This statement seems simple, but when you dig a little deeper it involves a lot of moving parts and action steps that require detail and careful thought. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “preparation” is defined as “the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty.”
In today’s event industry and even in everyday life, preparation is required to succeed. Whether you’re planning an event, creating content, generating a social media plan, or even just preparing for a meeting, preparation absolutely precedes success. Think about it: Does a football team play a game without a game plan? Do actors in a movie or play go on stage without reading their lines first? Do event planners execute events without a run-of-show? The answer to all of these questions is “no.”
Why? Because having a plan, preparing, and practicing is part of the main event. You can’t have an idea for something and then expect it to happen with no planning, you have to put the idea down on paper and put some work into making it a reality! To get you inspired and motivated, here are some words of wisdom from team members at Elevate:
Founder & President
“Vision without preparation is simply an idea. Vision with preparation is that same idea executed at a higher level. Seeing success as the end goal requires that we reverse-engineer from that success back to the basics. I love breaking things down into their lowest common denominator and intentional preparation will help you do just that. If an initiative is great enough then the preparation isn’t a bore, it is exhilarating.”
Client Services Specialist
“Preparation precedes success means walking into an event with all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. It means knowing the run of show backwards and forwards, having each detail thought through and having 2-3 emergency plans just in case or when things go bad, and thinking through the worst case scenarios and staying calm while executing them.”
Chief of Staff
“Overall, preparation precedes success means that somebody cares enough about what they’re working on to think ahead through the details so that everything happens the way it needs to. I think about vacations… If you’re planning for a vacation it can help eliminate stress, with not having thought through things once you get to the location. It can help you have more fun because you already crafted the details so you don’t miss a thing. When it comes to Elevate, everything we do is about ‘preparation precedes success’ because in the event world, we want to be ready to change and adapt to what the environment needs. It gives us the mental space and creativity to be able to adapt when things change, helps us execute things well for our clients, and makes our clients look better. ‘Preparation precedes success’ in my own life is something I always think about because for someone to own what they’re given or what their role is usually takes thought to think ahead and be on top of details that make things happen. It shows pride in what you do.”
Chief Strategy Officer
“Preparation looks different for different people. People prepare in different ways, but preparation is a requirement for success. It may not be a requirement to sit down and strategize and plan, but it’s as simple as saying ‘I need to leave at this time to get here at this time.’ That’s one level of preparation. The deeper and more time spent preparing, the greater the chance someone will succeed. It’s the same with sports teams. The team that prepares the best, whether it’s by watching film, running through possible scenarios, or conditioning is the one who has the greatest chance of success for that particular game. What’s interesting about preparation is that to achieve a greater level of success takes effort. You must spend time, energy, and exert mental focus in order to think through different scenarios and think through what all the elements required are. Are they words? Physical objects? Do you need to prepare the tangible aspects? You must prepare for different scenarios. This reminds me of a concept called mind mapping.’ Mind mapping involves playing out different scenarios in your head. ‘If this happens I need to respond this way,’ or ‘if this happens I need to do this.’ Preparation means thinking about your time, energy, and mental focus set aside to play out these different scenarios.
“High levels of execution require high levels of preparation. If you’re the one handling the food on Thanksgiving, its success hinges on how well you prepare and cook the food. It’s the same when it comes to taking care of clients; the recipe has to be read correctly. You might have to try it a few different times just to get it right, and innovation may be required if you don’t have all you need. You have to watch the clock – you get it. If I wouldn’t skimp on preparation and delivery on the biggest day of the year, I surely wouldn’t take that approach to the way I execute on and in my work.”
Although a simple phrase, “preparation precedes success,” is one of the most important elements of event planning. It’s required to succeed in any planning process and can be what makes or breaks your next event.
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