Here is a picture of an old shed camouflaged nicely in an overgrown pine tree patch down in the woods at Bethel Beach, and speaking of old and overgrown I'd like to talk about me and my role as an event planner at my paying job.
Did I mention yet that I am not an event planner? Oh. I meant to. That's where the camouflage aspect of the picture above comes into play, because just like that house, Chesapeake Bay Woman blends right in to the workforce as she pretends to be an event planner when she really isn't.
No matter, because I'm going to teach you everything I know about event planning. It's important to share best practices in any aspect of one's job, and so it is my pleasure to share with you The Chesapeake Bay Woman's Guide to Event Coordination and Project Management.
First, let's take a test to see how much you already know. Ready? Begin.
1. Your employer wants to throw a great big event for employees and their families, an appreciation day of sorts, involving a budget; the coordination of multiple outside vendors; and careful monitoring of the 40,562 tasks and details required to launch the event. The best person to tackle this job is:
a) Someone with an attention to detail who has a strong project management background.
b) Someone with an attention to dawdling who can't remember any details, whatsoever, about anything.
2. Selecting a date is critical to event planning. What's the best way to make your choice?
a) In January, select September 12, and then forget about the actual date (but not the month) until August comes rolling around.
b) Schedule the date for exactly four days after you return from being away from the office for a week and a half so you can attend to the
3. If your event will be outside, selecting a rain date is a fundamental step in the whole event planning process. This way you have what is known as a back up plan. It's always good to have not only a plan, but a back up plan. When do you start thinking about
a) Four days before the event, when you realize it's been raining for two weeks and today there are flood warnings and in four ridiculously short days children are supposed to be moon bouncing and rock-wall climbing and don't forget there will be a model aircraft show and not only will the model aircraft not fly but nobody will be there to watch due to gale force winds and horizontal rain.
b) Four days before the actual event, when someone casually asks if there is a rain date and you feel your heart make contact with your tonsils because all contracts have been signed and all vendors paid. There is no rain date.
4. Communication is extremely important when planning an event or running a large project. What are some examples of strong, professional statements you should make--with great conviction and without cracking a smile--to ensure the success of your major
a) "We need to confirm that Bubbles the Clown is bringing her own extension cords for the popcorn machine."
b) "Hey, Co-Worker, has Bubbles indicated what time she plans to arrive on Saturday?"
c) (To a potential volunteer for the event) "Yes, it's true that some people have a very serious fear of clowns. In light of that, I won't sign you up to assist Bubbles the Clown with her snow cone machine. How are your balloon-twisting skills?"
Congratulations! You are now fully prepared to execute
Featuring Bubbles the Clown.
Two continuing education credits will be awarded for this tutorial, and your certificate of completion will be mailed next week.