The Event Planning Portfolio: How the Inclusion of Planning Documents Supports a Successful Event Delivery

Published: 2021/11/23
Number of words: 1665

In order to ensure the success of the House of Westminster Sales Conference, it takes a great deal of planning and organization from all sides of the team. All of the stakeholders needs and expectations need to be aligned with the event objectives and satisfied to the greatest extent possible. This is done through the planning and implementation of multiple organizational charts as well as a clear understanding of the volunteer management plan. By using all of these tools, every aspect of the event is noted to assure it is taken care of by the correct team by the correct time.

To begin, determining the event objectives is one of the first steps to take when planning this event. Event objectives should be interlinked with the event concept, vision, and mission statement of the organization (Pielichaty et al., 2016). By creating them with these other factors involved, it creates harmony and repeats the values and image of the organization. The objectives and concept of the event must be feasible and are crucial, initial phases of the event planning process. A feasibility study can also be done to make sure the event and its ideas and objectives are capable of happening with the resources available (Pielichaty et al., 2016). By deciding the event objectives, this then leads to all other important aspects, such as; target audience, date and time, venue location, content and structure, budget and stakeholders (Hanford, 2020). If possible, the host organization should utilize all research possible and the expertise of colleagues and additional stakeholders to assist in the decision-making (Pielichaty et al., 2016).

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The event objectives can cover a wide array of topics in order to achieve the goals of different stakeholders as well as the host organization. When creating objectives, it is important to think of them in relation to the SMART event objective breakdown technique (Heagney, 2016). SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based Heagney, J. (2016). Thinking of the SMART technique when coming up with event objectives establishes objectives that are realistic and consistent with the event, and puts them in a manageable place to evaluate once the event concludes. These objectives can be later measured in their success by their relation to the project being completed on time and within the approved budget as well as their performance. A good performance requires the project to satisfy its specifications and deliver the intended benefits to all stakeholders involved (Pielichaty et al., 2016). Overall, the event objectives play one of the most important roles in the early processes of the event planning process. As the event objectives define the event itself and create a measurable account of the event.

When creating this event and beginning the early stages of planning, it is important to recognize and determine the key stakeholders of the event. First, the event host must establish each stakeholder’s role, importance and influence of the event. Their needs, wants and overall agendas will vary, but it is up to the host to find a way to harmoniously combine all of them into one successful event (Hanford, 2020).

One way Event to establish what is wanted by the direct consumer and other stakeholders, if done early enough, is a survey. This is an informative tool to understand their perceptions and expectations of the event (Tum, 2015). Or a survey can be taken after the event has concluded to gauge what stakeholders thought of the event, to use this information for the next one unless the event does not have intentions to be held regularly. However, although the stakeholders may have different specific agendas, all are working towards the same goal of the overall event aim (Hanford, 2020).

Despite the stakeholders having individual objectives, the event planning team must work to manage the stakeholders’ engagement with one another in order to develop fruitful, cooperative and sustained relationships. By doing so creates a longer term and successful event management (Pielichaty et al., 2016). There should be an appropriate balance and fit between the stakeholders, event sponsors and the event objectives. For years’ different stakeholder theories, models and analyses have been created to explain the relationships between stakeholders of an event and how to manage them all. Nonetheless, these older stakeholder models were unable to understand and convey the complexity in the relationships of stakeholders (Wallace and Michopoulou, 2019). The table shown in in Section 1.3 shows a Stakeholder Management Plan Smart Sheet and how it places the stakeholders and their overall objectives right on top of one another. This way was easy to compare and contrast the different stakeholders and their objectives, while also taking their influence and impact into consideration (Smartsheet, 2020). With the multiple organizations involved in the sales conference, it was important to provide a template that closely examines each of their levels of influence to determine priority.

