Many people in this area will eventually focus on one particular area, such as wedding planning. But initially, when starting your own business, you may find that there are not sufficient clients to specialise. The value of this course is that It doesn’t force you to make that choice straight away.
Imagine, large events and weddings can be time consuming, but if you are planning a large wedding, you might still have time to organise smaller events at the same time, increasing your business AND your cash flow.
If you work for someone else, this can be a great addition to your CV. If you work in the hospitality industry, then being able to plan weddings and events for your hotel or restaurant etc puts another string in your bow!
Note that each module in the Certificate in Wedding Planning and Event Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Be Prepared For Change
The events management industry is always changing.
Something new is always happening; and it is important to be flexible, and develop an ability (and willingness) to change the direction of your career, when the industry changes. There may be a lot of opportunities in your area to organise christian weddings now; but in the future, there may be more opportunity to organise other types of weddings. Sometimes the competition from other event managers can get too strong. A wedding planner might find business is suffering; but if they can adapt, and perhaps organise parties, conferences or seminars instead; their business may be given a fresh lease of life.
Event organisers can become involved in organising virtually any type of event -shows, exhibitions, product launches, tours , concerts or festivals. This course has a major advantage in that it gives you a foundation for organising any of these -and in many of our modules you have the opportunity to choose where you will focus your learning. This broad focus and flexibility results in graduates that are light on their feet and more adaptable to industry changes.
How to Organise a Conference or Seminar
The things that are required to run a conference or seminar will obviously vary from conference to conference, seminar to seminar. There will be an expectation by attendees as to the type of surrounds, the "luxury and perks" elements and to the depth and type of information that will be provided. There are certain things that will need to be considered in most cases. These include:
- Where is the conference or seminar to be held. This will depend to some extent on how many people will be attending and what type of surrounds they expect. This may range from an informal meeting of a small group in a community centre to a group of hundreds, expecting a range of facilities to be available in conjunction with the conference.
- What furniture is required, including seating, tables, display boards, lecturers/speakers stand or lectern, audiovisual equipment. Again, the type of seminar will dictate this to a large measure, in terms of the need for lecturing facilities (if presentations are made) or if it is to be a trade fair type arrangement.
- Accommodation. Is this required? by how many for how long? etc. Accommodation can often be supplied (sometimes at discount rates) by the organisation supplying the meeting room/s (e.g. large hotels).
- Catering. What types of foods, how much (quantities), how are they to be served (e.g. buffet, waited upon, etc.), tea and coffee facilities. Many hotels, etc. may have a "set" service which may or may not suit your needs. If they offer morning tea or meals at a price per head, make sure you find out exactly what the morning tea, meal, etc... is. It may not meet your expectations, or equal value for money.
- Transport, including to, from and during the conference or seminar, as well as parking available.
- Special Needs of Participants, such as wheel chair access, specific food types, etc.
- Associated tours, dinners and other activities. This could include activities for companions, partners and children of those attending the conference/seminar. While it is not part of the conference activity, such associated events will often help to attract more attendees.
- Security -At the very least, brief staff as to what they should do in an emergency; make neighbours aware of the event, and consider notifying the police. Other measures may include erecting barriers and signs to restrict where people can move. As the risk factors increase; consider employing security guards.
- Promotion - ensure that you make people aware of the event, and with enough time to make a decision on whether to attend or not. Brochures will need to be available, as well as print and if possible, radio or television advertising.
- Costing all aspects of the conference, from the price of hiring the facilities, to the fees for speakers, etc. If the conference is a pay-per-person event, you must ensure that the price charged will attract participants and allow a profit (or break even) while not over-pricing. If the event is "in-house" or free of charge, then value for money is even more important, to provide the best conference available without being a loss for the company.
- Decoration - what type of atmosphere will be required?
When to Run An Event
This is always the first and most important question to ask.
Many events that fail to achieve an appropriate level of support are run with insufficient demand. Some events are organised because it is the “expected” thing to do. For example, many organisations, from churches to schools and workplaces, organise seasonal parties or celebrations. These may vary from one culture to another, and may include New Years celebrations (which can occur at different times in different cultures), Christmas parties, Hanukkah celebrations, Easter picnics, and so on. The problem is that with an over abundance of events at the same time of year, caterers get booked up, and individuals face the dilemma of not being able to accept two invitations at the same time. Inevitably some of these events end up as grand successes, and others, despite all the good planning and efforts of their organisers, will never get more than a mediocre support.
Situations like this teach us that timing is as important as anything else in the management of an important event. Do your homework, and be aware of competing events on or near the date that you are planning for your event. Identify your target market (whether family members and friends for a wedding or local teenagers for a rock concert), and try to ensure that there is competing event that might interest them close to the time you plan to run the event.
When considering the date of the event, take into account:
- Other events that might affect participation
- Expected weather conditions
- Whether schools are schools open or closed
- Whether the date falls on a national or religious holiday
- The cost of the venue, staff etc. on that date (costs can increase on weekends or during holidays).
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