I attended an event planning workshop at Hart Hart House last Friday, which I registered for through the Career Learning Network. It was led by Marco Adamovic (Coordinator, Integrating Learning and Community Engagement) and it consisted of both a presentation and small-group discussions.
As someone who hasn’t had a large role in planning events, it was really eye-opening for me to see just how many small details there are to be considered when planning a successful event. The workshop presentation was really organized and went over the main components of researching, designing, planning, implementing, and evaluating an event. There were a couple points made that I want to focus on because they are not only useful, but also help to keep us constantly aware that we live in a large and diverse community. For example, when researching for an event, the workshop covered the importance of knowing the social and cultural background of your audience/guests and to also be aware of any potential accessibility needs they might have. Event-scaping is also crucial to make sure that there aren’t any other major events happening on campus/in the city that are clashing with yours. I’m glad this was brought up, because I can say that for myself, often times I don’t go to events that I’m interested in is because there is another event happening at the same time that might be more pressing/important for me to attend. We also discussed importance of wearing “2 hats”, which means understanding the perspective of both the coordinator and the participant when you are planning an event. I think that’s crucial, because it’s only from looking at something with multiple perspectives that you easily identify and resolve issues in a timely and effective way.
Even though all of this information in the workshop was being presented to us, it was very discussion-focused and we all got a chance to talk to each other and ask questions about different scenarios and issues, which I appreciated. After the main presentation, we broke off into small groups to discuss the events that some workshop participants were involved in, such as the stages of planning and what problems/concerns arise throughout the process. It was really helpful to me to see the common challenges (e.g. budgetary constraints, venue booking, space issues) across varying events, which made me appreciate the amount of attention to detail that is required for nearly all events, no matter how big or small they are.
I really learned quite a lot from the going to this workshop and I plan on attending more workshops from the Work Study Training Program in the future. As a student who regularly attends and writes about events, I definitely feel that I have a greater appreciation for all of the work that gets put into making it a smooth and meaningful experience. I also feel better prepared for helping to plan an event myself when the time comes. I would highly encourage you to check out other workshops offered by the Work Study Training Program!