For the past three weeks we’ve explored the off-season as an event production company. We started by discussing why There’s Really No Such Thing as Downtime. We talked post-event inventory process in Post-Event Inventory & Wrap-Up…What’s The Rush? Now, Dave Kramer takes us through the steps of preparing for a new event series.
Congratulations! You’ve polished the RFP, shined up your presentation, locked in the close and have landed that great new client. Time to sit back and relax, let things roll out, and relish the victory for months to come. Or, well, maybe we should hold off on that relaxing part just yet. Signing the contract may get things started, but that’s all, started. Now that you’ve got a great new event series to produce there are many things that will need to happen up front and continuously through the planning and production process.
Creating the systems and procedures that allow for consistency throughout the contract lifecycle is critical to tracking effectiveness and accountability, and ultimately success.
You’ll need to start with an understanding of what the series goals are, what the structure of the events looks like, and an idea of who will be handling the various related aspects. This will take work from both parties to ensure an accurate understanding of who’s responsible for what. Marketing, participant recruitment, volunteer support, budgeting, sponsorship, and permitting are just a few of the pieces that will come in to play. Creating a plan to determine responsibilities builds in accountability to ensure that all boxes get checked accordingly.
Developing the project plan and budget are also critical steps in the process. If this is a new series the information gained in the initial discussions will help guide how these come together, along with historical data from related series. If this event had been held previously, you’ll have history on your side, at least to get started. Data from past events can help guide the process, but you’ll need to be careful not to simply copy and paste as that can lead to assumptions by both parties which may cause confusion or misunderstandings down the road.
As the details start to fall in line, it’s time to dig in to the event planning and production more thoroughly. Setting an ideal event timeline including staffing, supplies and equipment, vendors, and jurisdictional requirements will lead backwards to guide when other steps necessarily happen. This is where the real nitty gritty details come in to play. Keeping in mind the goal of the series will lead you through this process to ensure that the right elements are in place to obtain the desired outcomes.
There are many steps to take when working on a new event series, and many details to track. Start with the big picture and focus in from there, stepping back now and again to refocus as necessary. Surely there will be unexpected issues that arise requiring adjustment throughout the process, never once has an event gone flawlessly from start to finish, so rely on the plans and goals to adapt as necessary while utilizing the experience around you and you’ll surely do well for the series.
David Kramer has been a part of the Event 360 team for over 11 years and works on event planning and production. He’s currently focused on furthering existing events to help clients grow and develop.