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Bringing in a larger number of outside vendors -- perhaps contractually obligated to the convention to provide part of their proceeds to the convention in the form of donations -- could improve the donations secured by the organizers for the convention, all the while encouraging competition and expanding the array of products and merchandise available to attendees of the convention.
Solution #3: Technology with a grain of salt
In their haste to incorporate new technology into the 2000 Democratic National Convention, organizers may have bitten off more than they could chew. Previous conventions were successfully run without such an extreme reliance and integration of telecommunications and Internet solutions into the basic structure of the convention. This suggests that the success of the convention is not a function of the available computing power of the organizers. Rather, the success will be based on successful management of the event.
With late pre-planning stages prior to the beginning of the convention, it seems evident that the Democrats emphasis on the convention as an e-convention was a poor idea. It placed increased management and logistical stress upon the individuals responsible for incorporating this technology and likely added very little real benefit to the overall success of the event. For the added cost and hassle of the technology integration, event quality was not substantially improved. The lesson here should be to streamline operations as much as possible, especially when working with a truncated timetable. The resources that were employed to make the convention more technologically savvy could have been better spent on fundraising or logistical issues.
Solution #4: Keep on schedule, even if it means cutting off a senator
This may be one of the most difficult aspects of management, because little can be done beforehand to prevent speakers from running over their time limit. This issue must be dealt with live in order to successfully mitigate the negative effects. In the case of the 2000 Democratic National Convention, the speakers were allowed to speak well over their allotted time limit and the result was that the convention proceedings were pushed out of prime time, threatening continued network coverage, crucial as the most important speakers are usually reserved for the end.
Several management solutions could be used to accommodate this issue. Extra time should be built into the convention, based on average amounts of time that prior conventions went over. Second, important and less important speakers should be mixed throughout the event so that the possibility of being dropped by the networks will not unduly effect the overall message of the event. Third, speakers should be "misinformed" regarding the actual amount of time allotted to them. If speakers believe that they only have five minutes to speak when they in fact have seven, their propensity to go over will not overly affect the event schedule. Finally, in extreme cases, event producers must be willing to actively end speeches that are running excessively over and not contributing any major material to the success of the event. As distasteful as this last solution may be, it could well have improved the timeliness of the entire event.
This study was conducted through concerted research into the 2000 Democratic National Convention, specifically with an eye for issues that arose during the planning, management, and implementation of the event. In fact, there were a number of issues, any of which could have served for the basis of more detailed discussion. The author decided to select four major issues that emerged during different stages of the event process, to highlight the manner in which more extreme solutions had to be implemented to ensure success as the event developed toward completion. With this research in hand, it was simply a matter of isolating the major issue at work and then presenting viable solutions to that issue.
In conclusion, it is clear that the 2000 Democratic National Convention, held in Los Angeles in August of that year, suffered from significant event management issues from the pre-planning stages through final implementation. These issues included a slow start, poor decision-making, ineffective fund-raising, unnecessary incorporation of technology, and inability to keep to a schedule. Any number of solutions were available for managers, a few of which were presented in order to demonstrate the manner by which this event could have been improved through more careful and thoughtful management techniques.
Giroux, G. 2000, July, 'Los Angeles hosts Democratic convention',…[continue]
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