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How to Begin To Plan A Company Celebration

Nov 25, 2007
For merchandising reasons, or in apparent hope of greater public impact when the program is finally presented, or because they're just naturally evasive, organizations occasionally elect to wrap anniversary plans in a mantle of secrecy and silence.

When a sensational new model in a violently competitive field is to be unveiled as a part of the anniversary celebration there may be some sense to the maneuver. Otherwise we've never found concealment worth the effort.

Since one of the toughest jobs a Coordinator faces is getting anybody excited about a celebration, taking any measures that tend to make a secret of it seems to us pretty silly.

But you'll naturally have to go along with company preferences, and so, just so you won't be surprised if it happens, we're going to assume that you and your duties are to be kept under wraps as long as possible.

Meantime, there's a lot of work to be done, and you've been hired to do it. And there isn't any way to do it without talking about it. So off you go.

Research is the cure for worry at this point.

Research, the Cure for Worry

Any anniversary celebration which develops into a memorable company and community experience is certain to be the result of painstaking and doggedly sustained investigation. Ideally, this investigation begins long before the start of the anniversary period and continues without interruption throughout the span of the observance.

We are speaking of the basic, fundamental, common sense nosiness which ought to precede any decision or action involving or affecting anniversary components. That nosiness seeks helpful information from all available sources, assembles it, weighs it, and reports it - then acts in accordance with it.

How to Research

Tour the plant. Get acquainted. Find out who's who. Introduce yourself to any key people you haven't met. You need to meet people experienced in solving all sorts of technical problems peculiar to this company. Seek out the Advertising Manager, the Publicity Director, the president of the Quarter Century Club, the Building Superintendent, and the Display Manager.

Range from the carpenter shop to the boiler room. Seek out anyone and everyone with whom you may expect to work, anyone and everyone who may be expected to contribute help or ideas or production assistance in the months ahead. And that won't leave very many exceptions on the staff! Neither will it leave a shred of mystery about you, but you can't do research in a vacuum. Not this kind of research, anyway.

Learn the operating divisions of the company and their location, with special attention to the zones and extent of their jurisdiction. For example, you'll inevitably be working with the Operations Director (or his counterpart) in matters dealing with customer service; with the production or acquisition of props; with the imprinting, ordering, and distributing of supplies; with, in fact, practically everything that costs the company money.

You're sure to work with the Comptroller (or his counterpart) in anniversary matters involving credit department participation. You're equally sure to work with the Sales Manager in matters dealing with sales events and vendor relations. You'll work with the Personnel Director in matters having to do with employees, their participation in the celebration, their house publication, their attitudes, activities, and training.

You'll work with the advertising and public relations departments in all aspects of promotion, media coverage, special campaigns and events, exhibits, publicity, interior and exterior displays, and so on and on and on. It's all research, whether you ever thought of it that way or not.

From this research you gradually will accumulate an invaluable working knowledge of the company, its history, policies, ideals, personnel, equipment, extent, resources, attitude toward its community (and the community's attitude toward the company), and preferred or historic modes of operation. Out of this knowledge, you will forge your own personal set of opinions and values, plus a comprehensive list of procedures, responsibilities, requirements, and deadlines necessary to produce a successful celebration.
And this is a very good start.

You're doing well.
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