Mood boards and how they can be used to design an event concept.

According to Lucero et al. (2007) mood boards are used to aid with the early stages of design. They are useful for exploring ideas around colour, texture, light and materials among many other things. Designers can spend hours searching through magazines, books, the internet and sometimes even use images from their own personal experiences to enhance the board. This can be a lengthy process that may involve creating many “soft-selections” of images before committing them to the mood board.

Lucero et al (2007) lay out five steps that are generally taken when compiling a mood board. These steps are: image collecting, image browsing, image piling, building mood boards and expanding mood boards. The first three are self-explanatory as it is the process of collecting suitable images and categorizing them. Building mood boards is the process of putting all the relevant images together to form a complete idea. This may also include use of company name and logos, along with placing key words around the board. Expanding mood boards is the process of using mood boards within a presentation and allowing the designer to expand on ideas that have been used.

When creating a mood board it is essential to always have the theme of the event at the forefront of your mind. With this, you should also bear in mind the audiences you are hoping to reach and how you wish to achieve this.

Lucero et al. (2007) look at the idea of combining a traditional mood board concept, with an interactive coffee table. This would allow the creator to use the table to collect and pile images but without the mess that would be created in usual way. The movements needed to use such a tool would be similar to those used when demonstrating on an interactive board or tablet, which have since become almost everyday items.

A prototype was set up and they allowed designers to try it. The users were given a brief amount of time for an introduction to the prototype and to “explore the functionality” Lucero et al (2007) before they were asked to try and take part in some simple tasks. After the tasks had been completed Lucero et al (2007) concluded “The evaluations showed that designers were able to use the system with little or no prior training…We have additionally identified a number of issues related to our system such as the importance of addressing the context of use…”

 

Reference List:

Lucero, A et al. Augmenting Mood Boards: Flexible and Intuitive Interaction in the Context of the Design Studio.2007.

 

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How to pitch an event idea.

Eventjuice.co.uk (2015) discusses 5 useful tips for pitching an idea. They suggest starting with a hook, such as a question or a shock opener to grab peoples attention. Secondly, your presentation should have a catchy title, the organiser is already aware of the finer details (date, time etc.) so try to avoid these. The next step is to paint a picture of your vision in their minds, use as much description as possible, from colour schemes to music you would use to set the atmosphere. Step four is to use first hand experience and anecdotes to portray your ability in the field, along with including any customer feedback you may have had previously, this can be done throughout the presentation to help it run smoothly. The final step they reccomend is to end with a conversation, use open questions and be prepared to entertain any changes they may want to include, and how you would accomodate them in your ideas.

While I think all five of these are great points, I think it’s also relevant to note that tone should be kept professional at all times. If your attitude comes across as too relaxed it may seem like you aren’t entirely invested in the idea.

 

Small Business – Chron.com (2015) has a list of 7 tips for pitching, which are fundamentally the same as those stated in the eventjuice.co.uk (2015) article, but also include some points not mentioned. Small Business – Chron.com (2015) note that you should always discuss the benefits that can be reaped by the company and you as the organiser. If they are aware of the benfits from the beginning, they may be more interested in working with you. They also suggest analysing the competition that is out there, this shows you know the industry and how to make yourself stand out from the rest. One of the final points they make is to flatter the company you are pitching to, show you have researched them and know a little bit about them and their backgrounds. 

 

Both of these articles helped me develop my understanding of pitching, they brought up some excellent points to remember. I feel that after researching this I will be able to form a more professional and confident pitch for a potential event.

Safety and Security in the Events sector.

When planning an event, of any size, the safety and security of you attendees is the most crucial thing to bear in mind.

The key aspects of safety include, but are not limited to:

  • Fire exits that are correctly sign posted, lit and kept clear throughout the event.
  • A fire procedure set out, and run through with all management, with assigned meeting points.
  • Alarms that have a record of the last time they were tested.
  • First aiders, of which at least one should be part of the event management team, located around the event to make sure they are accessible.
  • Emergency safety kits, in accessible places. This may include things such as a spare, fully charged, mobile phone, torches, emergency contacts and a first aid kit, among other things.
  • Contact lists for all relevant management and staff, so if anything does happen, everyone can be notified.
  • An emergency plan should be in place, in case of a serious emergency such as a terrorist attack. All staff should be trained in what this plan consists of.
  • To help with security, all staff should have ID badges to identify themselves to security. The contact list could be printed on the reverse to ensure it is always accessible.
  • If relevant to the size of the event, management and security should have training in Anti-Terrorism to aid with the identification of potential threats that could arise.

During the event there are security and safety checks that should take place on a regular basis. These checks include, but are not limited to; periodically checking the fire exits and that they are clear, crowd checks to ensure there are no major issues, perimeter checks to ensure there no breeches or potential threats.

When planning and event in this day and age, security is essential to ensure attendees safety. It has also become neccessary to check for where the management would stand if cancelling due to an act of terrorism or a threat of terrorism. This is to make sure, that as a planning agent/events manager, you know what you would be liable for should this occur.

