An event can be described as a public assembly for the purpose of celebration, education, marketing or reunion. Events can be classified on the basis of their size, type and context.
- Corporate Events – Events like Y2B, HR Summit and etc.
- Education and career events – Events like education and career fair, workshop, seminar, debate, contest, competition etc.
- Social Events – Events like Impact week, Discovering hopeand etc.
What is Event Management?
Event Management is the process of analyzing, planning, marketing, producing and evaluating an event. It is a different way of promoting a product, service or idea. If an event is managed efficiently and effectively, it can be used as a very powerful promotional tool to launch or market a product or service. Events Management requires certain core values to be deployed to every element, process and decision to justify professional approach and achieve effective and efficient results
Market Research in Event Planning
Before organizing an event, find out whether there is a market (i.e. audience) for your intended event or not. For e.g. you want to organize a BKK in Bangladesh. If societal need is not met with event objective, then it is not a good idea to organize such event there. The event will fail for sure.
Market Analysis (Understanding with general example)
If there is a market for your intended event, then do market analysis. Market Analysis means finding information about your target audience. Find out who are your target audience i.e. there age group, sex, qualification, profession, knowledge level, income, status, likings, disliking, personality, customs, traditions, religion, lifestyle etc. Knowing your target audience’s customs, traditions and religion is very important so that we don’t hurt there customs and religion unknowingly through our event. For e.g. if you organize a Hindu wedding and serve beef there, then u will be in mortal danger as cow is considered as a sacred animal in Hindu religion. Similarly serving pork in a Muslim function can bring havoc. Find out where majority of your target audience live so that you can direct your marketing efforts towards them. There is no point in advertising across US if your target audience belongs only to New Jersey. In this way you can cut down your advertising and marketing cost tremendously. Find out what are the desires and expectations of target audience from your intended event. Find out when (i.e. date and time) and where (i.e. venue) they want the intended event to take place. For this you will have to do survey. All this information will help you in developing a better event plan.
It means finding information about your competitors. Find out who are your competitors .i.e. their age, sex, qualifications, knowledge level, experience in organizing events, turnover, market value, PR (media and corporate contacts) and market share. Find out how they promote and execute there events. What they do in there events? Why people come to there events? For this you will have to attend each and every event organized by your competitors and then create an event report. The event report will contain things like
– seating and light arrangements
– promotional materials used
– blueprint of the whole venue
– program and food menu
– contact details of sponsors, partners, clients (for whom the event is organized)
– Service providers like DJs, Anchors, Make up artist, Performers, photographers, videographers, decorator, florist etc.
Find out as much information as possible about events organized by your competitors.
SWOT Analysis in Event Planning
- Products/Services Research
If you are organizing a corporate event then it is necessary for you as an event manager to do research of the products/ services promoted and sold by your corporate client.
- Find out how the company promotes its products
- How the company wants to build/enhance the image associated with its product (also known as the brand image)?
- What is the market value and market share of the company and its products?
- Who are the customers of the product?
- What are the features of the product?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the product in comparison to competitors’ products?
All this research will later help you in making an effecting promotional campaign for your corporate event.
- SWOT Analysis
It is a strategic planning tool which is used to identify and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in your project. SWOT analysis can also be done on your organization.
These are the attributes of your project/organization which are helpful in achieving project’s objectives. For e.g.: experienced event team, high motivation level, excellent PR, good market share etc.
These are those attributes of your project/organization which are harmful in achieving project’s objectives. For e.g.: social loafing, lack of funds, inexperienced event team, low energy level, lack of media and corporate contacts etc.
These are those external factors which are helpful in achieving the project’s objectives. For e.g.: little competition, favorable economic conditions, support from the local authorities, availability of the state of the art infrastructure etc.
These are those external factors which are harmful in achieving the project’s objectives. For e.g.: high competition, little or no support from local authorities, bad weather, poor infrastructure, high lab our rate, unavailability of raw material etc. It is very important that you conduct SWOT analysis before developing an event plan to develop a strategy which maximizes the potential of strengths and opportunities of your project and at the same time, minimizes the impact of the weaknesses and threats.
- Analysis Report
After conducting market, competitors, product/service research and SWOT analysis, create a report which contain details of all the research work done by you. Documentation of your research work is important, later for event evaluation. Your analysis report will also help you in getting sponsorship for your event.
Events planning – with 5 W’s Concept
We follow 5 ‘W’s (i.e. Why, What, When, Where, Who) principle to create an event plan.
‘Why’ means, why you want to organize the event i.e. event objective. What do you want to get from the event? For e.g.: do you want to organize the event to enhance your company’s brand image, to increase company’s sales, to promote your client’s products/services or to promote a social cause etc. Defining event objectives at the very start of event planning is very important as it gives you the direction in which you should proceed to accomplish your objectives. Organizing an event without clear objectives is a huge waste of both time and resources.
‘What’ means what you are going to do in the event i.e. what will be the:
Event Name What will be the name of the event? For example: ‘BKK”.
