The 2-day annual event of PROTON business school, Unison 2010, is now over and it ended with the rock band Tapas playing the theme of ‘Saare jahan se acha hindostan hamara’ on guitar. I don’t think there could have been a better ending to Unison than that. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the core coordinating team of the event and hence had tons of learning experiences. I will list some of the most important ones in this blog. These should help you not only in organizing similar events but also in day-to-day life.
My first and the most important learning or rather a realization was managing information. Everything must be with you in soft copy for reference purposes as you never know when you may require what information. It took me 7 excel files, 16 notepad files, 24 PPTs and 32 word documents in all to manage every single bit of information throughout the event. The information varied from the list of 92 prospect sponsors for the event to the 60 days event preparation schedule leading to Unison.
Now let’s go over the 15 lessons learned on event management thanks to Unison 2010,
1. While approaching the prospect event sponsors, the priority should always be given to local players rather than the MNCs or National companies. Local players have full authority to make marketing decisions while the larger companies will first send your proposal to their head office where all the power to make decisions lie
2. The best thing you can offer your sponsors is marketing their brand through your event. Let them know how much cost they will incur if they do it themselves. Tell them the amount of expected footfalls in the event, the number of posters, passes, billboards and other marketing material you are planning to print that will showcase their brand
3. Always try to create separate PPTs for prospect sponsors clearly listing their benefits. The biggest advantage of this is the fact that Smokin’ Joe’s Pizzas may not be looking for exactly the same sponsorship benefits as Shell Lubricants. Similarly, while starting your career, you might be looking to apply for different type of job roles, try to create separate resumes for each
4. Make sure your email attachment does not exceed 1.5 MB. Few email servers like that of Pantaloons and ING Vysya Insurance, to name a few, will not accept any email larger than 1.5 MB. So if you are forwarding your resume to any company, make sure the attachment is lesser than 1.5 MB or it won’t go through
5. Whenever you want to send bulk mails, make use of BCC. Nobody wants their corporate email ID on display in forward emails
6. Whenever you have a 5 minute meeting with your boss, always list down everything that you want to discuss and keep the entire discussion to the point. The boss neither has the interest nor the time to listen to stories
7. If you are the last person to leave the meeting room or any official meeting place for that matter, make sure you place the chairs where they belong and switch off the lights. It is a common business etiquette and shows that you are responsible
8. In any kind of deal, nothing should be taken as obvious. Everything must be clearly mentioned in black and white in the MOU or any other formal document. Verbal confirmation is NO confirmation. Basically, if it is not signed by the authorized person, it is too early to consider it a deal
9. The corporate World will not kill you for a mistake. It is OKAY to make genuine mistakes. The only caveat is that you must be smart enough not to repeat them
10. Always maintain a to-do list. There will be numerous things to be done in a single day and you are most likely to forget half of them if you don’t jot down
11. Arguments are necessary. A team of 5 may have 6 different ideas. Brainstorming will ultimately provide the best way forward
12. There is no ‘I’ in the word ‘Team’. Thoughts may differ but every individual in the team must work on the consent of majority
13. The amount of sleep never matters when you are doing something that you absolutely love. Your productivity will also double. You will realize it later on, probably when you get back to classes 😜
14. Few things are never under your control, for example, the sound system, the electricity arrangements, the weather conditions etc. Always make sure there is a backup plan in place for all possible risks
15. If you are organizing an event, always be ready to sacrifice the limelight you might have gained by performing on stage or simply staying in the crowd. You won’t get a chance for any stage performance, no time for visiting the salon, no time for changing clothes, no time for taking photographs during the event and absolutely no time for socializing
All these lessons aside, I think it is very important to realize that no matter how strong the planning is, the success of an event does not depend on just the completion of everything as per the plan, it also depends substantially on the ability to handle the unplanned stuff.
But wait, if you thought event management is all about hardwork and dedication, you are right! 😁 But it is also about fun… a lot of fun! Here’s a reminisce video from Unison 2010 –
PS – Thank You Note
A grand event like Unison is not possible with just the work of the coordinating team. Due to time constraints at Unison, I was unable to thank a lot of people on behalf of the Cultural Committee and while we are at it, I will use my blog to thank everyone involved starting with our Chief Mentor Sandeep Sir for his constant support and inspiration, Manish Sir for having the perseverance to tolerate us for almost 3 months, Mitesh Sir for all the web support we needed, Dean Sir for granting us the permissions we asked for academically (which includes bunking lectures and still getting the attendance, not just for us but for the participants too 😜), the continuous motivation by all the faculty members, strategic support by the senior members of the cultural committee, the IT people who gave us printouts/photocopies whenever required, Vishal Sir for his suggestions in formatting various official letters, the Security Guards for their support in letting the outsiders contact us and also letting us stay in the college premises beyond midnight, the reception ma’am for handling all the queries she received, Som Singh Bhaiyya for the operational support, all the participants from several colleges who rehearsed hard and gave their best performances, the entire Cultural Committee, the sponsors, the vendors and each and everyone of those who attended Unison 2010. Thank you!