Reflection and Evaluation Task.

This task was set with the outline of reflecting and evaluating on an experience I have had where I felt I had added value. I will also reflect and evaluate on my experience of The Lockdown at The Dana.

My personal experience I have chosen to draw on is winning the chance to see The Feeling, live, at Porchester Hall in London, the day before my 18th birthday. It was an exclusive gig, where tickets could only be won through the competition, for the winner and one guest, totalling around 150 people. The best part of this gig was that it was being recorded for broadcast on Channel 4 at a later date, and also to be released on DVD.

Myself and my best friend, Sally, travelled down to London on an early train. We spent the day wandering around London, and visiting some tourist spots, we arrived at the venue early to secure a decent spot in the queue. We were successful in our attempt as we secured a spot right at the front, around 4 people away from the stage, which later proved even better as my left side featured on the broadcast and DVD! The gig was amazing, and remains one of the best I have experienced to date. I was so greatful to have had the opportunity to attend this gig, and to have the experience of such an intimate venue.

The value of such events, and many others, is to make guests and attendees feel as though they are special to the organiser. It allows the organiser to promote their beliefs in customer needs/wants, while giving the customer (hopefully) and unforgettable experience.

Lockdown at the Dana

I was only involved in the Lockdown event for one day, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The event was a twist on the normal tour that they do, in the sense that you were being chased by Zombies at the same time. The average timing of one group completing the experience was around an hour, just half the time of a standard tour of the prison.

The cost of participation was considerably lower than originally thought. Joel, the owner or the tour company, was expecting tickets for Halloween night, to sell for upwards of £50. Tickets for the first 2 nights we around £25-£35 and Halloween night were around £45. This is more than triple the cost of a standard tour, but could be argued to be worth it as the Lockdown was potentially a once in a lifetime experience.

Co-Creation: What is it and how is it beneficial?

According to Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) co-creation is becoming more popular as consumers become more aware of the value they receive from companies. This is partly down to the increase in consumer-to-consumer communication and reviews, which is an instant way of sharing positive and negative experiences.

Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) also state the basis of co-creation is working with the consumer to create an experience, with added value, to the needs of the consumer. It moves the company away from being firm-centric to bring the consumers attentions to the whole package that can be offered.

The example given by Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) is WebMD. More than 70 million Americans annually access the online medical service, the use of this, and the vast amount of other online support, enables patients to access an array of further information and support that may have not been available solely through their doctor. This provides an added value to the services provided from their medical professionals.

The move from firm-centric to co-creation is not a simple process. It means more than just deciding that is now the path you wish you company to take. They key points are to make your information as transparent as possible, and as accessible as they can, involve customers by asking for feedback and hold discussions on their experiences. From the discussions and feedback companies are then able to take what they are doing well and what they need to improve. This process will then enable the firm to look at what may be a risk, and what may be a benefit, to them, and the co-creation process. This may be know as DART (Dialogue, Access, Risk-Benefits and Transparency) according to Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004)

From this I can see that co-creation is beneficial as it helps firms determine what their consumers would like to be getting from their services. It also has the potential to increase their consumer base through the consumer-to-consumer communication networks, based on positive experiences.

Reference List:

Prahalad, C. and Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co-creation experiences: The next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(3), pp.5-14.

Value Added Content.

According to (Molina, 2015) value added content has the purpose of educating, informing or entertaining the participant. It should have its own, dedicated section on the event blog, or website. Although this is additional content, it should all still be relevant to your event while having some references to current industry trends and other points of interest. A keyword should have a prominence in the PR campaign, as this makes the audience reach more traceable. With an ever increasing technological audience, a hashtag would be an ideal way to track your campaign.

PR should take place across all available social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) so you are able to reach potential participants who may just be on the fringe of your current audience, and not directly connected.

(Molina, 2015) also suggests offering value added content through any sponsors your event may have. This will benefit both parties, but may also increase the reach of your event promotion.

(Taylor-Smith, 2014) states that timings are important for targeting the right kind of audience. Not just the time of day, but also day of the week and time of the year. Outlining the objectives, and what you want the participants to get from the event, will also enable you to measure the success of the event.  By making the event an experiential one, you add an extra level of content, ensuring your attendees have a memorable time.

Reference list:

Molina, R. (2015). 16 mantras for increasing your event website visits with value-adding content. [online] Brightbull.co.uk. Available at: http://www.brightbull.co.uk/16-mantras-for-increasing-your-event-website-visits-with-value-adding-content [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Taylor-Smith, C. (2014). Adding Value is the Key to Event Success. [online] Executivesecretary.com. Available at: http://executivesecretary.com/adding-value-is-the-key-to-event-success/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Bibliography:

Event Manager Blog, (2015). Making it Count: Adding Value Through Events. [online] Available at: http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/adding-value-through-events [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].