of events they produced, and the ongoing contributions to the industry through various channels. This has been a creative force that has taken chances, elevated the standards and has also continuously shared their passion and ideas with others in the industry. Thank you!

Having been through the closing of an event organization (in 2003) and having survived the impact as one individual affected, I can foreshadow the impact to come on our local industry as these talented individuals find their new paths. I know from experience a little of what will come to pass, as do my compatriots from that time, people I still proudly call friends and whose collective successes we can continue to celebrate. Every single person (including Martin) is about to embark on their own personal journey, and they will all find new successes. What I know for sure, is the opportunities that will come their way may not be what they expect, or had even considered, but are sure to provide clients here and around the world with even more impactful events. I know each each of them will bring their talents and thoughtful creativity to wherever they find themselves next. As we did.

I wish for each member of this team only the best, they deserve it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

GMIC - 20 final thoughts

As I have mentioned, I live in Vancouver, where we do consider ourselves sustainable - not perfect but certainly taking some great steps. This week it was awesome to see, as they self - referred, the "Choir" of Green Meeting and Event Professionals at the GMIC event at the Doubletree Portland. By all accounts, a hotel ahead on sustainability, while still maintaining very high standards, excellent food quality and presentation, and yes, the warm cookies. (hello!!)

I blogged to support the (Spruce Almighty) team and became a virtual extension of the event. As they did say in their final wrap-up to keep communicating the message, I have just a few things to continue the conversation. I will note here that I have a lot of thoughts on being green and even more on being sustainable but as I have covered these in the blog links here, I won't rehash my pretty strong feelings and amazing examples. Instead a focus on the awesome information, lessons and next steps that came out of GMIC.
  1. This is the "choir" who must now continue to spread the message of sustainability.
  2. Social gaming, when properly structured, is an amazing tool for increasing the depth and breadth of learning, engagement and relationship building. Make the time to plan for it, communicate it, and promote it. Then debrief it.
  3. Meeting and event professionals are ideally positioned to make huge impacts if we take even small steps on each meeting to make them more sustainable.
  4. As strategists, we need to maintain our seat at the table, and ensure that sustainability is high on the agenda of every event's basic structure.
  5. Open source your knowledge. When we share knowledge we open ourselves up to even more opportunities to learn and grow.
  6. We must consider our entire supply chain, and engage suppliers in discussion about our objectives and expectations around sustainability.
  7. We know sustainability is high on consumer and client wish lists. But "green" is just one factor. They also want to know if the people producing the product are being treated fairly, if there is cooperation, and that we care about where our products are being made and how.
  8. We need to not only engage in discussion, but we need our suppliers and stakeholders to own the process with us and share responsibility for sustainability.
  9. Social media is an amazing tool, not just for hybrid meetings, but also for continuing the discussions and growing the reach of the messages.
  10. The messages must be consistent.
  11. SMART goals are both important, but are also something as event professionals that we can work with our clients and stakeholders to better articulate - leading to meetings that are more productive. (pick the words that fit you best)
    1. S - specific, significant
      M - measurable, meaningful, motivational

      A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

      R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

      T - time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
  12. Experimentation in safe environments is important to growth. Accept the growing pains, enjoy the innovations gained along the way. (no experimenting = no innovation)
  13. Collaboration is the most important transformative tool.
  14. Collaboration is "easier" when started face-to-face. It can be started with off-line tools, but it is trickier - off-line is an awesome way to continue the conversations. Indefinitely.
  15. Standards can be sexy. Ask anyone who has given their time (and it takes TIME to reach consensus) to bring one standard after another to fruition.
  16. The only way for standards to become standards is if we engage with and use them.
  17. Think in bulk - save packaging where you can. Bring your own water bottle or mug for example and encourage others to do the same. (hotel soap / shampoo, condiments and so much more)
  18. Apparently bags are on the way out (btw check these out - made from fabric reclaimed before it becomes landfill and sewn by home sewers)
  19. Be a champion. Embrace the challenge. Sustainability is not an option.
  20. Our First Nations ancestors plan ahead for seven generations. What will our world be like in seven generations if we don't step up and take responsibility now? 
    1. Be the change you want to see!  Thank you so much to the board, leaders, speakers, presenters, staff, team and volunteers who all made this happen.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

