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Daemen College ​strategic event planning before anything else motivational speaker author and radio announcer Earl Nightingale once said all you need is the plan the roadmap and the courage to press on to your destination what follows are the groups of strategic steps in orders of an order of development and implementation that make up your plan if you use the outline in this presentation for your event plans that implement each phase in order your event blueprint should be quite solid as you develop the plan create a master timeline checklist week by week and plug in each element of the plan that needs to be executed and win modify the timeline every time you modify the plan so that no detail slips through the cracks and you can easily monitor what has and has not been completed on an ongoing basis remember that you must have a written plan as the very first step in your risk management process why because if something happens it prevents you from continuing to manage the event your client will need to fill your shoes with another event manager who can pick up where you left off and follow the plan to fruition phase one the big picture in this phase will put the major players in place and determine the vision and goals for the event vision the first step of planned development is to define the vision of the event in writing the event vision includes but is not limited to a vet type event style and identifying the attendees while you are developing the vision also create a wish list of elements with which you and your client hoped to augment the fundamental requirements goals there should be an overarching goal for the event for an example an annual general meeting may have the overall goal of bringing together management staff and volunteers of a non-profit for goal setting for the next fiscal year the same event may also have a dozen or so defined sub goals such as establishing the next year's budget stablishing a number of new committees hosting the annual Board of Directors meeting etc these goals should all be specified in writing in the plan as there a checklist of must dues in the planning process scope of the event the scope is both the size and participants speakers staff etc as well as the number of days required to fulfill the event goals and the size and features of the facility or facilities required environment environmental considerations are twofold and need to be determined early first determine what the weather will be like at the time of year and how that guides your purpose based destination selection climate affects everything from whether part or all of the event can occur outdoors to travel problems for attendees second develop your green event plan many countries and states are beginning to require events to implement environmentally friendly practices going green for events is also the right thing to do your green policy will influence your destination and venue choice and needs to be determined early in the planning stage management although you do not need to flesh out all your staffing needs at this point you should determine your management level players and get them in place these team players may include a financial manager legal professional executive assistant etc the key players need to be scheduled for all meetings throughout the event evolution consultants if your event will take place overseas you may need to retain a customs broker if the event isn't going to take place locally it's wise to contract the services of a destination management consultant you may also need a graphic designer public relations firm etc try to identify these needs upfront and begin negotiations with the appropriate providers committees if you're going to use committees of staff and/or volunteers to take ownership of certain elements of the event it is important to create and staff them at the beginning as they should be part of every planning and implementation meeting budget overview although you may not have an itemized budget at the onset this is the time to create the budget overview which should include total operating reserve estimated overall costs and any shortage or overage outline the detailed budget at this time so you can plug in actual numbers they are confirmed phase 2 location and time frame now you are ready to find the place to fulfil the event vision and goals and plan some of the major expense details of the event destination from the previous phase you will have developed a list of venue and destination requirements during this part of the plan you need to identify primary and backup location not the venue itself but the town or community where the venue will be located the plant should itemize all the pros and cons of both destinations number of viable facilities transportation issues for attendees and so on venue once you've identified and approved a primary and backup destination identify a venue or venues at each that it can accommodate every single requirement defined in phase 1 during this process you'll develop a checklist of requirements to put into the request for a proposal or RFP to

the site's you've selected as you work with venues you will come to a point where you have chosen which one or ones you want at the finalized destination choice dates determine event dates determining event dates is extremely important first determine how long the event will be and find out what date blocks are available at your venues then determine which date block with a backup block best suits your needs based on a number of considerations including but not limited to conflicting events holidays climate and weather transportation the transportation plan should be in place early in this section outline travel plans for attendees as well as transfers of the destination location and transportation financials you are now ready to plug some fairly accurate estimates of these big phase 2 expenses into your budget the balance you have remaining drives the decisions you make in phase 3 phase 3 event details in this phase of the plan development you determine and put into place all the critical elements of the event agenda before moving forward create a schedule for the entire event it should include all your must-haves as well as your wishlist items scheduled speakers sessions entertainment food and beverage services meet-and-greets etc then apply a cost estimate each item and add the estimates to your budget you'll finalize costs when you negotiate contracts just creating estimates may indicate whether you can have all or any of your wish list items staffing at this stage you need to identify your staffing needs and select and budget your staff while working on staffing also assign responsibilities and an accountability policy to staff members and volunteers speakers and presenters and entertainment when you created the agenda you will have penciled in your presenters and entertainers at this point you need to confirm with them that they will be available and add their rates to the budget sponsors develop a list of potential sponsors for the event these may be cash or in-kind sponsors that will help you offset your costs or infuse cash into a wishlist element your budget doesn't otherwise support ask them what they might be willing to donate and what they need is fulfillment in return facility setup blueprint this is a time when you look at the entire layout of your facility and work with its operations staff to plan room setups breakdowns and changes per your agenda assign attendee numbers to each agenda item also pencil and AV needs per agenda item accommodations negotiate accommodation perks with your site manager at this time if the site is a hotel for example it will likely Compu rooms or reduce room rates if the hotel is supplying food and beverage services determine how many rooms and other accommodations your event will require and have them set aside for your attendees and VIPs food and beverage design each food and beverage session in the plan and put in the details menu service style number of attendees location etc add each service to the budget decorating based on your event vision choose your fabrics lighting plants and flowers and other decor items and factor them into the budget also identify and verbally confirm your vendors and suppliers audio-visual check with each presenter and entertainer to confirm their AV requirements and