I have been motivated to write this as I draw from my vast experience in hosting programs. I belong to an association where we do a whole lot of hosting and somehow I’ve been in the thick of some of them. As I write this; I’ll be dropping lines that have been inspired by some of these programs.
First, what defines “successful”? That’s the first question that needs answering because while “successful” for one program could be hinged on the turn out of people, “successful” for another could be the smooth running of the logistics. So the first step to a successful program is “drawing out a plan of what you want”.
“The EFFECT” you want the program to drive will determine its success. I am not going to give you outlines in bullet style and tell you to follow these and you’d have yourself a successful program. Not at all. All I’m going to do is tell you what I did for the successful program and what I didn’t do for the less successful ones; meanwhile note that no program is a failure; the fact that you didn’t meet your target doesn’t define it as a failure.
Committees are set up of programs most of the time but more frequent is the fact that only 40% of those in the committee end up doing most of the work if not all. There will always be those who would encourage you and tell to keep thriving and those who will discourage you. Now it’s important for you to understand that getting the make-up of the committee will go a long way in aiding the success of the program so if you can assemble a group of hungry, experienced, young, witty, carefree and detailed people; you already have the best committee you can get. Be very careful to note the qualities I have stated above as the combination of these qualities will give you the best team. Yes, you need someone that is carefree, that person that will always make mistakes; that person that will give you a reality check, that person that will always divide opinion. I also understand that there could be this temptation to do things on your own as you’d always feel people will slow you down; now take this simple piece of experience-inspired advice – don’t try to do it on your own; you can never go far on your own. Don’t try it!
After sorting out the committee; you move on the “why’. Why should this program hold…what’s the aim? After establishing why the program should hold, move on to “who” needs the “why’. Who should be your target audience; who will it benefit the most, I must also tell you that you shouldn’t be stereotyped while choosing the “who”, allow your sense of judgement to be unbiased and not controlled by the rave of the moment. Your “who” should strictly be aligned to your “why”. This is where people get it wrong most of the time, they forget their “why” while looking for their “who”, instead of basing their target audience around the aim of the program they go after the audience that will bring in more people even if that audience doesn’t suit the “why” of the program. So it’s very important that you get the “who” to correctly align to the “why’…this is the bedrock of any program.
Once you are done with the “why”-“who” axis you move over to the content; that’s where the “what” comes in. What would perfectly convey the “why” to the “who”? What should happen in the program; this “what” is usually the medium of transfer. This is where the order of events come in; there should be a perfect harmony and synchronisation between the “what”s that should happen on that day and of course I don’t need to over emphasize the need for good time management. The “what” is better conveyed within a stipulated time, precision and conciseness help at a better time management though. Then you inculcate the “how”. The how spreads the “what” across the entire program. The “how” works closely with the “what”, it’s the “how” that will determine susceptibility.
So have a look at the trend again; why-who-what-how.
Once you get these procedures done with; you have done 50& of the job. Yes, a whooping 50! This post is a multi-part series; we have looked at the pre-program part. This is the bedrock. The next part will look at how to convey these “why-who-what-how” contents to the real “who”s, we’d be looking at getting your audience to show up; we’d touch some elements of advertising and persuasion.