Event Planning: Best 4 Playground Rules

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Event Planning: Best 4 Playground Rules

Remember dodge ball and other fun, silly games we played as children on the school playground? There were days I am sure we all remember we witnessed or participated in arguments on the playground or temper tantrums and on occasion a dodge ball thrown in another kid’s face.

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Avoid Event Committee Throwdowns

Unlike an elementary school playground, event planning requires patience, understanding of others and the ability to go after what you want without upsetting others…unless you want repercussions.

4 Actions to Take the Sting Out of Event Planning

  1. Create Friendly Playmates
  2. Share the Toys
  3. Develop Bragging Rights Strategy
  4. Get Sponsors to Spoil You

Finding Friendly Playmates

Passionate people are attracted to event planning. Passionate people may try to take control of your event. Play to event partners’ strengths and give up control when it appropriately benefits the event.

You need at least four business partners to help plan an event for say 1,500 people or more. Bring playmates to the schoolyard that offset your weaknesses.

A great event example of partnerships is Howl-A-Day Jubilee, a pet shelter fundraiser in Naples, Florida, which I created with the shelter in 2005. While strong on promotions, I was weaker on event site plan creation. By allowing event partners take over the site layout and many other responsibilities, efforts paid out with five thousand pet owners attending the 2006 event donating nearly $12,000 to the shelter.

Find event partners outside of your regular circle by contacting professional affiliated groups, churches, non-profit organizations and nearby businesses.

How To Share the Toys
Disagreements will arise. Prevent event committee members from throwing their toys at each other by remaining in charge as the committee chair.

Never let committee members argue. Compliment each partner for their enthusiasm and then ask to discuss all ideas. Talking it out generally works to refocus passionate board members.

Sharing event responsibilities is at the heart of sharing your toys. Give board members important jobs, not the ones you don’t want to do. Finally, compliment all of your partners repeatedly and meet offline with those under performing.

Developing a Bragging Rights Strategy
How to promote and when is the question.

Event partners must create a strategy behind the event’s slogan, logo, tag line or promotional text and what marketing materials will be printed. Strategy includes a delivery plan for all your marketing materials.

Most affordable, promotional handout: 3″ (wide) by 8″ (tall) bookmark style point-of-sale handout. 90,000 of this type of handout costs between $1,500 and $3,000. Why this? Black and white flyers do little to catch consumers’ attention. A 3X8 handout is smaller and more convenient than a flyer. It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s fast. Stores will agree to hand it out to their patrons and sometimes your libraries.

Too many event planners forget about the importance of follow through with a promotions plan. A distribution plan is key. Without it, you can’t maximize your promotions.

Getting Sponsors to Spoil You
Every event need sponsors to spoil it with riches.

Sponsors make the difference between making money and losing it. Call friends. Send social media alerts. Ask others to share. Develop a sponsorship kit with a cover page, 3-4 sponsorship level choices and ask your event partners to earn at least two sponsors each.

Call local media outlets who may have expressed interest in your type of event before.

Summary: Make It Simple
Event planning isn’t brain surgery. All you need is reliable playmates, orderly assignments and a solid strategy behind your event promotions.

About Camden Smith

Camden Smith has written 77 posts for Marketing Magnetics.

Camden Smith owns DREAMFly Marketing with 16 years in strategic marketing and television journalism. Her cutting-edge, aggressive marketing skills have earned her numerous awards. Smith lives in Naples, Florida with her daughter London.



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     The ability to go after what you want without upsetting others is definitely a tricky one!

    • http://www.dreamflymarketing.com Camden Smith

      It’s a very fine line. I always recommend trying to build consensus on event planning committees but sometimes you can’t please everyone. :)