“Pre-planning,” like “commentating” or “irregardless,” is a word we’re pretty certain is simply poor or lazy grammar usage.
We’ve heard people say, “I’m pre-planning for my upcoming trip,” or “We have a meeting to pre-plan the annual gala.” Don’t you just mean “PLAN”??
Grammar Girl, rescue me!
On the other hand, there are steps to consider prior to planning an event.
What comes before planning – since planning can seem so all encompassing?
1. Conceptualizing – What are you imagining this event will be? Who will come? Why?
2. Researching – What other events are taking place when you are planning yours? Or in the same industry? Who are their sponsors or donors? How much do they cost to attend?
3. Strategizing – How will you get people to come? How will you differentiate from other events competing for your audiences’ – or clients’, or donors’ – attention?
4. Goal-setting – What is the purpose of the event? How will you measure success? What will demonstrate to your board, boss, or shareholders that this was a good use of time and money, and how will you prove it to them?
5. Budgeting – Now that you’ve determined if it’s the size of a breadbasket or a basketball court, what will all the components you envision cost?
These are five good reasons why we at Kennedy Events consider ourselves event strategists, not just event planners. We play a role in shaping all of the above decisions, and can help shape a path to the outcomes, illuminate best practices, avoid landmines, and facilitate team discussions.
To ensure a thoughtful, profitable, well-conceived event, maybe we’ll even let it slide if you call these things “pre-planning.” Even if it makes our ears bleed just a little.