Sweeney Communications

Successful Event Management

By Antone Shone & Bryn Parry
Thomson Learning
ISBN 1-84480-076-8

To my mind this is the essential guide for anyone who organises events at work or in their private lives. It clearly explains each aspect from planning to close down and evaluation, with copious forms and checklists for organisers to copy and adapt for their own events.

Shone and Parry structure the book logically, beginning with an overview of event management and the events market in the UK and Europe in the first four chapters. The remaining chapters take a detailed excursion into event organisation: planning, finances, venue, logistics, marketing, project management, managing the team, closedown and evaluation.

The comprehensive chapter on financial management and budgeting I find particularly helpful. Shone and Parry explain how to realistically forecast income and expenditure, as well as how to record each purchase - and sale for revenue generating events – for good accountability.

They clearly explain the difference between fixed and variable costs and how to calculate the break-even point. Their full-page financial forms include preliminary, summary and detailed budgets, cost breakdowns, purchase orders and petty cash vouchers.

Another favourite is the chapter on managing the event as a project. It usefully applies essential project management principles including how to identify and manage risks, the different types of insurance, health and safety issues, and the various licensing permits, to ensure each event runs smoothly on the day.

Case studies throughout the book offer real life examples of theory in practice and reinforce the principles outlined in the text. Each case study comes with questions that test understanding and provide a basis for group discussions. Links to websites help further research into the topics covered in each case study. They include sporting events, cultural festivals, political events, business functions and trade exhibitions.

As well as the finance forms the book also contains example forms for initial research, marketing, project management, human resources, operations on the day and monitoring and recording.

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