GMIC - 10 Tweetable Moments

Ah, the tweetable moments... here we go

  1. collaboration = transformation via @mdanimonroe
  2. our mission is clear, be inspired from Pedro from Estoril
  3. Don't see sustainability as penance. via @mitchellbeer
  4. It's about the solutions. Who are the strategiest via @mitchellbeer
  5. be a champion: use standard right for your org, commit to providing feedback, serve as a case study via @LisaKraus
  6. APEX/ASTM standards are misunderstood to be US standards; can be applied globally via @eco_efficient
  7. APEX standards are a living document. The only way to make them perfect is to engage with the process via @hduckworth
  8. leadership and conversation both needed to move forward via @laurelcootePMB
  9. you can be green and run a sustainable business. pay attention to supply chain via @TahiraCreates
  10. f2f with future GMIC leaders - talk about renewable energy (now that is what we are talking about!) 

GMIC - Virtually Missing...

Well I have just said what I like so here is what you miss as a virtual attendee
  1. Hugs. When you get together with a group like this, and the tweeps you have met, you get a lot of hugs.
  2. Food. Let's face it, my kashi and yogurt was delicious, but lonely. It looks like the Doubletree is knocking it out for y'all
  3. Voodoo Donuts. ok. location specific. Like the warm cookies. Hello Doubletree.
  4. Fashion Shows. Seriously - that looked like the coolest idea EVER. Nice one.
  5. Hallway conversations. that are longer than 140 chararters.
  6. Pink Power. GO GreenA_V
  7. Live brainstorming. Skype was more successful for @samueljsmith than for our team
  8. Sessions beyond the general sessions - especially the improv one with @jenisefryatt looked quite awesome
  9. Having compressed, focused time with people who matter.
OK, but I did save some carbon attending this way...

GMIC - Virtually Amazing

For those of you that have been following my blog, you know that I am basically addicted to events, and that I believe that all events can be done with sustainability front of mind. By sustainability, I mean BIG PICTURE sustainability, as I blogged about for Engage365 - the 3ps of Meeting Planning.

While I would have loved to have been live at the Green Meetings Industry Council Event in Portland this week, for time and money, I had to make a choice, and instead found myself at Event Camp live, and as a virtual attendee at GMIC and team member of Team Spruce Almighty.  What an awesome thing, to be able to be engaged from my desk and thank you to this team (GMIC and its many sponsors and Spruce specifically) for making this possible.

Things I have learned so far:
  1. Face to face remains the most important way for people to connect, but
  2. Engaged virtual attendees have a lot to offer and including this option increases opportunity on both sides
  3. I am lucky to work now primarily in Vancouver / Whistler / Banff, all true leaders in sustainable meetings and living (I know but hey, it is my blog, right...)
  4. Cooperation is necessary - integrate and initiate discussions about how all the partners you work with can fit into a more sustainable model
  5. Solutions that start with looking at the entire supply chain and work their way through the various details of the meeting are integral to continued success
  6. APEX is a great tool and will fit well with standards around the globe
  7. We need to not only use the sustainable tools we have, but to communicate them, pre-event, during it and following - show what we are doing TOGETHER
  8. We have the opportunity to be leaders in change and we must embrace the opportunities and be leaders in sustainability
  9. Sustainability is thinking strategically - when we as planners can show that we think strategically we get to sit at the table with the "big kids" and be much, much more effective in bringing our organizations overriding brand messages and values to life in live events (which are fundamentally one of the most powerful tools in our marketing and communication mix)
  10. Every step counts  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Neat" Conference Ideas

Today @leahmacvie tweeted out a request for a "neat" conference idea. I could not fit it into a tweet so here we go...
  1. add twitter #hashtag / moderator - engage people pre, during and post - amazing relationship builder
  2. look at the "Conferences that Work" model for small meetings by @asegar - build trust through confidentiality and crowdsource topics
  3. use name badeges with name and a like or interest vs org / title
  4. make it like a TV show
  5. change the  Environment - another example is a venue like Catalyst Ranch (@catalystranch) in Chicago
  6. what about improv - with a local group or ask @jenisefryatt
  7. add a game element (check out Event Camp National Conference Chicago #ecnc) for a session led by @GreenA_V and @jessicalevin for more ideas
  8. make more time for hallway conversations
  9. NO panel sessions where everyone agrees - nothing interesting about watching a love-in
  10. make it sustainable - tell them how you are doing it (the why we hope is more obvious) 29 tips for greening your meetings
  11. Don't be scared to try something Unexpected
  12. ask attendees to be guest bloggers - to choose one session they are attending and take the best notes ever to share with their peers post event - what were their take aways? Collect into one spot
  13. money for a keynote? - speakers for example Michael Gelb will do a dinner session on Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking - drink wine and write poetry as a learning tool  - who wouldn't like that?
  14. introduce interactive elements - bubble hockey, contact jugglers, word cloud whiteboard about what they hope to learn or share - it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive - just fun and relevant
  15. fun with food (this is definitely another whole post)
  16. Pure silliness... pin the antler on the moose!
  17. flashmobs, tweetups, rock band coffee breaks...
  18. and thank you for the reminder in the comments and shamelessly added in later... Mike McAllen of Grass Shack - hybrid, graphic recording, podcasts, skype in (even for breakout peeps)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What I loved about Event Camp! #ECNC

