Professional Event Coordination_ Julia Silvers WILEY

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An event is an experience, carefully crafted to deliver an impact on the person in attendance. The activities, environment, and layers of multi- sensory effects are integrated into an event design that is staged and choreographed with precision and polish. The best event experience is one in which the mechanics are imperceptible to the attendee and the in- tended impact is delivered effectively and invisibly.

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  1. Professional Event Coordination
  2. The Wiley Event Management Series SERIES EDITOR: DR. JOE GOLDBLATT, CSEP Special Events: Twenty-First Century Global Event Management, Third Edition by Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP The International Dictionary of Event Management, Second Edition by Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP, and Kathleen S. Nelson, CSEP Corporate Event Project Management by William O’Toole and Phyllis Mikolaitis, CSEP Event Marketing: How to Successfully Promote Events, Festivals, Conventions, and Expositions by Leonard H. Hoyle, CAE, CMP Event Risk Management and Safety by Peter E. Tarlow, Ph.D. Event Sponsorship by Bruce E. Skinner, CFE, and Vladimir Rukavina, CFE Professional Event Coordination by Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP
  3. Professional Event Coordination Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.
  4. This book is printed on acid-free paper. Copyright © 2004 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey Published simultaneously in Canada. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copy- right Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 750-4470, or on the web at Requests to the Publisher for permission should be ad- dressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hobo- ken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, e-mail: Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, inci- dental, consequential, or other damages. For general information on our other products and services or for technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at (800) 762-2974, outside the United States at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. For more information about Wiley prod- ucts, visit our web site at Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Silvers, Julia Rutherford. Professional event coordination / Julia Rutherford Silvers. p. cm. — (The Wiley event management series) Includes index. ISBN 0-471-26305-2 1. Special events—Planning. 2. Special events—Management. I. Title. II. Series. GT3405.S55 2004 394.2—dc21 2003012936 Printed in the United States of America. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  5. To Larry, my husband, my sailor, my best friend—the one who has made any and all moon hanging possible.
  6. Contents Foreword—Edward G. Polivka ix Foreword—Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP xi Preface xiii Acknowledgments xvii Chapter 1 Anatomy of an Event 1 Chapter 2 The Event Element Assessment 27 Chapter 3 Developing the Event Site 63 Chapter 4 Accommodating the Audience 93 Chapter 5 Providing the Event Infrastructure 133 Chapter 6 Safe Operations 169 Chapter 7 Coordinating the Environment 203 Chapter 8 Fundamentals of the Production 231 Chapter 9 Staging the Entertainment Experience 269 Chapter 10 Food and Beverage Operations 293 Chapter 11 Making Event Memories 317 Chapter 12 Ancillary Programs 341 Chapter 13 Vendors and Volunteers 367 Chapter 14 Knowledge Management 397 Chapter 15 Strategies for Success 423 Appendix 1 Sample Client Interview Form 431 Appendix 2 Sample On-Site Change Order Form 439 Appendix 3 Event “Survival” Kit 441 Appendix 4 Sample Site Inspection Checklist 443 Appendix 5 References and Reading List 449 Index 457 vii
  7. Foreword In 1976 the president of the university where I was teaching asked me to take over the direction of a tourism program that was losing enrollment. His charge was to make the program grow or sign its death certificate. I began researching all aspects of tourism for a program that would use our teaching resources, appeal to our students, and give them some leverage in the job market after graduation. Our research discovered a subset of tourism called meetings, events, conventions, and expositions. At that time this industry was contributing $32.5 billion to the gross national product, but there appeared to be no formal educational path for young people wishing to enter the industry. On closer examination we discovered that most of the people work- ing in the industry had gravitated to it by chance. Some of the most in- fluential people in the industry at that time had been assigned the task of producing great events and outstanding meetings by a boss who did not want to do it himself. We were amazed at the size of the budgets for many of these events. In some cases they exceeded the annual budgets of small companies and divisions of large firms. With little or no formal training available, these people produced creative and memorable events. Over time, and with much trial and error, a recognizable profession grad- ually took shape. We pondered, “Was everything they did intuitive?” Many of the profession’s leading practitioners were surveyed to de- termine what they considered to be their educational weaknesses and what subjects they wish they had studied in school. The information we collected helped us to define our curriculum. As we grew closer to the launch of our program, we discovered two things: ■ Most professionals thought that we were embarking on a fool’s journey. This was one profession that could not be taught in a classroom. ■ There were no books that could be used in the classroom to teach these courses. Times have changed. Meetings, exhibitions, events, and conventions (MEEC) courses now appear in the curriculum of more than 200 univer- sities worldwide. In fact, postgraduate course work in these fields is taught at many of the world’s leading universities. It is quite common for ix
