Event Planning and Writing

Writers Profile Two: Taking the “Write” Path to Plan Lesley Gore once sang the infamous song lyrics “Its My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To”, and when I hear this song I often find myself wondering, “why would you ever want to cry at a party? ” The reason behind this feeling is because I am currently on a journey to achieve my goal of being an Event Planner, and with the mind set of an Event Planner; I truly would not want anyone crying at their party. For the past couple of years I have struggled with what career I wanted to pursue.

I tried the teaching route, beauty school scene, and even nursing, but through my trials and tribulations I realized that my true calling was to be an Event Planner.

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Ever since I was younger I always loved having parties, and considered each event, whether a holiday party, birthday, or a simple get together, as an opportunity to create unforgettable memories. Now that I am an adult I look back at those memories and I am very appreciative, but this appreciation has led me to want to help others create similar memories, and by being an event planner, I can do just that.

An Event Planner is someone who manages the logistical and operational piece of an event or meeting. As stated in our textbook Professional and Public Writing: A Rhetoric and Reader for Advanced Composition “…professions involve many levels of specialization. ” (69), this is especially true for Event Planners. Whether it is a public event or a private affair, complex or casual, every phase of the experience is managed by an Event Planner.

In order to manage these events there are several distinctive skills required to be successful and these are: the ability to communicate, creativity, fiscal management, decision-making, leadership, and organization. Noticeably each skill is exceptionally different, however there is one thing that ties them all together: writing. You write to communicate, to express creativity, to budget an event, make deals or contracts with people, guide others, take initiative, and most importantly to stay structured and professional.

Like any career or job there is always going to be a certain amount of writing involved, whether it be jotting down notes or writing a book, but for an Event Planner, writing is the key ingredient within in the recipe to be successful. “For writers, a discourse community is a context, an environment in which they think, work, and communicate.

To succeed, whether simply to function within the community or to change it, they must understand the complex dynamics at work”(Coleman and Funk 42).

In order to get an understanding of the complex dynamics of the career I hope to pursue, I interviewed Event Planner, Katie Coogan, a manager at the Event Planning company Samaya Event Incorporated. In doing so I was informed about the numerous types of writings that are done by Event Planners and how vital these writings are. I started off asking Katie the simple question “Do you write a lot as an Event Planner? ” and for such a simple question I was surprised with the very enthusiastic response I got, “Oh god yes!

Writing is probably the most important thing I do! Not a day goes by that I am not writing and it could be for my personal self, for clients, or for the business in general. ” At first I originally thought that Event Planners simply met with people, talked about what kind of event they wanted, and then the Event Planner just put it together. I discussed this thought with Katie and she agreed that my original thought was a common misconception that most people have, and she also educated me that there are numerous things that must be done to have a successful event.

When I asked about the writing portion of Event Planning she took a deep breath and rattled off “notes, invitations, proposals, emails, cover letters, client information, agendas, timelines, brochures, business cards, thank you notes, charts, press releases, requests to vendors or third party suppliers, or just a general plan for any event. ” This type of list exceeded my expectations of what I would be doing as an Event Planner, but Katie explained that with time, a lot of patience, education and guidance you can become a very good Event Planner.

After she named several types of writings that Event Planners utilize, I asked for specificity about three different writing styles that she uses the most, or that have the most significance. She proclaimed “In my opinion I would say invitations, agendas, and client information is the most important. The invitation with any event really sets the tone and it informs your guests on the date, time, place and hosts of the event.

Oh, and you really have to keep in mind that things like design, wording, tradition, and etiquette are important because they really explain what type of affair your holding, from casual to a black tie affair, an invitations hold all the information. ” After a few more details on invitations she carried on telling me about agendas. “With any event, literally any event, I always have an agenda. This helps my day run smoothly. Its like a fine tuned machine, things have to happen at a certain time and with an agenda or schedule it helps me execute the perfect event.

I can tell the bride when to leave for the church, or the president of the company to make his speech, and this makes my job easier and more organized.

Also with agendas I find that it helps guest prepare for the event as well, it gives them an idea of what to expect. ” This type of information made me realize the importance of organization for this type of job and having an agenda is a tool to stay organized. “Painters make sketches, architects draw up blue prints, therapists map out treatment programs.

These people can work ahead, projecting the outcome early on, when changes can still be made quickly and inexpensively. “(Coleman & Funk 24) This statement is also true for Event Planners with agendas.

It is similar to a map, guiding and preventing any issues that should be expected, which in turn keeps the event running like the “fine tuned machine” Katie had talked about. Lastly we discussed her third most imperative writing style: client information. She informed me about the importance of her client information “I keep a detailed folder for each client. I want to know pretty much everything about them.

Get to know them, understand them, likes, dislikes, family, background, demographics, literally everything! I guess you could say that this is where my note taking skills comes into full force. Note taking is so, so important, and learning how to do it efficiently, while staying focused on the client is really critical.

” It became very evident to me this specific area of writing was what seemed most important to her. The logic behind her idea makes a lot of sense, how can you plan a successful event for someone without knowing your client, particularly in that industry.

It can’t be a guessing game, so note taking is vital “Precise questions, adequate knowledge of your topic and the people you will be working with, and clear project and session goals will make the process easier and the results more useful”(Coleman and Funk61). After I concluded the interview with Katie I stayed at the office to observe any other types of writing that the company partakes in. I went through a few of the client information folders, that she talked about, and saw the elaborate details throughout copious pages of notes.

Although everything else seemed to be like Katie had said, one thing that I found odd was the fact that she left out a major piece of writing that she constantly referenced while observing: a planner notebook.

The notebook had writing on nearly every single page, and it went as far in advance to two years. This book clearly is an essential type of writing for her and a key source of organization, yet she didn’t mention it through the interview. So I consider this a discovery, there was a writing technique that not even Katie realized was significant.

As I continued to observe the office I noticed a lot of the typical marketing and advertising tactics such as brochures, business cards, letters to the clients, new client information sheets, and also explored on the website that they have. “The discourse community operates as a culture.

It’s interests and shared knowledge create and are created by its ideologies, values, and norms”(Coleman and Funk 42). After my visit to the Event Planning Company, interviewing Katie, and reading other information on the writing practices used for Event Planners, I feel my knowledge has expanded and I now feel prepared and have different expectations.

The knowledge they shared, and warm welcoming into their culture truly inspired me to pursue this career with confidence and motivation. However in order to do what Katie or other people in this discourse community do, particularly with writing, I feel that taking classes, practicing my writing skills on a professional level, graduating college, interning, and continually educating myself will all be necessary to follow in the footsteps of other great Event Planners.

This research and experience is one that I will never forget, first time I was actually exposed to what I could potentially do for the rest of my life, and I am truly excited.

Works Cited Coleman, Linda S.

, and Robert Funk. Professional and Public Writing: A Rhetoric and Reader for Advanced Composition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. Gore, Lesley. “It’s My Party.

” I’ll Cry if I Want To. 1963. vent