Last fall I attended Event Camp Twin Cities as a registered virtual attendee, and then repeated that experience at PCMA 2011. Both experiences had their benefits, heightened by the level of engagement of both the f2f and the virtual attendees sharing ideas and knowledge together.

Both provided opportunities to see that there is a community far beyond the limitations set by geography, finances, or time to meet people and share thoughts, ideas and concrete data on moving our industry continually forward. As our participants become more connected and more knowledgeable via multiple streams available to all of us at the touch of a keyboard, mobile device or tablet, it is incumbent upon us as meeting and event professionals to create environments that are most conducive to engagement, contribution, relationship building and higher learning.

All of this led me to the decision that I MUST attend Event Camp National Conference in Chicago, and what a great decision that was. Here are a few of the things I learned. These are not even the "real" take-aways - for that I will refer back to the twitter stream and remind myself (and so many others) of all of them!

1. Engaging in social media with #eventprofs and #engage365 among others provided a sense of community prior to attending - I could not wait to meet my new #ecnc tweeps!

2. When you already have a sense of who is attending, there is a sense of anticipation that cannot be duplicated - you are going to meet friends, and that awkwardness of attending a conference alone is non-existent. This can obviously have applications for many.
 3. It takes a community. Thank you @mizcity @jessicalevin @mmcallen @heidithorne @michaelmccurry and others across all the event camps who have taken the responsibility to make these great.

4. You meet people with hugs not handshakes - I arrived to meet at least 15 friends, but had only met one before f2f (@glennthayer you are even more interesting than I could have imagined - thank you for the fantastic stories)

5. Virtual hosts, or as we are about to call them Hybrid Event Concierges (yes you heard it first at #ECNC @EricaStAngel) such as the role Glenn Thayer brought to ECNC are an integral part of a hybrid experience

6. Catalyst Ranch - just google this - very cool, very thought provoking, very inspired venue when you are seeking solutions, innovations or just plain happiness (they will outsource their design ideas too).  Plus, the food was great - awesome selection, lots of nutritious choices, and enough "play" food that it offered a great balance.

7. It is good to share - I had the opportunity to share my room with the most lovely young lady @lizkingevents and this was one of the best parts of my experience, and another community builder (yes Liz you will see me in New York!)

8. The ability to capture information and to extrapolate learnings in real time through a combination of lecture, discussion and the ongoing ubiquitous twitter stream adds a depth to understanding that cannot be replicated

9. Involving virtual attendees and presenters via Skype adds dimension to what we learn and provides alternate perspectives that could not otherwise happen

10. There is no longer a separation from real and virtual - social networks - whichever you may choose to engage in (or not) are going to continue to grow in strength and numbers, and embracing it opens up doors you can't yet imagine

11. There are people in the world who are scared of pickles. Really.

12. Virtual presenters when added via Skype are an excellent way of sharing and thank you to @lindydreyer @GreenA_V and Klososky (see below) for taking the time and making this work

13. Your own community will have great presenters - and using crowdsourcing to narrow down presenters and topics ahead of time can help drive sessions people want. @brandtkrueger @glennthayer and @psalinger among those I saw - thank you for bringing it

14. @chrisbrogan @lizstrauss are both as nice and as smart and as funny as you would expect - I remain impressed

15. @kikilitalien - you are the sweet spot - of social media and more

16. You can change the world one teen at a time. Their perspectives are incredible and thank you @hankwasiak for your incredible, inspiring stories

17. Mullets are still in fashion. Right @ScottKlososky ?!?

18. Social media crosses all boundaries of age, gender and experience. This is a very, very good thing.

19. Social media may be the bane of privacy and legal departments but it is here to stay so learning how to use it to your advantage, is to your advantage.