work with your supplier of venue staff to design room sets it will maximize AV while minimizing redundancy and the costs associated with surplus equipment also add AV estimates to the budget rentals if you require tents furniture decor items food and beverage service items etc and need to rent them now is the time to list them and book them again at each Associated cost to the budget traffic flow plan your agenda and room setup plans should be in pretty good shape by now so evaluate the traffic flow based on the venue layout and the agenda make any adjustments to the room setups or agenda as necessary to prevent bottlenecks or hallway noise well events are in session transportation every detail of transportation to and from the event and transfers at the event need to be well planned out and budgeted if you are greeting your meeting plan to provide bicycles or extra time for walking between sites registration area plan layout - registration area for maximum flow and efficiency and minimal confusion consider issues like protection from the weather at the entrance informational signage and what the venue allows and can supply etc on-site office design you'll need a management office preferably very near the registration area work with a venue operations staff to set this up considerations might include a secure room with a safe if you are handling any cash day the security system network setup etc security determine how you will secure all your attendees information and what physical security you may need for VIPs identify suppliers and add rates to the budget technology requirements you may want to make the internet available to intend these have interactive kiosks or incorporate specially digital displays now is the time to list all the items required who supplies them what they cost and when they need to be installed photographers and videographers if you want to record more than audio of the event you'll need to book photographers and/or videographers well in advanced venue management may have recommendation for service providers who work the venue previously with good results factor them into your budget expenses gifts and giveaways if you plan to give out attendee gifts have tributes and recognition ceremonies and want to gift your suppliers after the event determine what's appropriate secure suppliers and these items to the budget event details financials at this point your budget should be well-developed and quite accurate double check each item to make sure the numbers recorded are correct and evaluate whether you need to acquire additional resources or eliminate expenses to balance the budget phase for paperwork this section of the plan outlines all of the papers you must have for the event from contracts to permits and beyond budget at this point the budget needs to be locked in as

you place orders signed contracts etc make sure the costs are close to your estimates and add the actual confirmed costs into your financials contracts in this phase you need to perform the final contract negotiations get them signed and make sure the suppliers and your team have signed copies on file agreements it is also time to have all your presenters and performers signs final agreements indicating their schedules and final costs also include any special requirements they may have regarding accommodations refreshments dressing areas etc in these Arrangements permits make sure you have any permits or permits required in place for example you may need permits to hold a function in a public place or a Coast Guard permit for on the water and on the water event insurance you need to ensure the event have cancellation insurance cover the venue and all players etc if you're unsure about what types of insurance you need consult with the venue of the municipality and an insurance provider who specializes in events risk management plan try to anticipate anything that could go wrong from a transportation strike to a venue fire or hurricane and have a plan in place for handling the situation you do not want to try and respond to an act of god or other calamity without a plan and some insurance providers require a written risk management plan for event insurance marketing plan a critical part of your overall plan is a marketing plan which outlines how you will obtain attendees the marketing plan includes everything from invitations to ticket sales and advertising to press coverage shipping and receiving plan this section of the plan defines who will be shipping what to the venue how it needs to be received and where it needs to be transported and win make sure this is well thought out and all the pieces are in place an author arriving at a book signing for example without any books is an event breaker checklists at this point you should have all your checklist created including the master timeline checklist speaker info checklist food and beverage checklist and so on phase 5 awareness and marketing all of these elements are part of the marketing plan introduced in phase 4 each needs its own sub plan website when does it go live who will design and manage it is it secure will it have online registration and ticket sales capabilities all of these questions need to be answered in the marketing plan and then implemented the website is a budget line item invitations this section addresses how you will reach your intended guest list members and incite them to attend these might be printed invitations phone calls emails or even television ads registration form take time to determine what information you need from your attendees how you will use that information how you will keep it secure and how the attendees will obtain the form marketing materials these include everything from brochures to press kits radio ads to billboards determine what mediums will reach your target audience most effectively and how to finance your materials press and public relations develop a plan for minimizing for maximizing press coverage figure out what elements of your event for example the fact that it's green paperless a green paperless meeting will broaden the events appeal to the press media coverage is excellent free advertising advertising determine what if any advertising you will benefit from an event open to the public like a sporting event is well suited to television and radio advertising conversely there's no point in buying that type of advertising if your event is targeted towards a widely spread out special interest group ticket sales is there a fee for your event how will you handle ticket sales and the revenues generated from them will you pre sell the tickets have special VIP tickets or even hold some type of ticket based fundraiser if the latter is it legal at your destination signage before you design your signage find out what rules of a has about sign displays the section of the plan defines what types of signs you need what their purposes are how many you need to order and what will hold them in place phase six before you go a week or so out from the event date review the plan check this and do final confirmations also add some backup materials to the plan arrival and pre event plan figure out ahead of time what you need to do on-site when you arrive and before the event opens outline these requirements in the plan and assign appropriate staff to action items confirm speakers and entertainment do a final confirmation with all key players a week before the event have a list of local backup presenters just in case confirm contracts and point people for them run through a checklist of all your suppliers make sure they are still in business and that you have all the contact information for each point person correct create a list of emergency backup suppliers as well make backup copies of all paperwork make sure you have the backup file for all the contracts agreements permits etc that will stay in the on-site office pack a mobile office duplicate all the paperwork and carry it with you if your office supplies don't arrive or late you still have the plan permits contracts etc in hand and the show can go on phase seven it's show time at this point it's really too late to plan anything but you won't have to because your master plan is complete comprehensive and you followed it every step of the way why because strategic event planner plan is in your job title implement it create courageously you Sy Syms School of Business, Washington Heights, Manhattan.