Amith Prabhu: 21 steps to a bloody good event

07 Sep,2015

By Amith Prabhu

 

A PR professional spends a large chunk of his or her time planning, ideating, strategizing experiences which are usually in the form of stunts, events and gatherings. One of the most fascinating facets of Public Relations to me is the ability to bring an experience to life. I have had the privilege of creating many an event in my decade long career. The annual gathering of communications professionals which is round the corner is closest to my heart because it touches all the four elements of a PR exercise – Building Credibility (of the profession), Strengthening Relationships (with various stakeholders), Offering Experiences (to delegates) and the option of Creating Advocacy (for the profession). This column is a ready reckoner for any PR professional who wishes to get a grip on event management and all that goes into it.

 

1.     Finalise date and venue including the reconnaissance (recce)

2.     Draw up list of speakers/performers/presenters/panelists/moderators

3.     Reach out to event partners, essentially the sponsors

4.     Form a dream team. This has to be cherry-picked and should be a core group

5.     Make announcements and launch an event website, so potential attendees make plans

6.     Open registration, so people set aside monies

7.     Plan sub-events that create ‘talk-ability’ and buzz for the main event

8.     Follow up like crazy with everyone from point 2 and 3 (speakers and sponsors)

9.     Prepare for any eventuality – a crisis can hit anytime

10. Negotiate with various vendors – event technicians, swag makers, band etc

11. Start designing collaterals – emailers, backdrops, standees, handbooks and the like

12. Close on the event producers

13. Decide kits and lanyards styles – attendees take these home so they better be good

14. Connect panelists and moderators with each other

15. Get all payments in and organise advances

16. Registrations need to close so people look forward to a packed house

17. Communicate with attendees on email, social media

18. Draft emcee script

19. Prepare a final checklist

20. Ensure good food and punctuality – these two can be bummers at an event

21. Offer great experience and good memories so people come back

 

These elements are critical for a good event. Each one can be elaborated but they are self-explanatory. I call them the 21 steps to a bloody good event.

 

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