Prevent a Dent in Your Event

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Posted At: April 12, 2012 3:15 PM
by Brian Haight

As PR practitioners, we are called to be a jack of all trades for our clients. We have to write press releases, create fact sheets, put together media kits, design promotional material and be able to plan and host events.

Planning and hosting an event can be the most stressful part of a PR professional’s job. These occasions can either be a breeze or so chaotic that it makes you want to pull your hair out. In order to have a successful event, and save yourself from buying Rogaine, all PR professionals should follow some basic guidelines.

Plan until you hate the word “planning.” For any event, whether it’s small or large, you should begin the planning process at least a month in advance. This gives you ample time to deal with any potential difficulties.

While you’re planning, you need to have multiple locations in mind for the potential extravaganza, because you never know if your ideal venue might bail on you.

You should also create a detailed schedule for the occasion. Your schedule should include the time that everything occurs and what your event staff should be doing. Make sure your schedule is perfect; it never hurts to be a little OCD when organizing events.

Always have a back-up plan and, if need be, a back up to your back up. Remember, you can never plan too much for an event, but you can always plan too little.

Follow Scar’s, from the Lion King, advice and be prepared. Preparation is the key to success. Make sure your event staff members know their jobs. Then, make sure they know everyone else’s job. Events can get hectic and there can be a breakdown of communication. It is essential that everyone knows what needs to be done and how to do it.

One good way to ensure that your team is prepared is to have a couple of event rehearsals. A rehearsal allows team members to get a basic knowledge for the location and their jobs. Preparation won’t prevent unforeseen occurrences, but it’ll help your team manage any potential crisis.

Be flexible like Stretch Armstrong. Unforeseen difficulties can happen at any event. It can be anything from the media showing up late to your special guest having to leave early.

When these crises occur, the most important thing to do is to stay calm and go with the flow. Remember, the public doesn’t see these obstacles, but it does see how you react to them.

Events can be stressful, but they can also be fun. Your enjoyment level of an event depends solely on your planning, preparation and flexibility. Whether your event is a gargantuan gala or a small shindig, these basic guidelines will help lead you to success.

One Comment

  1. Leigh Anderson

    These three tips to “preventing a dent in your event” are very true. As I just finished planning fundraising nights at a local bar for the Autism Society of Alabama, I can 100 percent agree with them. Unfortunately, I did not have a month to plan for the fundraising nights and looking back, I wish I would have had that extra time. It would have been very beneficial, especially for marketing purposes. Being flexible is something you must be when planning events. One of my hospitality management professors has stressed to our class, in almost every class, that every event you plan is not going to go exactly as you planned. Flexibility in event management is crucial.

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