Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
You then choose three modules from the list below - please click on the links for more information on the courses.
This course offers an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in planning weddings and events.
HOW DO YOU PLAN A PUBLIC EVENT?
Unlike private events where the only person or people you are dealing with are the clients, public corporate, government and other organisation events will usually require you to consult with a committee, board, or group specifically set up to ensure that the event is run to set guidelines and criteria. In some cases, an event manager may also be required to set up an event committee i.e. those specifically employed to organise events in corporations, government or for fund raising purposes.
After the initial concept or idea for an event has germinated, its feasibility evaluated and the decision to go ahead has been made, a set of steps should be followed to ensure its ultimate success. Following are the most important planning steps for an event controlled by a committee however before these steps are taken, tailoring to specific purposes is advised, as these steps can be slightly modified to suit all types of event management structures including private events.
Set Up the Committee
- Clarify areas of responsibility: i.e. budgets, finances, planning etc.
- Plan committee meeting times.
- Understand the purpose of the event i.e. improve public education or awareness, purely as a celebration, to improve support from a select audience, to improve public relations, to inform a select group or the general public.
- Identify all the partners to the event i.e. government departments, sponsors, media etc – this can be of specific importance when identifying likely funding sources.
- Prepare funding bids, identify and contact prospective sponsors if appropriate.
Develop a Master Plan
This is an overall plan of the event, taking into consideration the logistics of the event i.e. size, place, facilities (kitchens, toilets, parking), accommodation, emergency plans (police, fire-brigade) local government restrictions (alcohol, public nuisance, parking restrictions, time restrictions etc). The development of a master plan may also be dependent on the winning of a funding application. Some events are able to run mainly on funding provided by government; if the funding bid is not successful then obviously planning for the event cannot go any further,
- Set a budget – taking into account all money to be raised from sponsorships, entrance fees (if applicable) grants and so on.
- Set a date – with careful consideration to ensure that the event has the best possible attendance i.e. does not clash with other events.
- Identify staff and personnel required including volunteers if appropriate. Develop an organisational structure plan – this is helpful for staff, volunteers and all those involved have knowledge of the hierarchical structure i.e. who is responsible for what and to whom.
- Make sure that the scope of the event matches the original purpose and that this is reflected in the cost of staging it.
Develop a Planning Checklist
This checklist should identify all the planning steps required (use the numbered items here as a guideline) including some contingency plans for unforeseen developments (i.e. wet weather, parking problems due to a larger then expected response, key speaker can’t attend due to illness etc).
For instance, a pre-school organising a special fundraising event will delegate responsibilities to selected members (often to set up sub groups) such as organising refreshments, inviting speakers and so on.
Identify All Stakeholders
Identify all people or organisations involved or with an interest in the outcome. Then make appropriate contact with them to advise them of your aims, seek advice, and raise interest in the event. Stakeholders can include: funding bodies, local councils, government departments (e.g. education), authorities, sponsors, media, general public etc.
Develop a Publicity Campaign
Consider different ways to increase awareness of the event, and to develop interest. Then, develop publicity material. This may be outsourced, depending on the scope of the event and the resources available.
Develop an Evaluation Checklist
Identify ways of gathering feedback, both formal and informal, and gather the information. Then, the committee can use the checklist in its evaluation of the event, as follows.
Example of Checklist (This may be different or improved in different situations):
- Were goals and objectives fulfilled?
- Was attendance targets met?
- Can you identify aspects of the event worked best?
- Can you Identify anything that should be revised before a repeat event?
- Did outsourced services, including materials used (i.e. caterers, security, decorations etc) meet expectations?
- What services would you consider using again?
- Did staffing meet needs?
- Did the event receive positive feedback?
- Was the event worthwhile in relation to the scope of organisation needed?
- Were budgetary targets (income and expenditure) met?
- Did sponsors and stakeholders get the outcomes they wanted?
Evaluate the Event
Committee meets to go over all of the evaluations obtained, and discusses what did and didn’t work; and why.