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Event Planning Careers – What It Takes To Be Successful

April 6th, 2016 4:37 am

While the recession may be viewed negatively, now is also the perfect time to branch out on your own if you have the entrepreneurial spirit. Many major companies were started during recessions. Whether you are currently employed but are not getting any fulfillment from your job or you are unemployed, whatever your situation, event planning careers are a growing sector and this is the perfect career choice for the right individual.

Event Planning Careers

This industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with enormous growth potential which also makes this one of the best home based businesses if you are interested in being able to work from home while also being there for your family. Event planning careers can allow the right individual to be able to match or exceed their previous income and being your own boss is another of the positives.

This industry has enormous growth potential because people, corporations, etc, need events planned every year recession or no recession, which makes this a wonderful opportunity. You can specialize with certain event planning jobs such as corporate events, weddings, kids birthday parties, baby showers, etc, or you can perform various events.

With event planning careers, you cannot go wrong if you have a good reputation in the industry which will allow you to enjoy the lucrative financial rewards in addition to being able to enjoy what you do in this exciting field.

Event Planning – Keys To Success

1. You need to be able to strategically evaluate things. To keep from being overwhelmed with an event, you need to be able to break things down to small tasks until you accomplish everything you need to get done. One thing to remember with successful event planning is that nothing ever goes according to plan but a plan is still necessary but you need to be able to adapt when things go wrong without getting overwhelmed and giving up.

Remember that your reputation is on the line and you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and to satisfy the client and the attendees. Good word of mouth is the difference between success and failure with event planning careers. Have a backup plan if things don’t work out the way they are supposed to and have a backup to your backup pla! For instance, if you are planning an outdoor wedding, weather can change even the best plans so you need to have a contingency plan if rain occurs on the wedding day that will still ensure a successful wedding despite a change being made to accommodate the weather.

2. When you are planning an event, think on a large and small scale. How do you want people to respond to the event you are organizing? Do you want the attendees to socialize or network, have fun, purchase items, donate, get educated about something, etc? With the goal in mind, you can determine how best to execute the event from the decorations, food, drinks, music to the overall theme. What is your intention with the event? Once you answer this question, you can then get down to the details of planning the event.

3. With event planning careers, a successful event planner has to think of the big items and well as small details. It’s usually the small details that can derail an event and not the big stuff. Don’t think that no one will notice that the flowers look a little wilted, the restrooms do not have enough paper towels, etc. If mishaps or accidents occur as they usually do with most events, you need to remain calm and provide a solution.

4. Some of the most important factors about an event are food and entertainment as well as the overall look of the venue. You need to make sure that the food is good. Bad food will leave people talking. The entertainment will need to set the mood so plan accordingly as there are many entertainment options to choose from. When using music, make sure that it is very appropriate for the event and the attendees. Consider the decorations and how someone else may view them. Do they elevate the venue or do they look cheap and tacky?

5. If it is a fundraising event or an event featuring items for sale, you need to set the atmosphere so that it is conducive to money changing hands. Items to consider include ensuring that the lighting is soft, that the music level is not too loud so that announcements can be easily heard over the music, etc.

Emotion in Design

April 6th, 2016 4:22 am

Tapping into emotion is a must for successful design, no matter the market, the business or the person. If you can’t connect to your target audience there is no possibility of reaching out to your clientele, making a sale, promoting a brand, picking up a new customer or making an impact. That’s the key thing, tying your ideas with the person on the other side, impacting their life and making them think.

Good designers, in any market place and at any level, will always think about invoking emotion in their consumer base. In today’s society, one saturated with technology, it is something often forgotten or misused. Emotion should be at the apex of every business, creating an identity. Top designs, logos, brands, adverts, programs and applications attain their emotive links with their consumers by adducing certain feelings.

In the case of insurance companies their task is to focus on customer rapport, confidence, approachability and optimism. For tech companies their strategy focuses on wearability, usability, interface and longevity of product. In the example of sports brands their focus is on the energy, power and determination that goes hand in hand with sports fans and players. In many cases when design ignores how their target audience feel, the target audience will ignore the product. Emotion abuts great design; as a carrier, messenger and strategy.

The landscape of using emotion in website design

Emotional design has become a powerful tool in creating exceptional user experiences for websites. However, emotions did not use to play such an important role on the Web. Actually, they did not use to play any role at all; rather, they were drowned by a flood of rational functionality and efficiency.

We were so busy trying to adapt to the World Wide Web as a new medium that we lost sight of its full potential. Instead of using the Internet on our terms, we adapted to its technical and, at first, impersonal nature. If it wasn’t for visionary contemporaries such as Don Norman or Aarron Walter, we might still be focusing on improving processes, neglecting the potential of emotional design. Attractive products trigger our creativity and ultimately expand our mental processes, making us more tolerant of minor difficulties. Attractive products make problem-solving easier, which makes them absolutely essential.

