P1 an event at a venue the event organiser

P1 – Explain the role and skills
required to be an effective events planner.

 

An event
organiser is someone who develops events on large scales such as festivals, conferences,
ceremonies, weddings, formal parties, concerts, or conventions. It involves identifying its target audience, planning the event idea and coordinating the technical
aspects before actually launching the event. The event organiser must also plan
many aspects such as;

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·        
The legal requirements to hold an event.

·        
Organisational producers that need to be
applied, such as policies on how risk assessments are completed or security
control.

·        
Where, when and how the event is going to take
place.

There are 7
main elements that an event organiser needs to follow. These are venue,
location, contracts, preparing and distributing documents, setting up the
programme, preparing and reserving facilities.

 

Venue

 

When an
organiser is setting up event they need to think about the category of people
attending for example it could be an event specialised for children, students,
professional business managers and members or even regular people. Also when
setting up an event at a venue the event organiser needs to think about how
many people attend. For example, if around 50 people attend it is possible to organise
the event at a small hotel. If 150 people attend you will need a venue that
will hold that many people such as a hall or large venue. If the venue is
organised for a small number and for example just a business conference where
someone is just going to speak a few seats should be right for this occasion.
However, if the event is for a wedding or another occasion where food and drinks
are going to be provided, it would be best if the number of seats and tables
are fixed to the amount of people attending. When organising an event, the
venue should be located to somewhere close to local transportation for the
people attending. For example, if it is an event set up for young people,
public transport is very important. If the event is at a small local place
security maybe low or maybe no security because there are not many people
attending. However, if a lot of people are attending then security must be high
and people attending should be checked on their way in and see if they’re
invited to the event. The size of the venue should be based on the amount of
people attending, which means the capacity should be over the amount of people
attending to the event.

 

Location

 

When
planning an event, it is important to consider and think about the target
market. For example, most likely if the event is being organised in central
London, this could be for a business event due to the high prices for hiring
venues in central London. If the participants are from the local area this means
that the event and venue can be held at local place where all the attendees can
easily access. However, if people from all over the region are attending, the
venue should be held at a location that is close and central for the people
attending.

 

 

 

 

 

Catering

 

When setting up an event it is important to consider the different
types of catering which are available to the attendees. Examples of different
catering is such as, breakfast, lunch or dinner and this could be set up as a 3
course meal which would mean people would need seats and tables. However, if the
food being ordered is just simple food which can be served in a buffet style,
this means people can be standing up and around. Also it is important for the
organiser to follow food standards agency guidelines because with this they can
make sure participants who are at the event do not get ill because of the food
and do not make a complaint about the food. When the event organiser plans and
arranges the event they need to go over other peoples ethical and belief
considerations. For example, if the people attending believe in Islam, then
providing halal meat should be provided at the venue or ordered from another
location. Also if the people attending have a vegetarian section or vegetarian
only event then only vegetarian food should be provided.

 

Planning and
reserving facilities

 

When setting up an event it is crucial to think of what other
major events might be going on during the same time. If another related event
which is as big as or bigger than the event being planned, it is better to
reschedule the event to time where there aren’t any big events that area
related so people have time for each event. Also when planning an event, the
organiser needs to consider whether the event should be indoors or outdoors,
due to the season and this also means they need to check the weather
beforehand. Moreover, the event may require certain supplies that are only
available at certain times of the year, for example at the time of Christmas;
the organiser may need to include Christmas trees for the event around the
venue. Also the event might be linked to another particular festival or other
event that might have previously happened. If the event is a large event, there
should be extra facilities such as first aid kits for anyone who might need
medical attention during the event. Also, extra facilities such as special
assistance just in case anyone needs help with their wheelchair. For after the
event volunteers or other cleaning companies could clean when the event has
finished and could be provided with facilities for rubbish collection during
and after the event.

 

Setting up
the programme

 

When setting
up an event, the event organiser needs to have a list of what will happen at
the event which will inform the attendees what to expect. The programme will
also have other information such as the details if any special guests will be
attending or speeches, entertainment during the event. The programme would also
have the length of the event and how people can make their way to the event and
information on where they can stay over a few nights because the event might
take place over a few days.

