Monday, 2 April 2012

Its pretty simple.... if you know what they are talking about

When planning any event: corporate, non- for- profit or government, consider this “behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”- James Bryant Conant. It always seems as though projects begin so slowly. The dead line is years away at first and next thing you know its two weeks until D-day. Now I personally believe that a little stress can make anyone produce quality results, however, when there is little clarity to a project outline, then comes failure. This brings me to my point, which is emphasizing the importance of making sure your client is as organized and as understanding of the needs of the project, in order for you both to conceptualize and further bring to life an event. I enjoy the traditional planning, consisting of checklists and to-do lists similar to that of the University of Waterloo I am currently working with a particular client who is equipped with the knowledge surrounding the topics that are covered at their conference. Brilliant as the client is, what they are unable to do is vocalize what their needs and expectations. This is not uncommon, but it is a recipe for disaster. Now, there is no quick fix or one-way solution to help better this situation. Each person responds uniquely to different approaches. There is however, an approach that I have found to be effective on many occasions. This approach has conjured up both negative and positive feedback, but none the less helping to move use forward. Step 1: Take what you know and mix the rest with what you’ve seen. No client will ever leave you completely in the dark with their project, unless they trust your judgment and have worked with you before. Some will how ever give you a date and theme and think you know exactly what they want. If you are unable to communicate with the client or receive feedback, take the little information you have and apply it to something that has been done before. Whether it is from an internal perspective or external start a draft version based on a similar event that has seen effective results. Step 2: Do what you can with what you’ve got. The key is not to spend an eternity perfecting what you have started but get a good idea of what you can offer the client, and send them a respectable version of what you believe they are looking for. Allow for the client to be able to fill-in the blanks so they can understand that you are missing some key information. Then you play the waiting game until the client gives you the “yay” or “nay.” Step 3: Now make it work. Now once the client sends you the feedback, good or bad you have the new advantage of knowing a little more of what they would like to see. From there you can establish second and third approvals to be safe, each time learning more of what they like.

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