User experience designer Aarron Walter contributed a great book to this new era of design:Designing for Emotion. In this book, he defines emotions as the “lingua franca of humanity,” the native tongue that every human is born with. He describes how important emotional experiences are because they make a profound imprint on our long-term memory and create “an experience for users that makes them feel like there’s a person, not a machine, at the other end of the connection”.

Foundation of good design

A couple of things form the foundation of any good design, whether the design is emotional or not. Why are we talking about the foundation of a design here? Think of the construction of a house. First, you need a solid foundation; then, you can start to plan the division of space and build walls. In Web design it’s the same; you need to know your internal design goals, who your users are and in what context they will use your website. Once this groundwork is done, you can get started on the design.

Internal design goals

Before you get started on anything, ask yourself what your own goals are. This does not mean you should put yourself at the center of attention for the rest of the process, but it is important to know what image you want to communicate, what your values and visions are, and how you want others to see you. With this knowledge at hand, you are armed to be very clear and consistent not only in your actions, but also in your appearance. A certain amount of continuity and predictability adds to your reliability, which is important for getting people to commit to a relationship with you.

Prospective users

Know who you are designing for. Your future users will be the people who purchase and use your product or website, so make sure you know what they want. General demographics will give you a rough picture of who you are targeting. By drawing a clear picture of their goals, how they are going to use your website, and what matters and doesn’t matter to them, you will learn how to target your users. Without knowing your prospective users, designing something relevant that is both usable and pleasurable will be quite tricky.

Context of use

Finally, think about the context of use. Knowing the situations and circumstances in which users will be visiting your website is valuable. Consider possible emotions that might be involved, and find out which role you and your users play. Be aware that knowing the context of use will make it easier for you to understand your users the moment they visit your website. It will help you reach out to your customers and to communicate with them more effectively.

How to invoke emotion?

There are a number of different avenues taken to implement successful emotion in design. We can target emotion in the company – identify the emotional qualities of the business and its products or service. At what level does the business stand out from competition? Does the company have a heartfelt story? Who runs the company, and do they have a story? We can target emotion in the market – how do you connect with your customers and satisfy their needs? Market positive emotions. This may be done by inciting mystery, curiosity, hope or anticipation. Play on their heartstrings with negative emotions such as fear, frustration or need. We target emotion in ourselves as the designers – put your personal touch into design, your attitude, experience and emotion. Who are you designing for? How do you connect with them? How can you make that important click? Namely, identify the qualities associated with yourself and your client, their uniqueness and make them appear inimitable.

Relationships: sex, family and life matters

Designing a concept, product or service can be paralleled to building a human relationship; a friendship, a marriage or a family bond. Building rapport with your consumer base is the most important take-home message for any designer. Building trust, dependence and confidence in a relationship are the keys to making it prosperous. Emotionally manipulating consumers is a quick fix strategy often employed by start-ups, but a technique that will only give short-term success if you cannot keep up rapport. Design must be genuine, or else the consumer will move onto a successive superficial fix or look beyond you to find something long-term and guaranteed.

Building relationships with empathy, sympathy and sentimentality – grasping emotion

So, from our analogy between building relationships and designs we can see how important it is to be honest, welcoming and determined to pull through with the service you provide. Emotion in design is not intangible but you must think beyond simple feelings and grasp deeper and meaningful thought. You may start with simpler emotion such as fear, love, anger or pride but always strive to dig deeper to emotion such as empathy, sentimentality, tenderness, protectiveness or sympathy. The more you delve, the more distinctive and specified you become, the more efficacious, overwhelmed and heartfelt your transmission will be.

Convey your message with deep emotion and connect with integrity. Although you must show empathy to your client you must also be able to critique, be a cynic and be honest. Be moved by the concepts you are building, explore the mindset of your client, be as thrilled with the product or service as your client is, share their excitement.

Conclusion

A key message to gain from this post is to not obscure the humanity of design with other demands coupled with branding, business and products. Of course, the technicalities must be focused, marketing strategies placed and the end-points envisaged but always leave space for emotional input. Emotional intelligence is a designer’s crucial capability. Technical, business and marketing savvy comes second.

So, how can you validate one is adequately and productively distributing emotion into design? Many designers rely on innate vision. For others, it must be conscious and planned, implemented at various stages in the design process, tried and tested. Great advice to any designer would be to relentlessly research emotion in design, understand the abstraction and reinstate this in new designs.

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