 

Preparing and distributing
documents

 

Most events
have documents such as the background, agenda or schedule, event papers,
communication plan, travel arrangements, accommodation and risk assessment.
These documents are usually in hard or soft copy form that can be distributed
before or even after the event. Due to environmental reasons and costs, soft
copies such as USB sticks, websites and other secure online storage areas with
passwords are preferred. Distributing documents in hard copy form such as traditional
paper documents. Documents are usually handed out during the event or sometimes
even after the event. It is also important for the event organiser to consult
and involve the participants because it will find out if people are likely to
attend. Also consultation before the event will help to highlight any issues
that may affect the quality and success of the business event. When planning an
event, the organiser needs to give out information on the event such; when the
event starts, the cost of the attendance, the specific programme of the event,
how to get there and any prior knowledge that the event participants need
before the event. Also once people have signed up for the event, the organiser
will need to send them joining instructions and, if necessary, notify them of
any changes to the arrangements. Sometimes for various reasons events have to
be slightly altered, this maybe because the event is growing too large for the
chosen venue, the event cannot take place because of illness, change in
weather, lack of funding, lack of interest and a concern by authorities that
the event should not go ahead, for example due to security or health and safety
concerns. When planning an event, the organiser must also have contingency
plans for anything that might go wrong. For example, if the event was planned
and carried outdoors but the weather switches up and starts raining, the event
organiser must have a backup plan to send the attendees where they can stay.

 

Contracts

 

Most planned
events will require contractual agreements that can be agreed verbally or in
written form. These contracts set out the offers and prices for the individual
elements of the event including the venue, catering, insurance and advertising
and promotion. Contracts are important as they set out budgets and the amount
of money needed to spend on the event.

 

Current
legal requirements

 

When organising an event, the following legal requirements must be
considered. The first legal requirement is making sure that as event organiser
you should have contracts with your suppliers. This includes suppliers offering
intangible goods such as the venue owners supplying the venue, as well as those
offering tangible goods, for example, the caterers. The ‘Supply of Goods and Services Act 198’ guarantees that you are
protected if there are any issues with any of the suppliers. The second legal
requirement is health and safety. When setting up an event the event organiser
needs to make sure that everyone attending the event must be kept safe. ‘The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974’
highlights that everyone has a responsibility for their own health and safety
and has a duty of care for others. When organisers put together an event, they
must contact different agencies such as police, fire or ambulance,
environmental health and food agency and local authority licensing team. The third
legal requirement the organiser must consider is age restriction. All organised
events need to meet age requirements. For example, at a music event or
festival, it must be ensured that young people are aged 18 or over if they are
going to buy any alcohol or tobacco. A fourth legal requirement that must be
considered is licensing. For many events, it is compulsory to have a license.
The license may be required by the council or maybe even for holding the event
itself. The last legal requirement the event organiser needs to consider is
consumer protection. This act brought into force changes to the rights of
consumers, including those that relate to different types of services and
events, these include; digital content such as apps, e-books and movies, additional
protection for faulty goods and additional protection for unfair terms such as
hidden charges or fees. Consumers can take organisations to court if these
regulations don’t take place. This is very time and money consuming for the
organisation.

 

 

 

Setting up
organisational procedures

 

Organisations
will usually have a set of procedures that they follow for events, and these
procedures will change depending on the size of the organisation, the type of
event that is taking place and who is involved. For example, a business meeting
may only require an employee to let their line manager know that it is taking
place as part of the organisations procedures. However, a business conference
may require the approval and might need to be agreed by the chief executive or
managing director.  The procedures for
signing off events are vital and are determined on the purpose of the event and
how the event can affect the organisations reputation. If there are expenses
involved, these may need to be signed off and authorised to by someone higher
in the company such as the finance manager or director to confirm that there is
money available for the needs of the event. If organisation procedures don’t
place and forms are not completed this could lead the event organiser into
serious trouble, especially if something goes wrong. When organising an event,
a risk assessment must also take place. The risk assessment will go over any
problems found while setting up the event. The risk assessment will also help
the event organiser on how he can take steps to reduce the likelihood of anything
unexpected taking place.  In the risk
assessment, there needs to be information such as which hazard may take place,
the people at risk, the likelihood of the hazard happening, the severity of the
hazard, how to control the risk and any further action.

 

Hazard
identified

Members at
risk
 

Likelihood
 

Severity
 

Controls
 

Further
action
 

If someone trips or falls from stairs inside the building.
 
 
 

Employees and guests.
 

Medium
 

Low
 
 

Control the amount of people who go through certain areas so
this hazard doesn’t take place.
 

Not required
 
 
 

Someone might trip to the wires of the audio or video equipment.

Employees and guests.

Low, if the right procedures are in place.

Low

The wires for the equipment should be stuck to the floor with
tape or high up where it cannot be reached.

