Thoughts about an After-Event Event

Amie Parnes at POLITICO.com interviewed an event planner in Dufour & Company Productions, the event planning company in charge of the MSNBC’s “afterparty” after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The purpose of this article is not to describe the detail of this “after-event” event. Instead, I would like to discuss what it really takes behind the glamour of event planning.

· Event planning means hard work. Even for a “small” MSNBC reception after the “big” White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the event planners in Dufour have been working diligently for six months to finalize every detail. One can imagine how much time and efforts it will take to plan a real “big deal.”

· “Events aren’t really just events … Events typically have a purpose.” Some organizations plan an event just because they are doing that every year. In this case, professional event planners need to help an organization to re-define the purpose of an event and work towards to the goals.

· “Most important business happens around events.” Networking opportunities are important and need to be planned thoughtfully.

· Do you have a “Plan B” for everything? No matter how well an event is planned out, things might not necessarily turn out the way as expected. The truth is unexpected happens all the time. Then, what’s next?

· What’s new? Many organizations host seasonal or annual events. These events may have the same purpose. While it is important to keep “the identity” of an event, event planners also need to challenge themselves by consistently bringing something “new” and “fun” to an “old” event. Nobody wants to hear a guest saying: “Oh, it is that same event again.” It is difficult yet critical to add some surprise to it --- hopefully, people will look forward to an event because they know they are going to experience something new and fun.

Event planning is an exciting career, but it is not an easy job. It is not an entry-level position either. If interested, helping out in banquets and receptions in a hotel or a restaurant could be a good start. What are your opinions?

References:
POLITICO.com: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok04292010
Picture was downloaded from “The Tech Award”: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok04292010P

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