Events are special occasions centered on significant occurrences which we consider worth celebrating. The memories of these one-time celebrations are such that we do not wish to forget in a hurry. Covering a range of personal events from walking down the isle of the glamorous wedding of your dreams, house warming and birthday parties, to professional annual events by organisations (which are a great way to publicise an organisation), conferences and other special events created for other targeted purposes such as fundraisings, awards banquet, gala dinners and conventions.
There is really no end to man’s natural inclinations to create events and have people attend. However, creating an event and having mental pictures of guests swarming in, music in the air, giggles and peals of laughter in joyful gaiety, starts and ends in the imagination. Reality dawns when you realise that your event includes budgeting, establishing dates, alternate dates, researching on and selecting the venue or event site, reservations of the venue, acquiring legal permits as well as coordinating parking and transportation. The success of any event depends largely on adequate planning and coordination. Although this depends on the nature and size of the event, the amount of work, time and manpower needed to organise a successful event requires that you take note of what I call the 4Ws and H of event planning. What, Who, Why, When and How.
What events are you planning? From a ladies’ hangout with few friends, wedding ceremonies, wedding anniversaries, corporate conferences to annual conventions, you need to state the kind of event you are planning for. It gives perspective on how to plan your logistics. For instance, the location, and then the size of the venue you should be on the lookout for. You will do well to settle for a large venue if you intend to have a large number of guests. You don’t want to have an issue with the venue being too small to accommodate all the guests at your event. On the other hand, it would cost you more to have a venue that’s way too big for the number of guests you intend to invite. That would mean paying more for less.
This helps you to have a clear picture of the class of people you plan to invite. It goes without saying that the upper class in our society favour sumptuous arrays of fine meals, choice wine, exclusive venues that comes with ample parking space for their automobiles and state of the art restrooms. Would you risk attending an event that has no adequate parking space arrangement if you ride a car worth millions of naira? Sure you will think more than twice. In the same vein, it is not cost effective to go for an exotic hotel that costs a fortune for an event you are planning for the middle-class or a group of undergraduates.
Are you trying to inform, educate or entertain? Outline the objective(s) of the event and tailor-in all the other factors in your plans to fit into what you want to achieve.
Timing matters in everything. Be sure to take advantage of discounts and other related opportunities that work with times and seasons. Booking flight tickets earlier for a vacation you plan to take in summer may earn you some discounts. It is general knowledge that prices tend to shoot up during festive periods, and may cost you more if your event falls into those peak periods. Making arrangements for things you could possibly purchase or book for earlier will have you smiling when you realise how much you’ve saved. I call it the dividend of prudence. Another factor to take note of is ensuring that your events do not clash with certain important dates in the calendar. Such days may threaten the number of people in the attendance at your event.
Considering the sheer amount of work and manpower required in pulling off a successful event, how do you intend to achieve effective planning, coordination and execution of everything it will take to make your event an epoch-making success? Do you intend to enlist the service of an event planner? Getting professional help to have your event planned will save you time and all the hassles synonymous with sourcing for vendors and quality products.
Don’t give room for hazards. Go for standards.