20. An engaged virtual audience adds depth - thank you to so many of you who shared - check out the on-line archives to see all that everyone had to say - some amazing takeaways.

21. On - line archiving. ROCKS. Thank you Event Camp for continuing to keep the messages alive. Follow the #ecnc tag or Event Camp

22. The Velvet Chainsaw and Mid-course Corrections @velchain @jeffhurt - you are as relevant and engaging in real life, ok, maybe more.

23. Event Camp West Coast. Please.

24. You never know where the next great idea is going to come from (as in the above). One great (unrelated) idea I see coming is from @tracibrowne, trade show maestro and @asegar (Conferences That Work, a totally excellent read) is Exhibit Camp - which looks to me like it will be a most unique opportunity for exhibitors who want to maximize their opportunities that drive revenue. Oh how I love awesome ideas!

I look forward to seeing what else people have to share.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Education or experience?

I started this post and stopped, more than once. Today I dropped in and out of an #assnchat that was really about this topic and it has made me re-think about this again. So tonight, as I sit watching the class I teach (Event Planning 101) work on designing their projects that are due in six weeks, it seems an appropriate time to delve back into this topic.

Experience = Experience. Full Stop. Experience + Certification = credibility.
I didn't say this - it is in the transcript from the #assnchat you will find below.
Is it true? What matters to our peers? bosses? future bosses? clients?

Work life balance
First, I think formal education, in any context is a personal choice. I come from a family of teachers, and some degree of formal education and a yearning for "academic approval" is part of what feeds me. First, some history. When I was 13 I got my first job. In a hair salon. I took beauty culture (you cannot make that name up!) in high school, and at 17 graduated, wrote my license and went to work. I sought education through shows, and as I became a salon manager, went back to college and took some basic business classes. Mostly, I learned everything the hard way about managing staff, as you are apt to do at 21, when you still know nearly everything there is to know! I went on to educate stylists about haircolor for a leading manufacturer, grew the salon from 5 to 14 staff and attended lots of shows, and loved what I did.

At 26, I had to have life changing surgery on both arms and was told accurately I would not be able to cut hair again. So I cried. and cried. and cried. Then I saw a tiny ad for a brand new diploma in Event Management. Oooh, glamour and excitement waited, I was sure. Now this was 1993, so the textbooks were AH&MA or Joe Goldblatt. The magazines were full of names like Joan Eisenstodt, Greg Ruby, Jeff Rasco, Corbin Ball, Andrea Michaels, Colin Cowie and John Daly. Oh, how I longed to be as knowledgeable, as experienced...

I graduated, and went to work as a coordinator, with a naturally underwhelming salary, which of course with my 2yr (compressed into an intensive 1) diploma I was ready to take on the world. I joined MPI, joined the local chapter board, and learned all I could. Eventually I was asked if I wanted to do some teaching, and dabbled, formalizing this with a Provincial Instructors Diploma, and obtaining my CMP. I worked at a PCO, and did many city-wides and some traveling across North America. After 8 years, I decided to focus on creative production and worked for a fantastically creative DMC until it closed unexpectedly. I then went on to the agency side as a Producer at an incentive house.

Oh the travel, the excitement, the EXPERIENCE gained. But I was not seeing my children, and I was at a place / time where I was not learning anything really new. (before Twitter) I attended industry conferences across North America - some really great conferences, but the takeaways became smaller - typical as more experience is gained. I decided to go back to school and earned my Degree in Hospitality Management. Here HR, Risk management, Branding, Tourism and Marketing, Finance and Yield Management were all explored.  The peer group was awesome - leaders in our community, who had hit the same ceilings and went back to get a degree too. A smart institution recognizing a hole in the industry and filling it.

So does all this education matter?  Not really. I have not worked for anyone yet - organization or client that cares what credentials I have. They care a lot that I come to the table with a lot of experience, a lot of common sense, a high degree of enthusiasm for creating and delivering exceptional events with the awesome team I work with, and that their guests have a memorable, relevant, authentic experience - whether it is a few hours or a few days; whether it is in Vancouver, Beijing, Stockholm or Boston.