  8. x Foreword employers to contact universities to request students who have MEEC de- grees. Clearly, there is a demand for college-trained professionals in an industry that has tripled in size in the last 27 years. However, the greatest cause of near failure of our educational pro- gram in the late 1970s was lack of books for our courses. As in any emerging industry, codification of rules, techniques, and guidelines is a critical step in the educational process. Over the years I have been impressed when I heard that someone was getting ready to publish a new book for the industry. It meant that some- one like Julia Rutherford Silvers was going to add to her personal work- load the task of creating a book about the events industry. In the case of this book, it is a selfless effort to help others understand the dynamic and exciting events industry. I am pleased to have the honor of introducing this book. It represents another milestone in the educational process. It is a concise guide for seasoned professionals and will serve as an excellent classroom resource for students trying to understand the dynamics of this industry. It will allow students to grasp the complexities that thousands of industry pro- fessionals accept as a regular part of their jobs. Julia Rutherford Silvers has taken a no-nonsense approach to a “fun” industry. She has put another important building block in place to help event management to be better recognized as a fully developed industry. What book dedicated to this complex business would not include checklists? I believe that this book contains some of the clearest, most concise, and extremely useful lists that have been developed to date. I know you will enjoy this valuable resource. It will be a great ad- venture for the novice and yet serve as an effective guide for the seasoned professional. Let the event begin! Edward G. Polivka
  9. Foreword Pulitzer prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant described edu- cation as “the transmission of civilization.” In this important and comprehensive volume, Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP, has transmitted literally hundreds of ideas that will dramatically improve the coordina- tion of your events. Ms. Silvers is a leading force in the field of event management edu- cation and has distilled her many years of professional experience into an easy-to-use compendium of best practices for modern event coordi- nators. “On-Site Insights” are presented throughout the chapters, which immediately enable you to apply her theories through real-world anecdo- tal examples. Furthermore, this valuable book has dozens of checklists, tables, figures, and other proven strategies for future success. Whether you are coordinating a small function for ten guests or a major exposition or festival with 10,000 attendees, this book and the wis- dom within can serve as a reliable guide to ensure seamless coordina- tion. From the opening chapter, which conducts a thorough study of the anatomy of professional events, to the closing final strategies for success, this book will soon be among the most important resources you will use and recommend to others. One of the best features of this book is the comprehensive appendix (Appendix 5) citing the numerous resources and texts that were used to compile this work. This alone is worth the price of the book and much more. Julia Rutherford Silvers is one of the leading practitioners, authors, educators, and consultants in the event management industry. This book allows you to tap her expertise as often as you wish so as to continually improve your event coordination practices. Although the Durants defined education as the transmission of civi- lization, the American Heritage Dictionary further defines civilization as “an advanced state of cultural and material development in human soci- ety marked by political and social complexity and progress in the arts and sciences.” Ms. Silvers’s book is an extraordinary work of both art and science that enables you to rapidly and consistently advance and de- velop your professional career in this field. Throughout human history major developments, such as the creation of tools, have marked the de- velopment of humankind. History will soon record that Julia Rutherford xi
  10. xii Foreword Silvers, CSEP, provided us with a major development in our industry with this book, the foremost resource to produce more civilized events now and in the future. Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP Series Editor
  11. Preface In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. —CARL JUNG (1875–1961) The modern event industry has grown from a subset of administrative duties and creative individuals in a variety of fields into a full-fledged profession that is practiced globally, with all the responsibilities and pro- ficiency expectations of a modern profession. The tasks and techniques that have been developed through trial and error over the years have been quantified, which serves us by providing a clear path of training to- ward event excellence—mastering that chaos by understanding the secret order and transforming the “priesthood” of secrets into a recognized and accessible body of knowledge. I wrote this book to bring together the hundreds of years of collective experience of that priesthood so that it will be accessible to you. Although the industry has identified the skills and competency do- mains required of an event professional, we have not yet standardized the titles we go by. In different companies and different parts of the world we are called event coordinators, event planners, event managers, event producers, event directors, event designers, account executives, and countless other monikers. My former business partner and I had our own unique titles; I was the Grand Poohbah and she was the Vice Em- press. The titles may be different, but we are all engaged in the business of creating event experiences that serve the needs of the client or host and fulfill the expectations of the guest or attendee. This requires due diligence—the investigation and consideration of all the requirements and possibilities, both good and bad, for the event. Whether you are preparing to enter this profession, preparing for ad- vancement within it, or preparing for certification as a professional, this xiii
