Events are very diverse. I am sure that you have attended at least one in the past years. Events can be as simple as a birthday celebration or as elaborated as a national conference. I am fortunate to say that I have been part of planning teams for a good number of events; local conventions, organizational fairs, annual meetings, national conferences, veterans stand downs, and yes, weddings that are just as complex. Furthermore, let’s not forget, family reunions.
Regardless of the type of event, there are some basic principles to follow in order to obtain a successful outcome. Since all events involve a financial piece, you want to spend a significant amount of time planning to avoid last minutes headaches. So let’s just get into the basics of what we should do. Based on my experience, the following are just some (not all) of the tasks involved to get you started:
PART 1: PLANNING YOUR EVENT:
PART 2: MARKETING YOUR EVENT
Who are your customers? If the event is family related, you just need to worry about the invitations. However, otherwise, you must develop a marketing plan to “sell” your event. If people are not aware of it they will not register and therefore, your event will not have a successful outcome. You can also offer on-line registration and perhaps, a reduce fee for early registration. Use mass mailings, emails, phone calls, social media, etc. You primary goal is to have a smooth and fast on-site registration, where people do not have to wait in line for long. Therefore, and as needed, increase your marketing efforts to register a large number of people before the day of the event.
PART 3: THE DAY OF THE EVENT
Your team must be on site hours before the beginning of the event. Since setup is necessary, it should be done the day before or as the venue permit. Do your final walk-through of the plan, detailing how the event is going to flow, reminding everyone who is responsible of what and where to go for trouble shooting. There is no time for error in your logistics plan now.
PART 4: EVALUATING AND FOLLOWING-UP
Develop a final report and indicate what went right and what went wrong. Evaluate the attendance and the role the marketing plan played in bringing people to the event. Evaluate the sponsor’s participation and get their feedback to improve next time. If the event generated revenue, did you end up in the red or black? Send out your thank you notes. Finally, identify stars in your team that can take more significant roles in next years’ planning.
PART 5: NOW WHAT?
Now is time to start planning again for next year. It is never too early for that.
Ok, I believe that some of us in our life time have experienced once or more workplace situations that I can call unpleasant to deal with.
The office is a hodgepodge of people with different personalities, characters, traits and behaviors that can be described as “different” from what most people anticipate, and would not necessarily mimic our own. If you are in management, below are some of the issues and scenarios that you may encounter in a workplace environment.
Substance Abuse Scenarios: The young guy who allegedly drank alcohol the night before, but still smells like a bottle of whiskey when he walks by you. Or, someone who actually drinks in the office and thinks that no one notice it. Worse yet, a worker who is a drug abuser and his drug use is starting to show.
Gossip: It is so overwhelming. People talk about other people, about everything and anything they feel like, just to make conversation. For one thing, it affects productivity. Here are a few not too uncommon scenarios: 1. The man and woman that are a “couple” and fight in the office and co-workers become aware of their private affairs. 2. The administrative assistant that dresses up as though she is going to a nightclub instead of work. 3. The boss who is unfriendly and unkind, and have no idea of how to run the office. 4. Finally, those who are obnoxious and vocal about their specific religious beliefs, political affiliations or sexual orientation, that most in the office do not want to be bother with.
Hygiene: How about a man or woman with poor hygiene that “smells” so bad that co-workers are complaining about it, or the one who shields the “smells” with excessive perfume?
Sexual Harassment: When people hear sexual harassment, the first thing that comes to mind is a male boss abusing a female employee. However, that is no longer the case. Now, sexual harassment is not limited to male-to-female. It can also be from female to male, from male to male or female to female. It does occur in any workplace. It can be case worker (male or female) harassing a client, or from a worker harassing another co-worker, and it can happen in person or through texting or emails. These are only few examples, but I am sure that you get the drift.
All these scenarios are real, but they can’t be ignored as they not only destroy the office culture, but affect productivity and morale. These are “accusations” that managers must acknowledge and address swiftly, effectively and cautiously as they could generate lawsuits.
Think about them, but particularly think about how would you deal or address them if you are confronted with any of these situations as the manager of the entire office.
We all have been impacted by this, unscheduled meetings, urgent or emergency meetings and of course, the regular scheduled meetings. The question is this; is it necessary to hold that meeting and if not, what alternatives do I have?
Before we rush to answer these questions, let’s remember this; what is the purpose of the meeting? We call meetings to discuss strategies, budgets, specific issues or problems, good and bad news and to plan entertainment.
Definitely, the meetings that I am discussing today are not necessarily for entertainment, although in a workplace, a “meeting” may be necessary to organize a team party, or a staff celebration such as welcoming or farewells.
Nevertheless, let’s go back to discuss the regular office meeting. I believe that the technology Era in which we are living provides us with some alternatives; a good percentage of these meetings could be replaced by a group email, a conference call, a webinar or a video conference. I understand that not all workplaces have the capability to use some of these technologies, but at the very minimum, almost everyone has access to email.
I am addressing this topic because these days’ time is of the essence and we can’t afford to waste limited resources. Unnecessary meeting can be costly to companies, organizations and agencies in terms of productivity and/ or services. An unnecessary meeting can push back a direct service to a client or a customer, or could affect the deadline of an important project, just to name a few.
Another issue is the timing of unscheduled meetings. People are more productive in the mornings, but when the staff is called to a meeting at 4:30 or 5:00, when many people are ready to go home after a long and very busy day, it could create a problem. Many folks will be less incline to contribute either because they are tired or are looking forward to the few hours they have left to relax or deal with personal issues. The question that you must ask yourself before holding an unscheduled meeting late in the day is…Will I get the feedback that I want from the participants? The answer is probably not.
Therefore, the next time that you feel the urge to call your staffs for an unscheduled meeting think twice about doing it or calling it late in the day. Instead, take advantage of the technology that is available to you.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.