Do I regret the time spent on education?  Not one tiny bit. I have read more textbooks than I can remember,and have spent much time in classrooms and doing homework and have met many great learners and have had numerous great instructors - each piece a building block - all good. Do I think that it is imperative to get a certification - whether CAE, CSEP, CMM, CMP, diploma or degree? Definitely not. If you want it - then go for it! If you don't - that is ok too. I believe that education should be a personal choice and if you decide that your learning should be dance, yoga, tae kwon do, ikebana, improv theatre or culinary training - learn more about what interests you.

Find your passion, feed your passion. Personally, I can't wait for event camp - in just three days! 

I loved seeing the multiple opinions expressed in assnchat today - so have included the link to the transcript here. So many valid thoughts shared!  #assnchat certifications chat Feb 8/11

Meeting Certifications - Which one is for you?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Meeting Planning - Glamorous, Exciting, Fun!

Day 5, hour 2, 3 to go. serious.
Just for fun, google "meeting planning glamorous" or "event planning glamorous" and you will find a whole page (or seven) of how this is, or is not. You will find some sites dedicated to education for meeting and event planning, you will find FB pages, magazine articles and so much more. 

What any meeting planners knows is YES it is glamorous. For about 4 days a year. It always comes with its challenges, and often there is not a full understanding of all that a great planner brings. In this post I am going to focus on Meeting Planners and some of what they bring to each meeting.

Meeting planners have to know a lot, be able to do a lot, and have to be able to exceed stakeholder expectations in live events over and over and over again, being judged one meeting at a time. Of course we never get to work on only one meeting or event at a time, so the pressure is enormous.

Below I have at a glance, what a meeting planner is expected to be an expert on:
  1. Destinations - you are expected to know approximately 123 countries in the world, and which will best meet the expectations of the group and specific meeting
  2. Destination knowledge - local customs, traditions, laws, currency, taxes, gratuities, visas required to enter and exit which may vary based on your participants' country(ies) of origin, weather at the time of year you are considering, levels of service, infrastructure for meetings and events
  3. Venues - of the hotels and venues available, which ones have the appropriate capacity, amenities, location (where the local CVB and DMCs are invaluable resources)
  4. Finance and budgeting - part accountant, part manager, responsible for expenses, revenues, tracking, and staying on track 
  5. Sponsorship consultant - possibly recruitment, certainly fulfillment
  6. Marketer - to internal or external audiences, via print collateral, website, various on-line strategies, journals, word of mouth - to recruit and retain sponsors, exhibitors, delegates, speakers, and more
  7. Media / PR - when you want it how to get it, when you need to avoid it how to manage it
  8. Stakeholder / client manager - you need to keep multiple layers of leaders feeling like their vision is being brought to life
  9. Human resource manager - you need to manage up, down and sideways with internal and external partners
  10. Master communicator - generating reports, written and verbal communication with all levels to ensure comfort for the client and information for the team to be able to execute to the vision, which naturally "evolves"
  11. Law 101 - you have to be able to read, understand and negotiate contracts from multiple suppliers from hotels and conference centres to exhibit, activity or decor contractors and more Negotiating in challenging environments
  12. Negotiator - across all levels of suppliers, often in many cultures with different rules, in union and non-union environments with exclusive and preferred suppliers (including your own)
  13. Ethics expert - ensuring everyone on your team is playing fair
  14. Sustainability leader - meetings and events have a huge impact on both the greening aspects and the 3 P's and the meeting planner needs to lead by example while following their organization's mandates
  15. Team building - one of the reasons we meet is to strengthen team, so whether this is via a formal exercise or informal (networking) opportunities, it is always important
  16. Risk manager- you need to know exactly what is in place from your venue(s) and what your team will do if a crisis affects your meeting, and plan for everything from cords being taped down (not a standard in all countries) to volcanoes, terrorist attacks, illness on-site and so much more
  17. Program development - topic expert or liaising with those who are, providing an understanding of flow. Possibly contributing to how people will learn and take away learnings, working often with a programming committee to match space / amenities available with content desired.
  18. Evaluation - education offered, networking, ROI and more
  19. Technology - you have to keep up on what is not only now, but what is next - the evolution from carousel slides to multiple mobile apps has accelarated in the past 15 years since the internet came to be (1991!) and meeting planners have to be ahead of the curve of their participants
  20. Theming - how to cohesively carry a message through from the first announcement through the programming and the events (programming, decor, entertainment, environment, print / online materials and so much more)
  21. Logistics - from air and ground transportation to food and beverage, room setups and av, communication and signage, bump in to bump out of the many suppliers and participants that will touch and be touched by this event.
  22. Through it all you need to be professional, calm, supportive and inspiring, all while working 16+ hours per day, eating on the fly, and attemping to stay hydrated.
This is where a meeting planner needs a great team to support - which may include a CVB, incentive house, marketing agency, speakers bureau, travel agency, housing bureau, registration team, DMC, Producer, av and production team, tradeshow management, teambuilding organization, and on-site support, to name a few. 

