‘Successful Planning is the Knowledge that Every End is a New Beginning’

Although the planning team may take a breather for a day or two – it is best to strike while the memory remains fresh and vivid by undertaking a thorough post mortem or as some would term the wrap-up, a debriefing.

There are standard procedures to the process which should be heeded each and every time.

  1. Debriefings

With no more than five questions – the main players should provide their feedback from their own        viewpoint.  In particular and in relation to the various SLAs (Service Level Agreements).  All inputs must be documented in an orderly, simple-to-retrieve method.

  1. Chairperson, Panellists, Presenters & Media  Similarly to a soccer match – the main ‘players’ provide their perspectives in each instance are gleaned.
  2. Suppliers & Services –  The range of suppliers are predominatly the venue, staging & production entities. As both these suppliers can indeed make or break the event – the debriefings are crucial. However the various services such as: Registration, Décor, Entertainment, Independent Planner and the like are equally important to ensure an effective debrief.
  3. Consolidation of Evaluations – The prime evaluations are those of the delegation whether guests, participants, attendees – the various audience terms are endless. This is where technology comes into it’s own. If carefully planned throughout the event dependent of event type and awareness possibilities to provide their inputs – the  evaluation feed-back remains the crux of the event’s success or failure, especially taking account of the actual set objectives. The manner in which the evaluations are designed simultaneously with the agreed objectives is                                   paramount and should not at any time be under-estimated.
  1. Determination of the Outcomes

    Discussing the outcomes with the key human components will provide a 360 degree perspective of the outcomes.
  1. Event Management Personnel – These are the ‘eyes-&-ears’ of the total perspective of the event.  Equally whether the tasks allotted were completed in accordance with their particular SLA is essential.
  2. Management / Client – Finally with all the debriefings complete and simply documented – management can be advised of the various overall outcomes together with the ROI (Return on Investment) & ROO (Return on Obectives)
  1. Wrap-up & ‘Bagging’

    Either hard-copy or preferably on a back-up method – this aspect is just as important as the beginning.
  1. Data base collection – In tandem with the debriefings – the various data-base captures should be ongoing.
  2. Reports – The debriefing and other appropriate reports should be collated and put together in a manner with indexing that are easily re-visited
  3. Bagging – Lastly the effective filing of all the pertinent wrap-up documentation which has formed part of the various post-mortems are filed away to await referencing for the follow-up of the event outcomes. The end is indeed a new beginning

* Helen Brewer from The MICE Academy, is an independent contributor and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Planner.