Most people have had to organize at least one large event in their lives. For example, are you married and how did that go? If children have come along you may find yourself organizing hockey tournaments, soccer awards nights or scout camps. Even if kids are not in the picture, at work you may be tagged to run the company picnic or a United Way fund-raiser.
Psst Buddy, Want a Free Idea?
The point is that we find ourselves organizing one-time events quite often in our lives. Over the past three years, I have been organizing events as a volunteer board member of the Edmonton chapter of the Financial Management Institute or FMI. We organize conferences 4-6 times a year in which 60 to 250 guests come and hear between one and a dozen speakers.
This blog is to point you in the direction of a best practice document the Edmonton FMI uses to manage two different challenges: idea generation and event management.
Idea generation means keeping every idea in an idea locker. As an idea matures and becomes more real, the Edmonton FMI chapter has a step-by-step methodology to take an idea from a murky-concept to a conference with hundreds of attendees. The idea locker is for those who run professional associations, particularly if the association focus on accounting, business, economics or government. Feel free to take a look in locker and use whatever you like. All that we ask is that you give us back a bit of love by acknowledging the original source (FMI) and contribute your great ideas (past and future) to the idea locker.
Hockey Dads and Soccer Moms of the World UNITE!
The event methodology is more for the hockey dad, soccer mom or company picnic-planner. It lists a planning methodology and provides a series of tools to assist in delivering an event. The event methodology builds from the idea locker and central to the methodology is an excel based planning tool. This tool comes complete with a detailed program agenda, volunteer roles, an income statement and a project plan. Beyond this tool, the methodology describes how conference calls can help reduce the planning burden, the value of a virtual (conference call) dress rehearsal with your speakers and time cards to keep the event ticking along.
I invite you to poke around the two lockers. You will need to adapt them to suit your specific circumstances but you are free to use the ideas and methodologies to make organizing your next event a non-event …. at least when it it comes to stress and worry!