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  • Juliette Avery

Event Planning Demystified: Learning the Ins and Outs of Event and Meeting Management

Events are a simple and common way to bring people together and foster connections, whether personally, socially, or professionally. However, planning these events and having a positive outcome is not as simple as it may seem. A deep understanding is necessary for success, and it starts with the fundamentals. PCMA’s 10-week course, “Event and Meeting Management Fundamentals,” provided an in-depth breakdown of event requirements and necessities for any event that may come my way within the events industry.

One of the fundamental lessons from the course was the importance of defining clear objectives. All events should start by gathering information from the client on the goal of the event, whether that be to make a profit, foster connections, educate attendees, etc. From there you can define the needs of the potential attendees and set expectations. This is a step that is often missed in most event timelines. Itmay be an event that is done annually, so the expectations and needs were established in the past; however, the goals of the event should be revisited often to ensure progress and growth.

Another event fundamental that stuck out to me was risk management. Whether planning an outdoor wedding or a large educational conference, there are various risks and unforeseen circumstances —such as weather, technical difficulties, or security concerns — that need to be planned for in advance.The course emphasized the importance of risk assessment by giving an overview on how to create a contingency plan and mitigation techniques to minimize these possible risks. This starts with knowing what measures the venue has in place, having clear signage, and identifying the contact information for local first responders.

Lastly, the fundamental that I was most lacking knowledge on is budgeting and financial management.Going into the course, this was a daunting subject as it is crucial for the success of any event. The course eased my nerves by providing information on how to develop a comprehensive budget and monitor expenses throughout the planning process. The concept of financial principles can make or break your event, and although this may still be nerve wracking, it’s a crucial piece of the planning puzzle.

This course would serve as a valuable resource to anyone who is just getting started in the events industry and doesn’t know where to begin. I now feel as though I have an abundance of knowledge on how to approach events of any kind and I’m looking forward to putting that to use! BL



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