There is so much to consider when planning an event. The most important thing to know is the purpose of the event. Events can be for many reasons, sometimes just for fun and other times for training or meeting or networking. The first thing to do is...Brainstorm!
Brainstorming is just what you think, if the idea makes it into your brain, put it on the list. This is one of the hardest stages, especially if you are brainstorming as a group. A lot of people will self-censor because they fear others in the group will judge, so it is important that everyone knows, this is a judgement-free zone for this activity. All ideas will be entertained on the list. Laughter is highly encouraged as it will help ideas flow. If you are running the session, it might be good to break the barriers by putting down a completely nonsense idea so others will feel free to put forth ALL of their ideas. This is my favourite part of the whole planning and executing activity.
After all the ideas have been put forward, it is time to narrow the scope and see what you have left.
Idea Analysis is our next hurdle. There are some ideas people will really love, and others that are easy to let go. Do this is a nonjudgemental way so no ones feelings get hurt. We are planning to make sure everyone feels like they are part of the group and let's not shut anyone down. There are several ways to accomplish this analysis, but I like to just take each idea as we see it and weigh it's merits based on our events stated goal. Then we can place all those ideas in a group and see what "floats to the top" as the ones everyone seems to like best. The "idea float" works best with smaller groups or one-on-one type planning, but can work with larger groups that are cooperative.
Once the theme and ideas are decided on, it is time to start assigning tasks. It is good to do this in a groups, as sometimes tasks that seem easy at first have a lot of smaller components that may not register upon first assignment. So go through each persons assignments and make sure one person is not being unduly overweighted with tasks. If they feel they can handle it but it is still a lot more work than anyone else has, assign a second for them so if they find they need to use someone else's help they have a person to call on right away that has already agreed to help and knows what they are getting in to, this will help prevent overwork and hard feelings later.
I love the beginning of a job, the possibilities are endless and the end result is so exciting. The hardest part is waiting for the event to arrive so all the hard work can be put in to play and everyone can have a great time.
So, I have recently become certified as an online Crisis Intervention Counsellor. This may sound like a grand departure from what I am doing in my regular day-to-day, it really isn't. What better way to learn how to engage your clients than to be able to suss out in a calm and non intrusive way, what they really want. I have found the training to be quite valuable in my other volunteer roles as president of our local Medieval club branch and also in my work with TIFF as a voting squad volunteer. Using my new skills will be able to help me be less impatient with people one-to-one, and has also helped me to listen better to my family when they have something to say to me. I no longer formulate answers whilst they are telling me what they want me to know. I listen and respond after they have spoken and after I have considered what they have said and make a logical and informed response to their words. I am very excited about this and I look forward to really doing some good work.
So I have just completed my annual children's birthday party. I was a hoot! The kids really enjoyed themselves and I (as the lone adult) was not overstressed, even though it rained and the outdoor games had to be nixed.
The Theme was Germs, and I processed each attendee (as a CDC Doctor) and they received a "Lab Coat" and clip board with a pen to mark off the different contaminants they found in the house. There were pictures on each clip board with expected finds (Germ, Virus, Bacteria, and Superbug) and what they looked like as well as a small description of what each item did in reality. They took quite some time to find the items, then we played Germ related games (Virus, Virus, Who has the Virus?, Patient Zero, and Vector Tag). The kids really got a kick out of the different take on traditional games. The lunch provided was also germ themed, with such items as; Antibody bites (grapes), Flagellum Sticks (Carrots), and Blood Cells (red punch). Oddly, no one refused to eat something based on the name, yay win! They then had a bit of free-play time and their parents came to pick them up. It all went well and I was quite pleased.
Sabrina loves it when her plans come together. With a young child in the house there are even more opportunities to plan and execute fun, stay tuned for all the details.