Holding successful graduate programs and events on an annual basis is a symbol of excellence for any academic institution. There are several contributing factors to such success but the key ingredient is timely planning and organization. Looking at the scenario provided, this aspect was not captured comprehensively by the university administration. The attributes of those entrusted with planning for the event also affects the success of the event. The ability of the planning committee to make all the necessary arrangements, gather the necessary resources and bring on board relevant stakeholders is of paramount importance.
In planning for next years luncheon, the university has to take into account the considerations stated above. This year, it is clear that the people who were given the noble task of planning for the luncheon did not handle their roles well. David Smith who was hired as the events coordinator did not take his work seriously. Having played the same role for two years he showed contentment for his assignment. It is true that when one has experience in performing a given task, then it would take them a shorter time than when they did the task for the first time. However, David was too reluctant and started working on a last minute rush and under pressure. Raymond Burke also slept on his duty of following up the events coordinator to see that the arrangements are made on time. So in identifying the person in charge for the luncheon, the university should assess from the current team the person who is a good time manager. Secondly, the person should be passionate about the luncheon and can, therefore, take initiatives that are aimed at the success of the event (Allen, 2008). For example, calling for meetings of all those involved in planning to discuss the progress they are making in their respective roles. In addition, the person should be able to communicate effectively with other people involved in planning for the luncheon. The person should also have quick problem-solving skills in case of emergencies (Allen, 2008).
The efficient organizational chart I would recommend for events in an academic environment is the pyramid chart because it upholds the principles of an effective organizational chart (SME.com.ph, 2016). Hierarchy is one of the principles. When one person is appointed to plan for an event, then confusion is minimized. In the given scenario there was confusion over coordination of roles and who to report to, because there was no clear authority. This chart also requires that the person in charge of the team be given authority to make decisions hence room for innovation (SME.com.ph, 2016). The person should also be in a position to plan for a longer term. This chart would help to seal the decision-making and planning gaps highlighted in the scenario. In the given scenario, the administration should have been clear on who between David Smith and Raymond Burke is the top of the event planning team pyramid. Then it would have entirely been the responsibility of either of the two to coordinate the efforts of all the other representatives to ensure the success of the event.
The techniques that would be helpful to save, track, and retrieve information in the event history includes documentation, photography and video recordings (Date, 2009). Documentation involves keeping records of all the planning arrangements such as records of budget for the event, the program of the event, data on attendance, guidelines or criteria that was used to arrive at some decisions. Such records can be kept in hard copy or soft copy as is preferred by the institution. Such documents can be used as a point of reference when planning for similar future events (Date, 2009). This would help avoid what was featured in the given scenario as it was not clear which faculty members should be involved in the event. Record keeping can also be used for accountability purposes where those involved in planning write reports after events and give recommendations on areas that need improvement. It would almost be a form of self-reporting, this enhances efficiency on the part of all those involved. Again, when new people are assigned duties on planning for the event, then the records can be passed to them for smooth transition and continuity. Photographs and videos keep memories of the actual events and can also be used to assess the success of the event. It also helps with visual evidence on top of the documents in case of leadership transitions.
I would create a checklist of various elements by first defining the scope and purpose of the event (Allen, 2008). In this scenario provided the scope of the event is a graduate program where the audience is made up of students and faculty members. If any guests are to attend it should be capture as well. The purpose of the event was to acknowledge, appreciate and motivate the fresh graduates. The elements of the event should then be within the scope and meet the goals of the event. So for the luncheon, the various elements would include the pre-event, the day of the event and after the event. On pre-event my checklist would include the event agenda; the goals of the event, confirmation from expected speakers, develop a program for the event. Still on the pre-event the location; design of the event site, parking for guests. Then I would work on the budget in liaison the university administration. On the event day my checklist would be made of gathering staff and participants for briefing, review communication links in case of emergency. After the event; cleaning of the event site and de-briefing session to evaluate the event (Allen, 2008).
Allen, J. (2008). Event planning: The ultimate guide to successful meetings, corporate events, fundraising galas, conferences, conventions, incentives and other special events. John Wiley & Sons.
Date, E. O. A. R. (2009). Records Management Strategy.
S. (2016). Principles of an Effective Organization Chart. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from http://philippines.smetoolkit.org/philippine/en/content/en/6444/Principles-of-an-Effective-Organization-Chart
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