Lesson 3 – Brainstorming


The most important part of an event is planning and organizing. In this section, we will discuss some of the different items that need to be planned. When planning, you have to determine the purpose and theme and date of the event. In addition, different ideas should be considered for event activities and decor. These are just a few items that need to go on your planning list, but there many more aspects of an event that require planning.

Our focus quote for this module:

“He who is ever ready to live through difficulties with a calm spirit is never wrong, but always strong.” – Terry Mark


Determine the Event’s Purpose

The purpose of an event is crucial and can make or break an event. The purpose of the event is what makes the attendee want to come. The other aspects of the event are icing on the cake, but the purpose is the foundation of it. If you are throwing a charity event, then your job is easy! The purpose would be to either raise money or raise awareness. If you are having a seminar, then you just need to decide what topic the participants will be discussing. If it were a holiday party, it would be for the holiday you want to celebrate. Of course, other event purposes could be applicable, such as: major life events, employee recognition, and an awards ceremony, just to name a few.


Determine a Theme

A theme of an event is the specific subject or idea on which the design is based. The theme can make those who are on the fence about coming to an event, jump in! A theme could be a color, a movie, or anything else that you want to use to create the ambiance. A great theme can really boost attendance and excitement for an event. An event can have just one theme, or multiple themes can be combined. An example of this would be Purple Space Pirates. Granted that isn’t a great theme, but it is interesting.
Here are a few theme ideas:

  • Carnival / Circus
  • Winter Wonder Land
  • I Love The 80s
  • Vegas / Casino
  • Glamour
  • Country Western
  • Sports
  • Victorian Elegance
  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Craft/DIY Party
  • Purple Party

Write Down & Review Ideas

Now is the fun part: creating ideas. At this time, you should know your purpose and your theme; now you can start coming up with your ideas. So, what ideas do you need to write down? At this phase, you can write down ideas about activities, decorating, entertainment, and food. This is not the time to decide everything you want to happen at the event and finalize it. This is the time when you brainstorm all of your ideas. Be as creative as possible. Brainstorming with others can help in this process. After you have gotten all of your ideas out, it’s time to edit them. You will start cutting the list until you have a cohesive and attainable list of ideas for the event. When you are cutting these ideas, you want to consider your estimated budget and consider your time frame. If you only have three weeks to plan an event, you probably are not going to be able to get engraved napkins. In that same way, if you have a budget of $30, an ice sculpture is out of the question.


Determine a Date

Determining a date can be tricky because there are multiple things to consider. You want to give yourself enough time to reach all of your planning goals but not so much time that everyone forgets about the event. You want to schedule it on a day that is accessible to as many people as possible; most events are held on weekends. When planning the date, it’s advisable to avoid holidays because most people will want to spend that time with their families. You also want the time frame to be appropriate to the event. If you were hosting a formal dinner, eight o’clock would be a better time than five o’clock. By eight o’clock, the adults have had time to get off work, get ready, and make arrangements for their children if necessary. The whole premise here is that you are selecting a date and time that maximizes the number of attendees. There is no point in having an event if no one is there to see it.


Practical Illustration

Together, Jennifer and Lucy collaborate and come up with the idea to host a fall festival. They decide that they will have game booths, food booths, and an auction to help raise money. The festival will promote the charity, and the theme features the fruits and cider that the orchard produces. Together they decide that a Saturday in September would be the best date, and they want to hold the festival from noon to 7:00 pm. They feel like a Saturday is the best day of the week for a family function to take place, and September doesn’t have any major holidays. They want to pick a time when the most people would be able to attend, so they chose the middle of the day. The event would also start late enough so that parents have time to get their kids ready. Jennifer is excited that helping this charity will also help her business.