  12. xiv Preface book will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the competen- cies required of a professional event coordinator. I hope that it will also become a reference tool you may use throughout your professional ca- reer. The scope of competencies addressed herein is based on the Tourism Standards of Western Canada for Special Events Coordinator and Special Events Manager, and the Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Train- ing Authority (THETA) National Qualifications Framework for Event Support in South Africa, as well as the event management competencies outlined in the Exam Blueprint for the International Special Events So- ciety Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) certification program. Each chapter examines a variety of competency points, outlined in the objectives at the beginning of each chapter, and there are numerous checklists you may use to refine your skills as a professional event co- ordinator. On-Site Insights, by various industry professionals around the world, provide examples to put the content in a real-life context, and Technology Tips direct you to relevant technology to enhance the effi- ciency and effectiveness of event coordination, operations, and opportu- nities. At the end of each chapter you will find Exercises in Professional Event Coordination to perform that will reinforce the concepts and com- petencies in practical applications, as well as help to prepare you for tak- ing the CSEP certification exam. The book starts by examining the anatomy of an event to establish the different layers of an event experience and the general process of pro- fessional event coordination. Based on this foundation, it considers the assessment of the various elements of an event, which can allow the event coordinator to visualize, organize, and synchronize the event’s re- sources and operations through project management techniques. Next it explores the critical aspects of site selection and development to ensure that the location and layout of the event meet its needs. Inviting atten- dees and providing them with the appropriate access to the event site is considered from the perspective of customer service as the event coordi- nator plans to accommodate the event’s audience. Although not particu- larly glamorous, it is important to arrange for the essential services that provide the necessary infrastructure for the event, as well as mitigate the event’s impact on its neighbors and the environment. It is also necessary to make plans for the safety and security of the event’s guests and orga- nize the services and strategies to ensure safe operations before, during, and after the event. As the book moves to a discussion of event design, it examines the creative, as well as practical, aspects of coordinating the event environ- ment through theme design, décor, and numerous other staging consid- erations. It also delves into the fundamentals of technical productions and entertainment possibilities that set the stage for the event experience. The discussion provides a taste of food and beverage possibilities and
  13. Preface xv practicalities by investigating catering operations, menu design, and food service styles. The various opportunities for adding value and meaning to the event experience are explored, such as the selection and presen- tation of gifts and amenities, as well as the various ancillary programs and mini-events that not only entertain and enrich, but also support the objectives of the event. An event is all about people—people coming together to create, op- erate, and participate in an experience. In that vein, the book explores the supplier solicitation and selection process, as well as vendor rela- tions, and discusses human resources management issues as they relate to staffing, volunteers, and participants. Finally, it examines performance reviews, evaluation techniques, and knowledge management strategies that help the professional event coordinator to continually improve his or her performance and operations. It is important to understand that professional event coordination is a complex job, and the topics covered in this book are what you must consider for each and every event you undertake. It is also important to understand that each topic represents an entire course of study in and of itself, many representing distinct industries within the overall event management industry. You are not expected to be an expert in each field, nor could one book provide the entire body of knowledge for each field, but as a professional event coordinator, you are expected to know enough to be able to effectively procure, organize, implement, and monitor all the products, services, and service providers that will bring an event to life. Creating and producing events is an exhilarating and sometimes ex- hausting occupation, but it is always rewarding, emotionally, spiritually, and often economically. The professional event coordinator must be flex- ible, energetic, well organized, detail-oriented, and a quick thinker. As a professional event coordinator, you must understand the integrated processes, plans, and possibilities specific to each event you coordinate so that you will be a better planner, producer, purchaser, and partner in delivering the special event experience that exceeds expectations. We must always remember that although not every event is a milestone for us, it is for the client or guest. From festivals and fairs to meetings and conventions, fund-raising events to familial occasions, civic celebrations to athletic competitions, or parades to theme parties—every event is spe- cial. We, as professional event coordinators, make dreams come true.
