The planning function is involved in micro-level event coordination activities such as liaison with the creative team discussing, facilitating and arranging for the technical specification viz., sound, light, stages and sets. Short-listing artists and stand by artists in tune with the dictates of the creative guys/gals is one of the most challenging tasks in the event planning function. Event planning also involves checking out alternative arrangements for locating the event, the venue, the conditions for the event and gathering information to assist in taking a decision on whether the event would be held indoors or outdoors. While at the last task, understanding the requirements of licenses, clearances, etc. and arranging for the same as and when required is a fundamentally responsible task that the event coordinator is burdened with. Deciding soft issues such as whether the show is to be a ticketed, non-ticketed, fully or partially sponsored is also part of the planning exercise. Planners then do a risk rating for the event. Defining arrangements for the quality of hospitality and the dress code of the hostel hostesses depending on audience profile as well as deciding the appropriate food and beverages to be served on the occasion also is a planning function. This is especially so since the security and other arrangements will vary with the type of beverages served. In the cash flow statement, inflows to the event company’s coffers are basically from a combination of the revenues from sponsorships, ticket sales, commissions, event production charges, artist management fees and infrastructure and equipment rental charges. At the same time, on the outflow front, one can include headings as suppliers’ payments, venue hiring charges, payment to artists and performers, etc. The major outflows though are mainly on the event production front combined with the licensing and tax payments liabilities. The mode of payment for events ranges from part payments to cash payments and is mutually agreed upon between the parties involved and authenticated in the form of a contract after negotiations. Penalty clauses may also be included for defaults in the payments. Depending on the nature of the project, relationship with the clients and the objectives of both the client and the organizer, the actual plan of payments can be worked out. This may involve a certain amount as part payment in advance, a certain amount upon completion of specific milestones and finally payment of the balance amount either at the beginning of the event or upon completion of the event. It is essential that a certain amount be taken as advance to take care of the working capital needs. The planning function defines the limits of the creative function as it provides the constraints that the creative team has to work with. It deals with hard practical realities such as the logistics i.e., transportation of material, travel, stay, etc. and the networking viz., media plan, ad designs, banners printing, tickets, invites designing and printing. It tries to create the perfect picture of the event flow and tries to define and exercise control on the inflow and outflow of money before, during and after the event. Therefore, it is imperative that the planning function plays an important role in the preparation for any event. In addition, the time frame involved in decision making being limited, planning assumes that much more importance as a function.
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