Planning an Event

Planning an Event
What is Planning About?
Planning is always future oriented
Planning focuses on formulating goals
Planning is political in nature
It involves leadership and values
It occurs within an
organizational framework
The Role of Policies
• Policies implement the mission and goals of the
• Policies are a set of rules governing the activities of
the members of an organization or group
• They can be formal (written) or informal (unwritten)
• Policies show what actions are desirable,
permissible, or forbidden.
• Policies should not become so
rigid that they inhibit flexibility
or creativity
Event Project Planning
• Project planning is “the design and
implementation of a plan to create a new
event, on time, and within established
parameters pertaining to resources, venues
and impacts” Donald Getz
• Projects have definite
starting and ending dates
Concept or Conceptual Planning
The Process
Asset Mapping/Feasibility Study
Decision to Proceed or Terminate
Formulation of a Preliminary Plan
The Contract or Approval
Detailed Project Planning
Plan Implementation
The Event
The Event Wrap-Up
Project Termination
Concept or Conceptual Planning
• The process may begin with
– an idea for a new event,
– a perceived need to revise or replace an
existing event
– an RFP (request for proposal) from the
potential sponsor
– Scope Creep
Asset & Liability Mapping
• Map (Identify & Locate) the community assets
– Cultural/Historical/Natural Resources
– Transportation, Dining & Lodging Infrastructure
– Community Support and Volunteer resources
• Map the Liabilities (competing events)
geographically and through time.
Feasibility Study--Purposes
Determination of ability to get funds or approval
Market tests and demand forecasts
Assessment of affordability and/or profitability
Physical aspects—weather, venues, accessibility,
• Potential impacts
• Desirability & Suitability
Feasibility Study--continued
• Does the venue or community have a track record
of hosting successful events?
• What are the population characteristics?
• Are sponsors available?
• Is there a potential pool of volunteers?
• What is the economy?
• What are the politics and/or
ideology of the community?
• Estimate the likely costs and revenues—calculate
the financial feasibility
• Can the financial cost be met?
• What happens if revenue falls short or costs
escalate—who pays?
• Consider possibility of political disruption or bad
• Is a formal EIA required?
Decision to Proceed or Terminate
• The feasibility analysis will lead to a decision or to
a modification of the original concept.
• The Decision-making process may involve public
input (if you have governmental sponsors).
• If it is a for-profit event, poor feasibility should
lead to termination of abandonment of the
• For a governmental unit, tax
dollars may be available to
cover shortfalls
Preliminary Plan Elements
• Feasibility of venues, targets, cost, revenues,
impacts, and approvals
• A program outline for the event
• A preliminary budget
• Schedule for construction (if required)
• A preliminary marketing plan
• Identification of human resources
• Organization and
management systems
• Once the preliminary plan is written, it should
be submitted for approval
• Approval may come from a private client, a
commercial group, an organization, or a
governmental entity
• Once approval is received,
detailed planning commences
• If not approved, either modify
or shelve (terminate)
Detailed Planning—Task Analysis
• The process begins with a task analysis and
work plan
• This will be followed by a critical path analysis
• A task is a discrete activity that can be
performed by one or more people with known
resources, within a defined
period of time
• All tasks will eventually be
integrated and scheduled
Tasks, continued
• Tasks are assigned to various people
(managers, subcontractors, work groups)
• Clusters need to be established in the
– geographical (the stage, the exhibition floor,
the food court, etc.)
– functional (marketing, human resouces)
– Technical (audio-visual, lighting)
Task Analysis breakdown
Event goals, budget, schedule
5.1.4 Police Presence
1 Venue
5.1.3 Staffing
2 Marketing
5.1.2 Signs & Barriers
3 Sponsorship
5.1 Parking
4 Program
5 Logistics
6 Administration
5.2 Public Transport
5.3 Supplies
5.4 Performers
5.5 Ticketing/Cash
5.1.1 Site Preparation
Scheduling of Tasks
• Usually, the event date is set—this is the final
deadline, and all tasks need to be scheduled
for completion before this date
• Initiation of certain tasks may depend upon
completion of other tasks
• The sequencing of these tasks
may involve CPA (Critical
Path Analysis) or PERT
Program Evaluation and
Review Technique
Critical Path Analysis
• Tasks are arranged in chronological order,
working backward from the event date
• Each prerequisite activity is scheduled in the
proper sequence
• This results in a network of interconnected
tasks which is the Critical Path
Steps in critical path analysis
• 1 identify all crucial tasks
• 2 set and prioritize goals
and objectives
• 3 determine time lines
and critical dates
• 4 establish the critical
• 5 establish controls for
the process
Program Evaluation and Review Technique
• Similar to CPA but does not work backward
from a date
• PERT is based on identification of minimum,
most likely, and maximum projected time lines
• Like CPA, it imposes logic on the planning
process and involves the task analysis process
• In PERT, resources are
assigned to the tasks
• Control is maintained
The Network
Network Notes
• Computer software is often employed in this
process—the better ones are both expensive and
• Avoid “looping” in complex networks—a situation
in which completion of an activity appears to be
dependent upon a later one
• There should be no “dangling” or loose activities
which are not followed by
More on CPA and PERT
• Project software will facilitate resource
• Project software can generate calendars and
Gantt charts
Decision Points
• Specific decision points should be
predetermined to force “go, no-go” decisions
• These decision points may apply to the event
as a whole, or to determine if some parts of
the program will or will not be included
Elements of Plan Implementation
Risk analysis / risk management plan
Contingency plans
Emergency procedures
Information and Marketing
Terminating the Event
• Paying bills and collecting all promised and
owed revenues
• Auditing the accounts
• Filing and processing insurance claims
• Settling any lawsuits
• Cleaning and closing venues
• Disposal of land or resources
• Thanking, rewarding, and
out-placing staff and volunteers
Microsoft Project
• Microsoft Projet

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