Food and Beverage Menu It contains the list of food items and beverages you will serve during the event to guests and target audience
Guests Profile who will be your chief guest and other guests? Your guest list must include organizers, sponsors, partners, clients and specially media people. Use your imagination to create good titles to woo your guests. Like ‘Guest of honor’, star guest etc. Never give special treatment to one particular guest or guests’ group.
Type of Entry Decide how will be the entry. Entry will be by ticket, pass or invitation only.
Entry fees What will be the entry fees? If you are going to charge entry fees, then be prepared to pay entertainment tax. Your entry fees should be according to your target audience’s status. If you overcharge you won’t get any audience.
Promotional Campaign How you are going to promote your event, organizers, sponsors, partners and clients: – pre-event, at-event and post-event.
Program Menu It is the list of various activities that will occur as a part of the event.
Event Budget to determine your event budget finds out what will be the cost for producing and marketing the event.
When you are going to organize the event (i.e. date and time)? Keep following things in mind while selecting date and time for the event:
1) Select date and time according to target audience convenience and availability. For e.g.: don’t organize events during work days, examination days or festival times. The best time to organize events is during weekends like Saturday or Sunday.
2) Make sure that your event’s date and time, don’t clash with other event’s date and time specially bigger event’s date and time. For e.g.: it is not a good idea to organize your music concert on a day when there is Bon Jovi concert.
3) Keep climatic conditions into mind while selecting date and time for your event. It can be disastrous to organize event outdoor on a day when the weather is stormy or heavy rain is expected. Here you can take help of your own experience if you are familiar with the climatic conditions of the region where you intend to organize the event or you can take the help of the meteorological department for the weather forecast. Find out how the weather will be on the day of your event.
Where you are going to organize the event (i.e. venue)? Check out the venue selection tips.
Who will be your organizers, sponsors, partners, clients and target audience? How many target audience you are expecting to visit the event and why? You must have very good reason to this ‘Why’ as you will have to convince your prospective organizers and sponsors that why particular number of people will attend the event.
Event Venue Selection
Keep following things in mind while selecting a venue for your event:
1) Target Audience/Guest Size
This means the number of people you are expecting to attend your event. Make sure that your venue can easily accommodate your expected target audience. Your venue should not be too small or too large for your guests. If too small, then your guests will feel discomfort. If it is too large then you will unnecessarily end up paying more for the venue. Get firm indications whether guests plan to attend your event by sending R.S.V.P clearly printed on the invitation. The term R.S.V.P is a French acronym. Its meaning in English is ‘Please Respond’. If R.S.V.P is printed on the invitation then the invited guest is expected to tell the host whether or not he/she is attending the event. Since many people don’t understand the meaning of this term or don’t bother to reply back, it is advisable to individually call and ask your guests about there plan to attend the event. In this way you can get quite accurate idea of the guest size which will help you in deciding food and beverage quantities also.
P.S: Here guest indicates to school and NGO responsible for kids who are participating
2) Target Audience Convenience
Select venue according to target audience convenience. Your venue should not be very far from the place where majority of your target audience live. Your venue should have proper lighting and ventilation. It should not be in a noisy or polluted area. It should be absolutely neat and clean and free from any type of infestation.
3) Venue History
Before hiring a venue check out the history of the venue. Find out how many events have been organized in the venue so far. In this way you can find out whether or not venue and the staff there is event friendly. This will help you immensely when you later organize event there as you will have to do less amount of work in making the venue suitable for the event. If venue has noise ordinance problems in the past like neighbors calling the cops to shut down the event, then it is not a good idea to organize event there especially outdoor event.
) Venue Services
Before hiring a venue check out the number of services provided by the venue like:
Make sure venue has its own parking space. It should be big enough to accommodate your target audience’s vehicles conveniently. If parking space is not adequate then look for other venue. Never compromise on parking space especially if you are organizing event on a large scale.
Security of guests, service providers and target audience is a very important issue which should never be neglected or compromised at any cost. Make sure that your venue has adequate number of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency escape routes, sprinkler system (a system consist of overhead pipes designed to control or extinguish fires), security personals, handicap ramps, security cameras, first aid kits and power backup (like generator, inverter, UPS). Your venue must have separate entrance and exit gates and it should not be more than 30 minutes away from the nearest hospital. If your venue is at a remote location then presence of doctor and ambulance is a must. Also make sure your mobile phone properly works there. If your mobile phone network area is weak there or doesn’t exist then you must have some other modes of communication like satellite phone. For large scale events presence of fire fighters, fire engine, police, paramedical team with ambulance is a must.
5) Venue Fees
Ask following questions from venue manager before hiring a venue:
Q1) What is the venue fee? Does it include all other taxes? (Negotiate rental fee to ensure the best deal.)
Q2) What is included in the venue fee? Is dance floor included in venue fee? Are table, chairs and linens included in the venue fee? Is security and liability coverage included in the venue fees?
Q3) What is not included in the venue fee?
Q4) Is there any cost for parking? Generally parking space is provided free of the cost by the venue but some venues may charge separately for parking facility.
Q5) What is the price range for a seated/buffet lunch and dinner?
Q6) What are the Corkage fees? i.e. fees to server liquor. Make sure that venue has the license to serve alcohol. Check the license for expiration date.
Q7) What is the cost of sleeping rooms?
