What Are the Five C’s of Event Management?

Event management requires a hefty dose of creativity, flexibility, careful attention to detail and strong leadership to be successful. For many people, this can feel overwhelming – but it’s actually much easier than you first think.

One of the easiest ways to plan and put on an amazing event is to break things down into the 5 C’s of event management. These include

  • Concept
  • Coordination
  • Control
  • Culmination
  • Closing

Each of these work like an individual cog, helping to drive all of the other event planning components as smoothly and efficiently as possible. To help you put on a memorable event from conception to completion, let’s take a closer look at what each of the five C’s offers.

Concept – The Birth of an Event

Every event is born from an idea; a need to fulfil a certain action. Without first understanding what purpose your event will serve, it’s almost impossible to put the wheels in motion. This is where the five ‘w’s’ come into play. These five questions will determine the entire tone and outcome of planning and putting on your event.

  •  Who? Who exactly does the event benefit? Are you putting on a grand affair for stakeholders or something for the community? Will you be focusing more on products and services or celebrating achievements? Knowing who your event is for will help you understand which direction to take things.
  • What? What do you hope the event will achieve? Are you looking at driving investments? Do you want to build your business network? What benefits will the event bring?
  • Where? Once you know who and what your event is for, it’s easier to find the perfect event venue to match your needs. you’ll know whether to go formal or informal, large or small. 
  • When? When you hold your event, it will go hand-in-hand with the who, what and where. This is largely determined by the type of guests and event type.
  • Why? Will your event raise important funds? Will it help spread your latest business message or reach a wider customer base? And most importantly, will it be worth the financial outlay?

By answering all of the above questions, you can be sure that the reasons behind planning and managing your event are worthwhile.

Coordination – Planning your Event

Event coordination is where you start to develop your plans further. By this point, you should have a good idea about what you want your event to achieve – and now is the time to start building on it. Some of the more common developments will include:

  • Working out a realistic budget for the event.
  • Coming up with an event theme that is unique and on point.
  • Creating a timeline and event agenda to guide the process.
  • Selecting your speakers and special guests.
  • Finding a suitable event venue with easy access.
  • Arranging menus and catering, plus any entertainment.
  • Preparing logistics, such as transporting special equipment or decorations.
  • Providing transportation options to and from the venue.
  • Designing invites, marketing material and seating arrangements.
  • Developing a contingency plan.
  • Arrange any press or coverage in advance.

Event planning is a time-consuming process that requires attention to detail. Of all the elements in this guide, it is the most important one to get right. If you’re not quite sure about how to plan an event, check out our ultimate events planning checklist for more. (please link to The Ultimate Party Planning Checklist for Businesses)

Control – Setting the Stage

Event control is all about managing and maintaining the planning stage. It takes the plans developed in the event coordination stage and puts them into motion. This is the time to:

  • Check that everything falls within the given budget and make adjustments where needed.
  • Chase up suppliers, entertainment and catering to ensure everything is as planned and on schedule.
  • Verify that the event venue is secured and that the theming and décor are understood.
  • Ensure that any event marketing efforts are reaching the right people.
  • Follow up with any invitations sent out requesting an RSVP.
  • Resolve any conflict of interest and manage assigned teams.
  • Mark off everything on your checklist as you go.
  • Double-check everything, including all of the above.

Culmination – Curtain Call

The culmination is the day of your event. This is when all of your hard work pays off. But just because it’s the day of your event, doesn’t mean that there is not a lot of work to do still. In fact, this is when the majority of people are feeling most stressed.

If you’re in charge of event management, you’ll now be responsible for coordinating vendors and suppliers, taking care of front-end and back-end management, communicating with the different teams and keeping everything on schedule. These are all key parts that will determine the overall experience that guests and attendees have.

You’ll definitely want your event to be memorable – but not for the wrong reasons. This is why it’s so important to have a backup plan. As an example, let’s say that you have arranged catering for your event and the caterer pulls out at the last minute due to a family emergency. What will you do to feed your attendees? If you have a backup caterer in place, you can relax just a little. If not, you should get one in place now.

Closing – Checking for Success

It would be easy to think that once the event has finished, so has your work. While it’s true that there’s no more planning to take care of, it’s now time to start looking at how successful it was.

You and your team will need to evaluate and report on the outcome of the event. Budgets will need to be looked at and accounted for. Thank you messages need to be sent out to all attendees. Open contracts with vendors and suppliers will need to be settled up and closed. Marketing analytics should be compiled and dissected. The list is endless.

You might be wondering why it’s so important to perform the closing of an event? The answer is simple. It offers up important data and numbers that tell you whether you achieved your primary targets. It also helps you improve your next event by highlighting any pitfalls or strengths.

Final Thoughts

Event management can be extremely rewarding when done in the right way. It takes a simple idea, develops it into a masterpiece and then delivers results. Successful event management is all in the planning and venue flexibility.

Finding the perfect event venue to bring your plans to life can make all the difference between success and failure. If event management isn’t your strong point, don’t be afraid to use the services of an experienced event planner to lighten the load.

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