  14. Acknowledgments I shall know that your good is mine; ye shall know that my strength is yours. —RUDYARD KIPLING (1865–1936) When asked how long it has taken me to design something, I always an- swer, “All my life.” When asked how I was able to write this book, I will always have to answer, “All my friends.” My deepest thanks to my former business partner Virginia Huffman of Expo Events, Inc., with whom, for more than a decade, I was privi- leged to have the opportunity to create fantastic memories for thousands and thousands of guests at the themed events and special occasions we designed and produced for attendees from all over the world. We came to this profession from different backgrounds and shared the joy of dis- covering each other’s talents and gifts as together we grew personally and professionally. My appreciation and admiration to Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP, an icon, inspiration, mentor, coach, colleague, nudge, cheerleader, and true friend, with whom I have been privileged to work on numerous educational pro- jects and programs to prepare professionals for this exciting and de- manding industry. My sincerest gratitude goes to my family of friends and colleagues in the International Special Events Society (ISES) who have been unfailing in their support and eagerness to share their experience, experiences, and expertise, not only with me, but also with the industry as a whole. My special thanks to: ■ James Decoulos, Esq., for his contributions and advice regarding event insurance in Chapter 2 ■ Robert Estrin, for his insights on event safety for Chapter 6 and laced throughout the book xvii
  15. xviii Acknowledgments ■ Ralph Traxler, CSEP, for his assistance with the content on techni- cal production in Chapter 8 ■ Robert Sivek, CSEP, CERP, Deborah Borsum, CSEP, CMD, and Con- nie Riley, CSEP, for providing me with access to many proprietary internal documents and policies used to benchmark best practices ■ And to those who took the time and effort to personally contribute to this book: Ruda Anderson Jessica Levin Aimee V. Brizuela Dani Mulhern Kendall Collier, CSEP Kathy Nelson, CSEP, CMP Trevor Connell Bill O’Toole John J. Daly Jr., CSEP Romaine Pereira Patrick Delaney, CITE Ed Polivka David DeLoach Mike Rudahl Karla Grunewald Brenda Schwerin, CSEP Robert Hulsmeyer, CSEP Mark Sonder, CSEP Bob Johnson David Spear, CSEP Steve Kemble Tony Timms Cal Kennedy, CSEP Mary Tribble, CSEP Ginger Kramer Benjamin Wax Janet Landey, CSEP Sally Webb Glen Lehman, CSEP Dana Zita, CSEP ■ I must also express my appreciation to those who have contributed so much to the leadership of and the body of knowledge for this industry and, therefore, my ability to write this book. Richard Aaron, CSEP, CMP Sandra Khoury Stan Aaronson, CSEP Bill Knight, CSEP John Baragona Amy A. Ledoux, CMP Suzanne Bristow, CSEP Tim Lundy, CSEP (deceased) Lena Malouf, CSEP Nigel Collin Nancy Matheny, CSEP Alice Conway, CSEP Carol McKibben, CSEP Patti Coons, CSEP Mona S. Meretsky, CSEP Paul Creighton, CSEP Patricia Merl, CSEP Duncan Farrell, CMP Andrea Michaels Kenny Fried Phyllis Mikolaitis, CSEP Robyn Hadden, CSEP James Monroe, CSEP, CMP Linda Higgison Dan Nelson, CSEP, CMP Lisa Hurley Lisa K. Perrin Klaus Inkamp, CSEP David Peters (deceased) Garland L. Preddy Steve Jeweler Pat Schaumann, CSEP, CMP, DMCP
  16. Acknowledgments xix Steve Schwartz Josh Waldorf Patti J. Shock Harith Wickrema David Sorin, CSEP Betsy Wiersma, CSEP David Tutera Joseph Yaffe
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