“The following is a continuation of my Event Development Series. Several months ago, I started the series with the first section, “Initial Development”. The second section is entitled “Research and Preliminary Planning”. Now that you and your team have decided to proceed with the event, it’s time to get serious! As suggested previously, any thoughts and idea are more then welcome!”
DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES – If your event is going to be held in the downtown area or near it, you will want to consult with the local business group. The merchants will want to have their say. They will be very protective of their business area. If they think your event is going to interfere with their business or their customers, you can expect a fight on your hands. Remember, your event is only there once a year, they are there all year round. As with the residents, it’s best to get them on your side right from the start. Being up front with them and asking for their suggestions will go a long way in bringing them to your side. Make sure them there is something in your plans that will benefit them. Also like the residents, try to get some of the merchants on your committee.
TOWN STAFF – This is a very powerful group. Even though you might have the politicians on your side, the town staff controls the services! If your event is going to be held on a weekend (most are) then it is likely that many of the staff will be asked to work on their time off. If they don’t like your event or think it’s not worthwhile, they may throw up any number of roadblocks to hurt your event, enough that it could cripple your ideas and your event. You need you consult with them from the beginning; show them just how much your event will enhance their town.
OTHER GROUPS – There are any number of other groups that could affect you plans, groups such as churches, service clubs and other self interest groups. Look at the Olympic Torch Run as an example. The Run experienced all types of opposition (poverty groups, aboriginal, etc). They were able to by-pass most of the challenges by thinking and planning ahead. I believe that the key is to think through your event thoroughly and then be positive about what you are trying to accomplish. Most important of all you must be open to others concerns and ideas and then find a way to minimize any and all objections. No matter how good and noble your intensions may be, there will always be someone ready to criticize your plans. Take it in stride and move forward positively.
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