Due to this event being incredibly time sensitive, the use of precise scheduling is crucial to the success in the planning and execution of the event. By creating schedules and using a GANTT chart, the event planning team can arrange the necessary resources to complete each activity, as well as the timing of the activities (Tum, 2015). Since the event date and times are set, it was possible to work in using a backward scheduling technique (Tum, 2015). The Work Breakdown Structure shows how projects can be structured to meet objectives, understand and visualize how to manage the overall project (Pielichaty et al., 2016). This type of chart illustrates the relationships between different employees or team members’ tasks. A WBS can be formatted differently whether it is more important to display the tasks and roles by place or by function (Pielichaty et al., 2016). The WBS for this event was broken down into sections: Project Conception & Ideas, Project Logistics & Planning, Event Program and Day of the Event. So, the tasks were broken down by topic and partially by time frame.

When planning for risk management, the event planners must always take into account Murphy’s law, “if anything can go wrong, it will” (Tum, 2015, p150). By creating a Risk Assessment Sheet, the event planning team can identify the risks, their likelihood and impact level. With doing this and creating organization charts, the teams can do their best to prevent potential risks, but also come up with a plan to ease the situation if anything were to happen (Tum, 2015). By using this approach, it looks at all of the elements of the events and where each of them could create a potential risk (Tum, 2015). In turn, charts create a visual representation of the structure, organization, timeline and risk assessment of the event. Which can positively impact the outcomes by ensuring no task or risk is left undone or unassessed, it also creates a sense of responsibility for each team member and a visual method to keep the team on track.

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Despite volunteers not being officially part of the host organization or event planning team, those who volunteer can end up making or breaking the event. Volunteers add a great deal of value to the event, which is achieved by good planning and not be at the cost of the company (Tum, 2015). The motivations of volunteers differ, but it is crucial the volunteers understand the strategic purpose of the event and the objectives. This way, they understand their importance of contributing to the success of the event. By sending out a preliminary questionnaire in regards to roles and who they want to work with, this gives the volunteers flexibility which will hopefully increase retention. Which combats the issue when it is more prominent, during the recruitment and training process (Van der Wagen and White, 2014). Keeping volunteers motivated and happy will result in a successfully run event, and potentially create further relationships with the charity to then use later in the future.

In conclusion, to fully comprehend and execute the House of Westminster Sales Conference, the clear understanding of the objectives is the first step. Once the objectives are set, the path to appeasing all types and levels of stakeholders can be formed through the use of the Stakeholder Management Plan Smart Sheet. Through this use of charts which includes a risk assessment sheet, a work breakdown structure, a GANNT chart and volunteer management plan all contribute to the overall success of the event. These all enforce the art of a strict schedule, something imperative for a smoothly run event. With all being said, the combination of the different charts contributes to the overall success of the event by keeping everything concise and organized for all members of the team to understand.

Reference List

Hanford, L. (2020). Setting Objectives [lecture notes]. Event Planning and Management. Available from cute%252Fblti%252FlaunchLink%3Fcourse_id%3D_83056_1%26content_id%3D_3096359_ 1%26from_ultra%3Dtrue. [Accessed 8 November 2020].

Hanford, (2020). Week 3: Stakeholder Mapping in Event Delivery [lecture notes]. Event Planning and Management. Available from 4915-9a11-ac520104da69 [Accessed 8 November 2020].

Heagney, (2016). Fundamentals of Project Management, 5th Edition, 5. AMACOM. Available from oks_9780814437377 [Accessed 8 November 2020].

How to Create a Stakeholder Management Plan Smartsheet (2020). Available from: [Accessed Nov 9, 2020].

Pielichaty, , Els. G., Reed, I. and Mawer, V. (2016). Events Project Management. Oxon: Routledge. Available from VLE Books. p 44-59, 81-104, [Accessed 8 November 2020].

Tum, (2015). Management of event operations, Amsterdam : Elsevier

Butterworth-Heinemann. p53-71, 149-162, 213-238. Available from VLE Books. [Accessed 8 November 2020].

Van der Wagen, and White, L. (2014). Human resource management for the event industry, 2. London: Routledge. Available from VLE Books. p65-86, [Accessed 8 November 2020].

Wallace, K. and Michopoulou, E. (2019). The Stakeholder Sandwich: A New Stakeholder Analysis Model for Events and Event Management. 23 pp. 541-558(18). Available from https://www-ingentaconnect-;jsessionid=aa pgeded9sk95.x-ic-live-03 [Accessed Nov 8, 2020].

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