Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Planning a Party - the hardest part

It is my job to plan parties, events, and other such functions for the museum and archives.

Everyone talks about how fun it must be, and for the most part, it is great to be able to use your own creativity and harness the ideas and energy of others, to come up with something new and exciting. From decor to music, from program to give-aways, there is actually a lot of thought that goes into every detail of every event.

People often don't understand how "minor" some of the details may seem, but how much thought I put into them. One of the examples I give people is the Beer Tasting keepsake mugs that the first 250 ticket purchasers get each year - I spend time trying to find the right font for the print on the mugs, a font that matches the theme. Not only the right font, but also the right colour, is important. So probably in 2006, when the theme of Beer Tasting was the 1950's, no one attending realized that not only was the font one that our mug printing company found that was created in the 50's (and that we still use frequently on our website - the font with the little stars in the word "explore" on our home page www.galtmuseum.com ), but the colour of the font that I chose matched one of the colours being used by the brewery here in Lethbridge at the time. This required me to meet with our Collections guru, Kevin Maclean, and pour over some bottles and other artifacts from that time period AND to meet with our Archivist, Greg Ellis, to look at photos of marketing done by the brewery in that time period.

So yes, often the most minor details to those attending take a great deal of thought and time, but that is the point of a good party, that it all fits in and creates an image where nothing stands out because if it did, it would likely be because it is out of place.

However, I am currently at the hardest part of planning an event, for a few events in the museum's future - NAMING the event.

This seems so simple - Eggstravaganza was called that before I started here 7 years ago, it's catchy and people recognize it and we will keep it. It is a brand unto itself for Lethbridge-ians (or Lethbridge-ites or whatever we call ourselves). Beer Tasting was, has been and will forever be, Beer Tasting! Taste of Downtown will also continue to have the name it does for as long as the event goes ahead. These names have stuck, people know what to expect and as a result, the tickets sell quickly and sell out!

But coming up with a name for a new event that will give people a true idea of what the event is about, that isn't misleading, that sounds fun and like something people want to be a part of, and that is catchy and easy to remember, is much more challenging than one would think.

So I sit at my computer at home in the evening when I have insomnia....I google phrases that match my event ideas and theme, I say things out loud, I read, I look at other museum websites, I question everyone who may phone me or go online on twitter or Facebook chat....and still, sometimes, like now, I hit a dead end where I cannot come up with anything that I LOVE!

Keep watching the event page on the Galt website....one of these days you may see some small changes - when that happens, THAT is when I am pleased with the new title of a new event that I am working on and I am ready for the world to know and start to identify with it.....until then, google may remain my best friend!

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