Event Planning for the London Poetry Festival at Greenwich Park

The ABC Events Planning- London intends to organize an outdoor poetry event at Greenwich park- London to mark this year’s Annual London Poetry Festival. The UK upholds literature and hosts several prestigious literally festivals- usually more than ten literary festivals annually (Getz and wicks, 1994). The theme for this event will be ‘Poetry for Environmental Conservation’. The event will bring writers, environmentalists and poetry enthusiasts together using other literal arts to educate them on environment conservation. More than a thousand people will participate, and it is, therefore, very important that the event’s organizers prepare adequately. This report outlines how ABC Events Planning will prepare the event and its venue in addition to giving recommendations on how to improve the festival.

Event planning Greenwich park London
Geenwich Park London

Introduction

Environmental conservation is a critical issue in the current world and has been the centre of discussion at national and international levels. This is due to the confirmed link between the increased environmental pollution around the world and poor health among world populations, disease outbreaks, extinction of species, and climate change (Khan & Ghouri, 2011). Over 24000 deaths related to air pollution are reported in the UK annually (Abramson, Len and Theodossopoulos, 2000). London has the highest share of air-pollution-related deaths. In 2015, approximately 6500 London residents died due to conditions related to inhaling toxic gases like Nitrogen dioxide, which is usually emitted by diesel engines (Tisdell, 2005). Noise pollution from buses and public transport is also common in London. A lot of solid waste is also emitted from processing and manufacturing industries in London (Desman and Raymond, 1968). Therefore, it is necessary to educate people on the impacts of environmental pollution and the benefits of conservation.

To avert further damage on the environment, several sensitization campaigns that are aimed at educating people on the dangers of pollution have been launched, in the hope that pollution will subside. These campaigns use several methods of communication, with a good number making use of spoken messages that are passed through music, speeches, talks and discussions, narratives, etc. Usually, the target in such campaigns is to reach as many people as possible.

Poetry for Environmental Conservation

Poetry is one of the several arts of communication that can be used to entertain and, at the same time, convey crucial information. Poetry is the art of apprehending ideas and interpreting them in an idealistic manner. For many years, poetry has been used to express emotions, pass important messages, and even unite nations (Wooding, 2000). It has played vital roles in discouraging vices like theft, rape, murder, etc. The history of poetry dates back from 1700-1200 BC (Hughes, 2014). Poetry is among the oldest genres of English literature. The oldest English poems are ‘A hymn on creation’ and ‘Beowulf’ (Johnson, 2014).

Over a thousand poetry events are held in the UK annually to allow poets to display their skills, educate, sensitize, entertain, and exchange ideas with fellow artists (Woodring, 2000). One such event is the London Word Festival that is marked annually on the month of April to celebrate the spoken word art (McPartlin, 2016; Anon, 2013). Considering the popularity of poetry in the UK, The ABC Events Planning- London proposes to use the art to promote environmental conservation during this year’s London Word Festival. The event will be held from 25th-26th April 2016 under the theme ‘Poetry for Environmental Conservation’. The use of poetry as a medium for promoting environmental conservation will attract a large audience and is likely to have the desired impact.

Event Details

This year’s London Word Festival will be held at Greewich Park, London from 25th-27th April 2016. A number of performances, speeches, competitions, and presentations will feature in the three- days event, with each day having a unique set of activities. The event will focus on poetry and ways in which it can be used to bring change to society, specifically to mobilize and sensitize people on environmental pollution and the need for environmental conservation. The event’s organizers will work closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The festival will feature a wide range of activities, ranging from speeches, presentations, and competitions, to entertainment. The festival’s competitions will include:

  • Conservation innovation competition
  • Individual presentations- Awards will be presented to the top three individuals
  • Cooperate presentations- Only the best company will be awarded
  • Poetry/ spoken word competition- Awards will be given for the top three presentations

The winners of the Conservation innovation and poetry/spoken word competitions will be determined by a panel of judges which will consist of experts in environmental conservation, Eco technology, and performance arts.

Target Audience

The event will majorly target both local and foreign poetry and environmental conservation enthusiasts. Government officials, led by the Secretaries of State for the respective departments will be expected to grace the event. In addition, a number of notable local and foreign groups and personalities will be invited. These will include:

  • Ambassadors and other government representatives from around the world
  • Popular poets/ spoken word artists
  • Reputable Environmentalists and Conservationists
  • Individual and cooperate investors in Eco- friendly technologies
  • Activists and Lobby groups

Event Theme and Design

ABC Events Planning- London aims to use poetry to promote environmental conservation during this year’s London Word Festival. As stated earlier, the event’s theme will be ‘Poetry for Environmental Conservation’. The ABC Events Planning- London will organize the event in close collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The event is expected to attract a huge crowd of people (1000+) and will be hosted at the Greenwich Park; the largest park in London.  Initially, the park was a hunting ground but has been transformed into a royal park that majorly hosts public events and recreational activities (Billington and Lousada, 2003). Greenwich Park is ideal because it is located in central London, a city that upholds art in general. It is also expansive, making it an ideal venue for an outdoor event. The park also resonates well with the environmental conservation theme because it is home to a wild deer park, the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site, and the National Maritime Museum (Knights & Scheib, 2011). The park has been conserved for a long period of time and has been successfully protected from human encroachment despite being at the centre of one of the world’s largest cities.