Q8) What is your cost per person and per food item?
Q9) What are your bartending and bar set up fees?
Q10) What are your fees and how do you charge for providing additional services? Such as floral decoration, fireworks, audio-visual aids; staging, lighting, props, decor for event production etc.
Q11) What modes of payments are available?
Q12) What are your payment, refund and cancellation policies?
Steps involved in creating a promotional campaign for your event
Step 1: Setup advertising objectives.
Why you want to advertise? What is your objective of advertising? What do you want to get through advertising? For example:
– You want to advertise to create awareness about your event.
– You want to advertise to get sponsors and clients for your events
-You want to advertise to thank you your sponsors and clients.
Step 2: Decide your promotional Activities
How you are going to promote AIESEC, your organizers, your sponsors, your clients and your partners, pre-event, at-event and post-event. Before I go any further, let’s get an idea of what is media and what is media vehicle.
Media refers to various means of communications. Broadly speaking there are five categories of media: Print, Electronic, outdoor, Transit and Miscellaneous media. Print media includes: newspapers, magazines, press releases, tickets, passes, invitations, banners, posters etc. Electronic media includes TV, Radio, Internet, Telephone, electronic signage etc. Outdoor Media includes Hoardings, Billboards, and Balloons etc. Transit Media includes promotion through cars, cabs, buses, trucks, trains, planes etc. Miscellaneous media includes everything else like: events, word of mouth publicity etc.
Media vehicle is a specific medium. For e.g. if ‘Internet’ is media, then MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo etc. are media vehicles. If ‘TV’ is a media, then specific TV program like ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ is a media vehicle. Similarly if magazine is a media, then specific magazine say ‘playboy’ is a media vehicle
How Print Media can be used for Promotion
- Promote your event, sponsors and clients through newspapers ads, magazines ads, trade journals, press releases, tickets, passes, invitations, banners and posters.
- Imprint you sponsor/client’s company name and logo on your staff’s shirts and caps and on the pens, diary, gifts, and exhibitors‘ manual and other promotional materials.
How Electronic Media can be used for Promotion
- Promote your event, sponsors and clients through TV and Radio Commercials
- Provide free ad space on your company’s website where your sponsors and clients can promote their products and services for particular period of time.
- Develop an event website just to promote your upcoming event and provide a facility for online registration. All the details regarding the event must be available on the website. For e.g. if your event name is say ‘spark2009’, then come up with a website like www.spark2009.com
- Use electronic signage like visual display signage, Plasma Screen, LCD Screen, LED Screen, Projection Screen, Video Walls etc to promote your sponsors and clients.
Steps Involved in Writing the Evaluation of an Event
Event evaluation is necessary to make you and your team more efficient and effective, the next time you organize an event. It is all about finding your mistakes and learning from them. Event evaluation should be done immediately after the event is over or the next day. Conduct a meeting with your team members to evaluate your event.
Step 1: Determine the extent to which event and advertising objectives have been achieved.
If you are not able to achieve your event and advertising objectives through your event, then no matter how much people enjoyed the event or how much popularity your event got, it is a complete failure on a commercial level.
Step 2: Get feedback from your clients and target audience.
One good way of getting feedback is through feedback form. To make sure that your clients give you feedback, make the feedback form part of your Exit pass form. The exit pass form is required to get exit pass for security clearance, to remove exhibits from the facility. To get feedback from target audience/ guests, make feedback form part of your gift voucher. A guest can redeem the gift voucher only when he/she fills the feedback form and give it back to an attendant. These tactics are required to get feedback, as people are generally reluctant to give any feedback in writing.
You can ask following questions in your feedback form:
Q1) Did you enjoy the event? If no, then please state the reason.
Q2) what do you like most in the event?
Q3) what do you like least in the event?
Q4) what are the problems you faced during the event?
Q5) what could have been done to make this event better?
Q6) How do you rate the various services provided by us (please check one of the option)
Hospitality: Excellent, good, average, poor
Catering: Excellent, good, average, poor
Transportation: Excellent, good, average, poor
Management staff behavior: Excellent, good, average, poor
Management staff services: Excellent, good, average, poor:
Q7) would you like to participate in our next event?
Note: Your questionnaire should not have more than 10 questions. You don’t want to irritate your guests. Ask only relevant questions and keep the questionnaire short to 5-6 questions. Of course the type of questions you will ask may change from event to event. And don’t forget to mention the following line in you feedback form: “Thank you for taking the time to complete this feedback form“.
Step 1: Do event analysis.
Step 2: Prepare an event plan.
Step 3: Exhaustively test market your event plan
Discuss your event plan with other people to know there opinions and suggestions.
Step 4: Get organizers, sponsors, partners and clients for your event.
Step 5: Prepare an event calendar. An event calendar is an ordered list of activities which are needed to be executed in order to produce and market the event. These activities are of three types: pre-event, at-event and post-event activities.
Steps involved in preparing an event calendar
Step 1: Create a list of pre-event, at-event and post event activities.
Step 2: Set deadlines for each event activity.
Step 3: Assign event activities to individual team members.
Note: For large scale events, you will have to prepare a separate event calendar for each field of event production.