Producing an Event: Part one
by Ann "Roxann" Sabin
Hello and thank you for being interested in producing an event! The purpose of this column is to provide a resource for polished and professional presentations, with the goal being to further promote and increase the audience for Middle Eastern performing arts. Each article will focus on a particular aspect of producing an event and will be aimed at the stage performance, but can be applied to any event. You will notice that I will be getting detailed in my descriptions; don’t this level of detail throw you off. Remember, in this column we are planning The Perfect Event in a Perfect World. Having a good grasp of the details in the Real World, however, will make all the difference in dealing with one of life’s little surprises. Without any sort of structure in place little surprises can turn into big ugly ones. The goal here is to have something concrete in place about your event: to help keep things moving, remove questions, discover and resolve conflicts, and if you’re like me, to have something so you can see that you’re making progress (the most powerful weapon against discouragement). If any of the methods discussed in this column are not working for you beyond that you have simply not tried it before, look for an alternate method to accomplish the same thing.
The first thing you want to do is clarify the purpose of this event; in other words, why are you doing it? If you are catering to people who are already fans of Middle Eastern performing arts, it can be a completely different event than one aimed at educating the public, or a performance for a Middle Eastern community. While the purpose you come up with could be world shaking, it does not necessarily have to be. “To have fun” is just as viable as “To educate the people in my hometown about Middle Eastern performing arts.” Having a purpose or goal in mind will help keep you on track. When you start to plan an event, it is highly likely you have a picture in your mind of how the event is going to go. And while there is no reason it won’t go this way, you will often find that some concessions may need to be made. The point of having a purpose is to guide you in making these choices. For example, if you are having an informal party to give local dancers a chance to perform for each other, the community center might be perfect, and you may be willing to forego using the good sound system in exchange for a lower price. On the other hand, if you are bringing in a lecturer/performer renowned for her knowledge and skill and the intention is to educate the general public, you probably should not skimp on the good sound system.
Another good tool is setting goals for yourself, to use for both planning and at the end of the event as a measure as to how successful your event was. If you are hosting a lecture for the general public, how many non-dancers do you want to draw in? Can you ask people to sign in, so you will know? Or maybe you are asking participants to review a workshop when it’s over. What percentage do you want to review it (often a measure of interest), and what types of comments are your goals? Setting up goals ahead of time will help guide how the event is going to look. They can help you decide how much time and money you want to put into advertising, for example, or the physical space of the event. Again, as with having a purpose, goals can be as general or as specific as you want them to be. Once you get yourself set up with what might be called the abstract part of planning for your event, you are then ready to use a way to keep track of details. Funny, that’s next month’s topic.
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Thread: Producing an Event: Part one
08-03-2011 08:30 AM #1
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Producing an Event: Part one
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