Event Planning Without the Smoke & Mirrors

Corporate, association and public sector organisations who are the decision-makers for undertaking myriad differing types of events are getting street-smart when it comes to independent event planners – sometimes known as PCOs. By Helen Brewer.

The days are rapidly drawing to a close when anyone out there can set-up shop as an event planner and with a good turn-of-phrase convince a potential client that they can do it all including the smoke and mirrors.

Events are big business – as getting the message across in one form or another – via face-to-face interaction – is the epitome of long-term message retention. Technology in one form or another, including ‘beam-me-up-Scotty’ holograms, just does not cut it in comparison to the eyeball-to-eyeball variety. The human factor of engagement just cannot be replaced and big business knows this only too well.

Events, otherwise known by the familiar international acronym of MICE (Meetings Incentives Conferences & Exhibitions), are big-ticket items with many organisations boasting annual MICE spends of R100m or more.

Event types are as long as a piece of string. These include; product launches, think-tanks, award ceremonies, brain-storms, conferences, workshops, conventions, media launches, and colloquiums to name but a few of the more popular event gathering terms.

Hence entrusting large sums to any event planner who happens to have a more convincing manner has proven to be very expensive. Event decision-makers are realising the high price to be paid when the event’s objectives and outcomes have been left behind due to not having benchmarks for selecting an event management company or PCO (Professional Conference Organiser).

The MICE Academy, a South African registered company, has found that in almost all instances the event planning companies have been far from convincing and indeed ‘sold themselves short’ in depicting serious commitment to proving their reputational attributes and authentic selling points.

The ‘P’ in Professional Conference Organiser is a hard-hitting one-day definitive workshop which will include a range of benchmarks easily implemented by event management companies.

With a tool-kit of templates – within each participant’s personal portfolio – on a range of essential issues of importance to any future clients – this is an essential dynamic workshop with a limit on the number of participants.

As requested – the event planning bench-marks will be circulated to occupational member associations within HR, Marketing, Procurement & Finance for their ongoing use.

The workshop is mainly for independent event planners as well as salaried planners who advise and ultimately select external planners to undertake event projects on behalf of their organisation.

About the Author: Helen Brewer is the Joint Managing Director of The MICE Academy©. Helen has decades of experience within all sectors of the MICE industry and has undertaken several event planner adjudications on behalf of a variety of organisations.
For more information visit or email [email protected] or call +27 (0)82 820 5382.

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