Conceptual event planning: remember R&D

Before venturing on a long road journey – one is advised to check all essential parts of the vehicle, in case the journey is abruptly halted in some remote part of the country.

There is no difference when deciding to plan and promote a workshop, think-tank, training session, conference et al – the types of meeting gatherings are almost endless.

It may seem a good idea to find a topic that a potential participant should know about – in an in-depth manner – yet the risks of not finding appeal are not a great idea.

Unless focussed research and development are undertaken before hand – one could be left with much time and money seriously wasted.

A few useful questions that should have straight answers for those who believe their event will ‘pull in the multitudes’:

*Targeted Audience

Are the ear-marked delegation in a decision-making position to attend?

Will the programme content be of benefit to the individual attending – back-at-the-office?

*Presenter Knowledge & Qualifications

Is it significant that the presenter knows his/her subject yet does not know the delegates specific needs on the subject?

*Promotional Wording

Will tired over-used words such as – ‘must attend’, ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ – be the catch-phrases to pull in the masses?

*Charge Structure

Is the fee – with inclusions and exclusions – market-related?

*Location & Destination

Does the majority of the delegation have to traverse great traffic congestion areas to get to the location that suits the planners and organisers?

*Technology-proof

Is the potential participant able to locate similar information on the ever-growing internet as a knowledge source on the same subject?

If the majority of the answers are negatives to attending – it would be best to go back to the drawing-board. In a world where there are so many events taking place for a myriad of reasons – bear in mind that the potential participant has probably heard it all before and has become highly selective and indeed cynical about ‘yet another so-called invitation’. R&D homework is an essential first step.