Author: Mariana Mata Lara
As you reader might already know, dissemination (together with communication and exploitation) is considered a KEY and mandatory activity to include in any EU-funded project. Without reaching out to society and to the specific audiences, without raising awareness about the project’s aim and results, and without transferring the knowledge and results to the stakeholders that can best make use of it, the impact of a project wouldn’t be as significant.
One of the best and most common ways to showcase the outcomes available for use and enable them for the uptake by target groups is by organising a final event for all relevant audiences that demonstrates all that was achieved by the project and is available as legacy for these groups' benefit.
So, what are the 5 C’s of Event Planning?
Organizing an event could be divided into 5 main phases, or for easy remembering, “the 5 C’s” (see image at the bottom).
First, you need to think about the event concept: why do you want to create this event? What’s the purpose?
-Is it disseminating your results?
-Is it making people network?
-Is it hosting different workshops?
-Is it for raising awareness about a specific issue?
Once you know this, you have to figure out who you want as target audience, the beneficiaries of this event. This will be the basis to then think about how the event should look like, the speakers, the place, and so on.
The best approach would be to start with schedules (or a Gantt chart) defining the timeline you have before the event. What needs to happen month by month to arrive calmly to the day of the event? Think about who from your event planning teams needs to do what, contact potential speakers you would like to involve, pick the venue, organize all logistics, maybe you want to set some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), start thinking about the promotion of your event, and so on.
It might be convenient to also prepare a script for the day of the event. This is not the agenda of the event (the one you will share with all attendees), but rather the internal timeline for your team.
Once you have all your detailed plan with assigned roles and defined times, you then make sure that all is going according to schedule. Most likely, there will be surprises here and there where things won’t go according to the plan. Be prepared for changes and improvising alternative solutions. If possible, bring your team to the venue before the day of the event so everyone becomes familiar with the space and their roles. Do tests for screening, livestreaming, sound, everything you can test.
THIS IS THE DAY OF THE EVENT! Everything you have put together and rehearsed so far will now bring results. Keep track of the script you prepared and make sure that everything is happening on time and the way it was planned. Be ready for surprises, solve unexpected things, be always available for guests. Coordinate all pieces of the puzzle, and also enjoy the day!
After the event ends successfully, there is still work to be done. If you hired caterers, videographers, photographers, sound equipment, or other type of provider, you want to make sure that all payments are done and that the contracts are closed. You also want to assess the turnout of the event, see is the KPIs set were achieved, make a blogpost or summary of the event to share with the attendees plus wider audience later on. It is also useful to ask feedback from your team on what could have been improved, what was overachieved, what was stressful, so you know next time where you need to put an extra focus on. Also prepare a satisfaction survey for participants to get their input on the event. Thank everyone and share to the world the success of your event!
Did you find the article useful? Then you can download the image below summarizing the 5 C’s of event planning!