Your next party needs an event planner

18-07-15 closing ceremony15 pacific games-Tanya ZerigaAlone (11)Protocol. Planning. Procedure. Crowd control. Whatever term you choose to use, order and ceremony are ingredients still missing in most of our events and ceremonies in Papua New Guinea.

The current trend is to leave the details to chance and assume these details will, by miracle unfold the way you want them to go. The result; disorder and chaos.

This is similar to the misconception by new drivers. When I was a learner, I assumed the vehicle would intuitively respond to my thoughts and move to the direction in my head when I shift into reverse gear and start to move.  I learned fast that, reversing is a conscious operation. When you are learning, you plan your move in your head, then transfer those thoughts to the wheels, then the tires will  respond to how you turn the wheel.

Similarly, planning an event. The steps of the event have to be thought out, and planned before being executed. Playing it by ear works for smaller events but not so for bigger events which will  involve more guests and more variables. Every step and every detail have to be considered. Some overlooked detail, even though minor may unravel your party causing more than one negative impact.

Public gatherings squeeze many people into a tiny space. Tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people, big hair, bald heads, young people, old people and people with babies. Smokers, non-smokers. All these differences and the many other human variability need to be taken into account and catered for.

At any one time and among the many, some people will need food, others water, others need to answer the call of nature, others looking for trouble while the rest look forward to be entertained and fed well, if food is part of the event. A few think they are entitled to a bigger space and spread themselves out into adjoining spaces, annoying other people.  All these needs must be provided for and allowances made for others.

There must be rules governing the gathering. A gathering without house rules is similar to throwing 22 people in a soccer field and telling them to play whatever game they want to play. Ensuing result – chaos and many dissatisfied guests.

As an example, go to any graduation and you can be sure to have a memory card full of images of people’s heads. Enthusiastic relatives jostling and dodging each other to take pictures of their loved ones. Milestones need to be celebrated, but there has to be order so that everyone is given a chance to celebrate theirs. Success does not have to depend on how fit you are in hogging that space right  infront of the podium.

There must be order to honor the ceremony. A wedding ceremony is one that keeps getting dishonored in PNG. This always happens when the newly wedded couple have to sign their marriage certificate.  The invited guests and parents, most times, elderly, have their view blocked off by a wall of media pads and camera phones wielded most times by children. What is the purpose of being invited to witness the ceremony when all that is in front of you are backsides?

A recent event of religious nature highlighted that even spiritual events need human interventions and should not be left to the leading of the spirit.

In contrast, consider the latest event in Port Moresby.

Praises rang to high heavens for the last event the 15th Pacific Games. There was order and there was ceremony.

The spectators were happy, the athletes left happy, the volunteers exhausted, but glad to have been part of the machinery that made the games a success.

Why was that so? All the events and proceedings were planned. From toilets, to watering thirsty volunteers to bus arrangements. The steps from start to end was intended then enforced to guarantee order.

Event planning serves a number of purpose. First it ensures order and ceremony for the pleasure of the host. Second, it is respect and honour for the event – whatever it may be. Third, an orderly event is a show of respect and honor to your guests, who must be pleasured for turning up. Fourth, a planned event identifies and either removes or minimizes any threats and indemnifies the host from any liability from the actions of guests.

There are people called event planners who are dedicated to ensuring just that. But it can be easily done by anyone. All it requires is a pen, paper and your forward thinking cap. And  one can only get better, like driving, the more you do it, you become better at it.

That is why your next party needs an event planner.  If not you, then find someone who can.

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1 Comment

  1. October 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Well said. Were you part of the event planning for the Games? It looked like a great success, even on TV. 🙂


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