Analyzing Scope Creep

I used to be part owner of a licensee, when I had my event planning and production business. This particular event we put on monthly was called PlayDate. It was an adult game night. It was an alternative to the normal night life stuff, like clubbing and bar hopping. Adults 21 ( preferably 25) and up would come hang out dress comfortably, listen to  music because we had a DJ, play all different types of board games new and old. The main event of the evening was the interactive games with the host, which was an up and coming comedian. These game were what the crowd usually anticipated. The would play simon sez, red light green light, tug-o-war, twister and a few others.

This event took place on a Friday or Saturday of each month. Instead of my partner and I hiring actual employees we had volunteers and as compensation, we provided food, drinks, 3 free guest passes to the event. One of the biggest challenges of this event was finding the right venue. This particular event was our welcome to the NEW Year event, so we expect a large turn out. Our team met at our usual time and place, discussed the event from start to finish. We had the venue scheduled and as far as we knew everything was a go.

I received a call about a week prior to the event from the venue, they explained to me that they had double booked and that since our group called after they were going to accommodate the other party. Without a venue, there is no event bottom line.

Booking the venue has always been a responsibility of mine, what I did to go about this is created a list of all the places that could be possible space for the monthly event. I kept a list of information on each place so that I knew what space I was working with, since we wanted to have the room filled with different stations, and this time we had vendors from sony coming in, the basketball shooting games,  the works, I had the venues listed by size.

One of the great things about this event is that it had gained s much attention that several businesses wanted the opportunity to partner up with us. Jack London Square in Oakland, California, is a very popular tourist spot, a member of our church owned a bar and connected to the bar was this hug auditorium that he would rent out to vendors. Everyone called him pops, and Immediately contacted pops to see if his space would be available to host our event. Pops advised me that he was so happy that we called him because he has been trying to find a way to drive more business to the bar. What we decided to do was write-up a proposal to have the event take place continuously at  Mingles. For budgeting purposes we came up with a financial plan that made both businesses happy.  The first even was a success and Mingles even got radio advertisement through the event.

I think what I would have done differently is instead seeking help from other commercial businesses, look within the community first. One would be surprised how many people are willing to help your business succeed. The second thing is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a back up venue. Follow up with that venue 2 to 3 weeks prior to the event just in case. I think if i could go back tot he very beginning, I would have looked for a venue to partner with so that this problem would never occur.



3 thoughts on “Analyzing Scope Creep

  1. Hi,

    Event planning is something I always shy away from in my workplace, seems so stressful and the situation you describe of somewhere being double-booked would send me into a rage I’m sure!

    Partnering with another business was so smart for this. In projects I’ve seen the same thing happen a lot. You really want to involve stakeholders who will also benefit from the project and sell it to them. Having disengaged members of the team can really put a project in peril whereas if everyone is really invested in the projects, as Pops was in your case, really increases your chances of success.

    Also sounds like a great night and something I’d love to attend if I’m ever in your neck of the woods!



  2. Hello,
    I am from San Diego, California!! I think you made a great point that sometimes we are always looking for the big popular spot to host event but sometime looking to your family, friends, and community for help is always the best place to look. As a project manager or ID begin able to react to change and not let it stop you from continuing on with the event is how you able to continue on with success.


  3. This event sounds like so much fun! I wish we had something like that here!

    It’s really great that you already had lists of other venues. Even though you weren’t expecting there to be a problem, it sounds like you were prepared for it due to all the great record-keeping that you had been doing. Just one more reason why it is important to keep very thorough records of research that you’ve done in the past. You never know when it will come in handy!

    – Michele

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