Oh there is more... bring it on! There is a challenge we face with the low barrier to entry for someone to say they are a meeting planner, so while there are hundreds of great meeting planners out there, who are all continually energized by planning meetings and events, we need to continually stay educated on a myriad of topics (see above for a start). To be a meeting professional, we must continue a life-long learning journey which may include university and polytechnic programs; attending events put on by a variety of meeting planning associations; joining experts who are continually sharing knowledge on line; by reading the many texts, journals and articles available continually. Being glamorous takes research and a willingness to work hard - and I say - Let's do this! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Event Planning - Part 3 - Tools

So far, we have looked at the questions to ask, some of the process of planning an event, and now it is the tools, those administrative reports that become the building blocks of your event plan. Do you always need every one of these? Not necessarily, as it is event dependant but these are a good base.
  1. Cover Sheet / Title page - the basics
    1. Location
    2. Date
    3. Sponsoring Organization
    4. Name of the event
  2. Organizational Chart - "who's who in the zoo"
  3. Mission statement / goals
    1. Why, the benefits of attending
  4. Evaluation - what is measured, how, when, who, expectations of ROI
  5. Program overview grid - outlining all activities, events, locations
  6. Creative brief / participant experience overview
  7. Budget
  8. Critical path
  9. Reporting plan - what is needed / expected when
  10. Your team
    1. who supports this internally at client organization
    2. who supports which functions within your organization
    3. vendors who will provide the necessary supporting elements (florals to production and everything in between)
    4. communication with team
  11. Marketing plan
    1. sponsors (recruitment)
    2. exhibitors (recruitment / sales)
    3. donors (recruitment)
    4. speakers / abstract / poster presenters (paying vs. paid)
    5. registration / ticket sales
    6. media / PR / press releases
    7. website / print or other collateral
    8. social media strategy
  12. Production schedule
    1. floor plans
    2. time schedules - literally minute-by-minute from load in to strike
    3. vendors and team members
Is this just the beginning? If you are producing an event of any size, from a wedding to a multiple day conference or anything inbetween, you need to have an understanding of many, many components and their inter-relations and then can get on to the "fun" - creating the experience. Then developing the budgets to go with this. and so it goes...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Event Planning - Part 2 - Process

in my last post I looked at the questions you need to start with before you decide that an event is the best way to move forward to solve a problem, meet a need or let people know about your cause (as a start).

Then there is the process (and hey, we aren't even at the fun part yet). If we look at the step-by-step process and some of the major components that would be required for a meeting or event, this again, is just a start.
  1. Determine WHY you want to host an event
  2. Define goals and objectives
  3. Determine measurable goals and measurements of success
  4. Review event history
  5. Know your organization - who they are, their values, their goals and how this event needs to fit this
  6. Confirm the stakeholders
  7. Confirm the committee - key / chair / program / funding / finance / marketing / sponsorship / exhibit / other 
  8. Confirm the stakeholder needs
  9. Style or format of meeting - conference, exhibit, incentive, hybrid, festival, public, symposium, seminar, workshop, peer-format conference
  10. What is this meeting / event?
    1. Name
    2. Date
    3. Destination
    4. Venues
    5. Goals and measurement tools
    6. Budget
      1. revenues - all streams
      2. expenses - all anticipated
      3. resources
      4. management of the funds
    7. Audience
      1. numbers
      2. who are they?
      3. why do they want to attend?
      4. how will you reach them?
    8. Sponsors / Exhibitors / Donors
      1. recruiting / sales
      2. management
      3. fulfillment
    9. Your team
      1. leaders
      2. support - internal
      3. support - vendors
      4. confirming responsibilities
      5. reporting processes
    10. Measurement and evaluation
Again, just a start on the process - what else do you do that I might have missed? Now it is on to some key tools that will help you as you go through this process.