November 27, 2012 - Collège Boréal
“A key marketing strategy in the planning of any event is the use of social media” – Carol Moxam
Event planning is important for many professional immigrant associations. From galas and networking nights, to small gatherings of board members these occasions all require some form of event coordination and planning.
On November 27, 2012, TRIEC held a Leadership Development workshop for network leaders and partners on the fundamentals of organizing an event. At this evening session, 16 individuals from nine associations learned about the essentials to event planning.
Carol Moxam- CEO/Founder, Special Event Boot Camp
Carol emphasized that from the venue, to the guest list to the budget, there are many facets to the event planning process. The best place to start is to establish goals for the event and the more specific the better. Developing a production schedule/critical path with key dates, required tasks, and assigning who is responsible will keep the planning team organized. Using helpful online tools such as Google Docs can also help to plan with members who are scattered across large geographical regions.
Carol emphasized that one way to stand out from other organizations is to create a unique identity or brand for your event or group. Using a consistent look is helpful in making the community familiar with your organization and its activities. Another key marketing strategy is the use of social media, which can be powerful in building connections with the greater community and encouraging participation.
Carol also encouraged event planners to consider enlisting the help of volunteers. Invite volunteers to commit for a short time or over the entire course of the event planning process depending on your needs. You can use websites such as Facebook, Craigslist and Kijiji to broadcast your “Call for Volunteers” and consider working with people looking to gain Canadian work experience. Lastly, when the event is done, remember to acknowledge team members for their hard work and contributions.
- Share the responsibilities and document your tasks. Organize your event in a well-documented way so if you cannot attend, your notes will allow for the event to still run smoothly
- Get comfortable using social media. Think about how you can incorporate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social applications into your event promotion
- Invite community volunteers throughout the entire process. People can volunteer for a number of tasks or over the long term on the day of your big event
- Remember the personal side of the event as well. Follow up calls and expressions of appreciation are always valued.
Online resources to help with event planning
- Basecamp.com - Project Management website
- Rebelmouse.com - combines your Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote your events across the two platforms
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