Design and Décor

The Greenwich Park can be accessed from various entrances. However, only two entrances to the park will be used during the event- the St Mary’s Gate Entrance and the Blackheath Gate. The main event will be held close to the General James Wolfe Statue, where a raised podium in addition to stands for invited guests and artists. Tents will also be erected to protect participants from sunburn and possible rain. However, to maintain the outdoor-live-event allure, open spaces will be left out while ensuring a clear view of the podium from all corners. The podium, stands, tents, and the decor to be used during the event should be made of recycled or environmentally friendly materials where possible. For example, eco friendly tents made from recycled polyester or organic cotton and décor made from recycled plastic could be used to enhance the environmental conservation theme.

The theme colours for the event will be green, yellow, and blue to represent sunshine, green vegetation, and water bodies, respectively. These colours will feature prominently on the event’s décor. Participation in the event will be open to interested persons. However, participants will be required to be in themed merchandise (T-shirts, scarves, caps, and armbands) which will feature the event’s theme colours. They will also have the ‘Poetry for Environmental Conservation’ theme inscribed on them. The merchandise will be sold to interested participants at selected outlets for a period of one week to the main event and at the park’s entries. Themed banners and flags will also be put up at strategic locations around the park; along driveways and at major attractions like the Royal Observatory, etc. Themed drapery, banners, balloons, and flower arrangements will also be used to decorate the podium, stands, and tents.

Order of Events

Thursday, April 28

The festival will kick off with the raising of the Union Jack at 9 AM by the London Police with the assistance of a joint band of select, popular pro- environmental conservation musicians and bands -Bono, Don Henley, Linkin Park, and Coldplay- who will sing the national anthem. The UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will then officially open the festival. This will be followed by key speeches from a few selected speakers representing various groups and organizations.

From 10: 20 AM to 11:20 AM, visual presentations of current environmental pollution, critical cases, and impacts will be made on large display screens. Short reviews of the lives of popular, fallen conservationists will then be made from 11:20 AM- 12:30 PM by a few select presenters, who will highlight their achievements. The Secretary of State for Environment will lead other dignitaries, guests, and participants in a tree planting session, lasting from 12:30- 2:00 PM in honour of the departed conservationists. After this, various poets will be allowed to present poems on environmental conservation between 2:00- 4:00 PM. During these performances, candidates who are interested in various competitions will confirm their participation with the organizing committee.  Music performances by invited musicians and music groups will then take place between 4:00- 6:00 PM, with key performances from Linkin Park, Coldplay, Don Henley, and Bono. Participants will then leave the venue at their own leisure.

Friday, April 29

From 9- 10:30 AM, popular poets like Fiona Sampson, Kaarvi Khullar, Poorvi Anchalia, and Josie Greveling will be allowed to make poetic presentations and give short talks on the role of poetry in social transformation. From 10: 30-11:30 AM, there will be presentations by the 2015 winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize. They include:

  • Berta Caceres- winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize- South and Central America, 2015
  • Myint Zaw- winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize- Asia, 2015
  • Mariln Baptiste- winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize -North America, 2015
  • Phyllis Omido- winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize- Africa, 2015
  • Howard Wood- winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize- Europe, 2015
  • Jean Wiener- winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize, Islands and Island Nations, 2015

This will be followed by a short music performance that will last from 11: 30 till midday. This will be followed by innovation presentations where individuals and corporates will present original creations that have the potential to minimize environmental pollution. Individual presentations will take place between noon and 3:00 PM. A 30- minute’s entertainment break featuring dances by select dance groups will follow, after which corporate presentations will be made until 6:00 PM. The event will then close for the day.

Saturday, April 30

The day’s events will start with a clean up exercise that will target the Greenwich neighbourhood and last from 8:00- 10:30 AM. Participants will then be requested to gather at the main venue. From 11: 00 AM to 4:00 PM, the poem/ spoken word competition will take place, with two short entertainment breaks taking place. These breaks will last 15 minutes each and will be allocated for stand-up comedy performances. From 4:00- 4: 30 PM, closing speeches will be made by select personalities. The awards ceremony for the innovation and poetry competitions will then take place between 4:45 PM and 5:30 PM after which the festival will come to a close.