Not required

 

 

When
planning an event, the event organiser must check and go through security
procedures. Security procedures are important as they will help outline what
happens in an emergency, where the nearest fire exits are, what kind of sound
indicates that there is an emergency and what happens if someone needs to be
searched. Due to the expensive materials and equipment, they must be kept
secure before, during and after the event until they have been picked up and
taken by the supplier. The materials and equipment must also be monitored at
all times.

 

 

 

 

 

Skills required to be an
effective event organiser.

 

During the
event it is important to make sure all procedures are organised accordingly and
everything is running as expected. There are six planning skills an event
organiser must follow in order to have an event run smoothly. These 6 planning
skills are organising, problem solving, time managing, negotiating,
communicating and interpersonal.

 

Organising

Everything
must run smoothly during the event as this is very important. In order to be
organised, you must make sure everything is running to time, notes are being
taken, documents distributed, rooms are easily accessible and arrivals or
cancellations are noted. The first part of organising is the distribution of
documents as it is important for an organiser to make sure attendees and
representatives receive the correct documents regarding the event as it is
their duty. The second part of organising is knowing the facilities and
location of rooms. Throughout the event, participants may find it difficult to
reach specific rooms and may end up lost in the venue. Due to this, there
should be support available from employees from around the venue. Another part
of organising which is key is recording of arrivals and cancellations.
Recording attendance is essential when an event is being organised due to
serious health and safety reasons. Cancellations should also be monitored as
this can record who didn’t attend and can impact the decision if they should be
invited for a future event. It is also important to record cancellations as
there is a fine at some venues or events if the attendee doesn’t turn up. These
steps are vital as they are key to be organised which leads to a successful
event.

 

Problem solving

Problem
solving is a skill an event organiser needs in order to be able to solve any
issues or obstacles that come their way. Problem solving means speaking with
the attendees to find out any to find out if they have any concerns that need
to be dealt with. Methods such as refreshment breaks or introduction speeches
with a quick questions and answers are goods ways of communicating with the
attendees to see if they have any queries. Also after the event, it is possible
to get reviews and feedback from the attendees by the use of questionnaires or
surveys. Certain events such as technology events where they present their
latest products. At these sort of events collecting data for them is much
easier as it is possible to setup unique hashtags such as “#event2018” where
attendees can submit their reviews. Every event may go according to plan but
some might slightly go off track and the event organiser must be ready with
rearrangements for the anomaly. An example of a problem would be if the
location was at an outdoor venue, but however due to the bad weather, the event
must be cancelled or if the organiser has rearrangements such as a backup
venue. Event organisers must also notice arising issues. These are issues that
are not expected and may happen at the beginning, middle or end. Arising issues
can be separated in two different categories; issues that can be controlled by
the event organisers and issues that cannot be controlled by the organiser. An
example of an issue an organiser can control is the schedule. It is the event
organisers responsible that everything goes according to the schedule, if it
goes off schedule the organiser must have an alternative method to keep up with
the schedule. However, issues such as transport problems on motorways or public
transport is something the event organiser cannot control. Communication is the
main factor the event organiser must poses in order to solve arising issues, it
is also important for the organiser to reflect how the impact could be reduced.
Keeping the attendees notified on any problems or issues is vital as it can
avoid any negative responses and give them time on what decision to make next.
Overall, problem solving event organisers must be creative, sympathetic to any
situations and quick to respond.

Time management

It is key
for event organisers to focus on what is important and keep everything on track.
While many organisers try their hardest to focus on time management skills,
they still make common mistakes such as; wasting time and going off task by checking
personal emails or text messages. This is poor time management as it is
irrelevant to the event and can cause other problems, such as slowing down the
process of the event. Another common time management mistake made is not being
organised. Being organised is one of the key attributes of the event organiser,
as it has it in the name of the role. If the organiser isn’t organised, then they
won’t have a schedule which is part of being organised. Not having a schedule will
lead to unnecessary problems which may mess up with time management and bring
you back over tasks you may have already completed. However, for an organiser
to have good management skills, they must; use a schedule which plans out their
tasks, so they know what is completed and what needs to be completed. Along with
their schedule, the organiser must avoid distractions such as Facebook/personal
emails or texts. A third skills is delegating others to certain tasks. These
are important skills as they show good time management and will cause the process
of the organising to increase by getting much more tasks completed efficiently
and quickly.

 

Negotiating

Event
organisers need to be able to negotiate. Being able to negotiate means to bargain
with others by discussion and settle to an agreement without an argument. For an
event organiser to be a successful negotiator they must look for benefits that
relate with the person they are trying to negotiate with, they must be able to
convince them that the positives of having mutual benefits outweigh the

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