Whenever one assumes the responsibility of planning a Regional Activity the picture can be darker than it should be. What I mean is that if one lacks clear vision, maintains an effortless mentality or is in pursuit of some selfish resume building event, you will fail. I am a very visual person, I think of preparingfor an event is as looking at a Magic Eye Illusion. There are multiple levels to look at and there may be levels you do not recognize for quite some time or you might not recognize until the event nears. However, if you can keep your focus, all levels will appear in time and the event will go as planned!
Structure, goals and the “what if” mentality are what is needed to make a Regional Activity come to life.
Defining a structure and theme of a Regional Activity will show you are prepared and ready for the event when a bid is presented prior to being awarded it. During this “preplanning” phase, the theme will decide the momentum of the event. It will prepare you, if chosen, how to diversify the speakers, establish the schedule/agenda and create what is to be experienced by those that attend.
Organizing and planning an event is a big undertaking, especially if the event is an honor, gained by a contest or application process or special in any way. However, if you value hard work, teamwork, and obstacles, it is not unimaginable or unattainable, especially when the goals have been established.
Setting a timeline on what needs to be done by when is possibly the greatest immediate implemented stress reducer and goal after a bid has been accepted. This will increase flow through preparation,delegation and thought process. It allows time for changes, hiccups or new ideas to be assimilated into the final product.
Event planners can speak to you all day about how chaotic, how rewarding and how much time is spent for such a small amount of time for the actual event, but you will not learn unless you have experienced the hustle and bustle of event planning and until you have planned for the question: “what happens when…?” It’s crisis communication at it’s best.
Questions should continually be asked in regards to every possible plan you implement. Whether the question asked is simple or complex, it may involve logistics, supplies, participation, delegation or all of the above. These are just four possible categories that answers can come from out of aplethora categories and plethora of questions that need to be asked.
Back-up plans are also a must and there can never be too many back-up plans. Keeping the “what if mentality” is a momentum sustaining strategy of an event planning team.
As one plans an event, the old cliché saying “keep the main thing the main thing” is my last piece of advice.
Please feel free to contact JR if you have any questions about planning a PRSSA Regional Activity or Rachel Sprung, the National VP of Regional Activities.