The “Not-So-Secret” Sauce for Every Occasion
What is the “secret” to awesome events? We think it takes the right process with a healthy dose of Curley Company values and creative energy. Over the next few posts, we’ll cover how our team uses the classic Research, Design, Planning, Coordination, and Evaluation structure and lessons from event pioneer Dr. Joe Jeff Goldblatt to cook up great events.
Start with a Recipe—Research
We start every event with questions and measurements. Who? What? When? Where? and don’t forget Why! The answers guide us through planning a successful event, helping us make all the necessary strategic decisions along the way.
Why: Always start with Why. Every choice made in the event planning process needs to support the overall purpose of the event. This means everything! Venues, program, and content seem obvious, but if you don’t think colors or food choices go back to the Why, then spend a day with us.
Who: Who will have an interest in the event? These could be internal and/or external stakeholders such as guests, donors, organization leadership, employees, media, general interested parties, sponsors, and many more. The other all important Who question we answer is: how many? Size does matter.
Where and When: These often go hand in hand because the answers always go back to our first two questions: Who is coming and Why are we doing this event? The response helps us decide if we should hold the event on a weekend in the Virginia countryside or mid-week in downtown DC when Congress is in session. The venue, geography, and timing set a message about the client and/or the event.
What: Last but not least…What type of experience will best achieve the purpose of the event? Is our goal to entertain or educate; inform or proclaim; celebrate or fundraise… sometimes all of the above! What do we want the attendees to remember about the event the next day or the next week?
Feasibility and Budget: After answering the 5 Ws, we gather data on the amount of time to execute the event; available funds; and the human resources available from our client. We get scrappy on how to save and creative on where we really need to spend for a Curley Company WOW. We look at fundraising goals and objectives, and funding sources. Finally, we pay attention to what is going on in the world around us so we are aware of outside impacts to our event.
Build on Past Success: Many of our events are reoccurring monthly or annually so part of our process is a post-event recap of what worked and what can be improved. The first thing we do when planning the next event is look at what we have learned from past ones.
Now you know the ingredients of our “secret” sauce. Check in soon for the next step: Design!