Entertainment

Entertainment during the festival will be in form of poetry presentations by poets, popular musicians and music bands like Bono, Don Henley, Linkin Park, and Coldplay, dance performances by professional dance troupes, and stand-up comedy performed by leading UK comedians.

Event catering

Food, beverages, and water will be sold in temporary stalls that will be erected within the main venue. Additional catering services for dignitaries and invited guests will be accessible from the nearby food stalls which will serve the following:

Friday, 28th April

  • fish and chips
  • sticky toffee pudding
  • whole baked potatoes
  • marmite on toast
  • scotch eggs
  • sponge cake
  • ginger beer
  • savory pies
  • shropshire and stilton cheddar
  • ice tea and lemonade
  • Bottled water

Saturday, 29th April

  • Bhajias
  • ice tea and lemonade
  • shortbread
  • whole baked potatoes
  • marmite on toast
  • Macaroons
  • Kati rolls
  • Kebabs
  • Chicken
  • Ale
  • Bottled water

Saturday, 30th April

  • Pudding
  • Spiced Fruitcake
  • pineapples
  • sugar-encrusted marigold flowers
  • roasted meat
  • wafers jelly
  • pomegranate seeds
  • sweet pastries
  • Wine and Ale
  • Water
  • shortbread
  • baked potatoes
  • marmite on toast

Project Management

The event’s organization will be monitored by a project board that will be made of representatives from ABC Events and the Departments of Environment and Energy. The actual organization will be done by ABC events which will appoint a project manager. The project manager will report to the board, and will be responsible for making core decisions like changes on the event’s budget, event decorations, etc. The project manager will work with the help of a team of support staff who will allocate resources as instructed by him/ her. Resources will be allocated to secure entertainment and catering services, payment of park fees, etc. The team will consist of ushers, decorators, organizers, chefs, etc. The project manager will ensure direct contact with the team since he/she will be expected to provide leadership and motivation (Collins, 2011). The team of support staff will make sure that the event’s standards meet expectations. They will report to the project manager and ensure that products are delivered in time and within specified budgets.

Budget

Expenses                                                       cost

Event marketing                                       40,000

Hiring and Remuneration                       60,000

Event venue                                               45,000

Podium, tents, and stalls                         50,000

Entertainment                                            150,000

Catering and refreshments                       75,000

Awards                                                          120,000

Decoration                                                     5,000

Event managers commission                     10,000

Clean-up                                                        2,000

Total                                                               557, 000

Project communication

For an event’s organizer to successfully communicate the event, he or she has to first identify the aim of the event (shone and parry 2004).Bearing in mind that the main aim on the event is to conserve the environment, the ABC Events will use broadcast, print, social media and personal invitations to effectively market the event. Dignitaries and popular/ reputable personalities will be issued with invitation cards. ABC Events will also use written communication to invite the participation of universities and colleges, mostly those that are located in London.

Risk management plan

A risk management plan is usually prepared by the project manager to foresee risks that might happen in the course of the event and possible solutions to such (Rojek, 2004). According to Goss (2009), risks are uncertain events that happen and affect the objectives and goals of an event. The risk management plan for the Greenwich event will cover all activities leading to the event, the actual event, the post-event clean up.

In many cases, events that contain more than 200 people employ crowd controllers to ensure that the events run smoothly (Hanlon & Cuskelly, 2002). Therefore, a security team will be hired to provide crowd control and security services. The event manager will ensure that the security team is well qualified and has appropriate authorization to do such work (Rijeka, 2014). The event manager and team managers will ensure that all persons hired for the event have outstanding character and knowledge in handling assigned jobs (Deery, Jago & Fredline, 2004). The project manager will ensure that hired persons familiarize with the venue and the management team prior to the event to avoid confusion during the event (Rojek, 2014). The project manager will secure the services of first aid teams and ambulances from nearby health facilities to ensure that incidents of medical emergencies during the event are well attended. He/she will also ensure that adequate litter bins are provided within the venue to prevent littering (Zimmermann, 2006). This will also ensure easier clean up (Tum, Norton and Wright, 2005).

Conclusion

The quality of our environment is directly related to our well-being. People need to be constantly educated on the importance of the environment and the need to conserve it. Poetry is known to convey important messages to society and will serve as a good medium through which to convey the environmental conservation theme. The poetry festival will not only be entertaining but also educative, sensitizing participants on the need to conserve the environment.

Recommendation

One of the most important factors to consider while organizing an outdoor event is ensuring that safety is observed (Deery, Jago &Fredline, 2004). Bearing in mind that terror attacks have become increasingly common, ensuring the presence of policemen and increased security checks within the event’s venue will be of great help. They should also work closely with other hired security personnel in enhancing safety. Despite the fact that people get uncomfortable with rigorous security checks during events, the safety of participants cannot be taken for granted (Zimmermann,2006).

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