Who doesn’t dream of a Harry Potter Wedding?
However, planning for such a themed wedding is no easy task. So, I’d like to give you an example of how I helped a friend –a wedding planner –plan a Harry Potter wedding.
The Birth of an Idea
Today, coming up with an ultimate business idea is a real challenge. Around six months ago, Bright Beginnings (the name of my friend’s company) made it known that they would invest in a new scheme and so the Harry Potter wedding idea came along.
However, to make sure that they will be going in the right direction with this new idea, the management team decided to carry out a small pilot study. It involved previous clients answering a questionnaire and writing out their thoughts on a Harry Potter-themed wedding. The team even made sure the questionnaire was sent to prospective clients. Following the hugely positive results, the team decided to go further with this new concept.
However, before presenting the new project to stakeholders, the management team devised a benefit-and-risk plan. First, the team discussed all the rewards and profitable benefits that could be attained out of this new project which is as follows:
- Satisfying clients’ demands
- A customer-oriented approach means increasing customer value and therefore more profits for the company
- A customer-oriented approach also means a good reputation and a positive corporate image
- A Harry Potter-themed wedding can attract lots of Potterheads, meaning more and more prospective clients
- A Harry Potter-themed wedding can even attract the attention of the media, increasing Bright Beginnings’ coverage
- Overall, providing a fun experience for clients
On the other hands, it is critical to assess all the risks involved and the cost of a failed project.
The first step in risk management was to identify the risks involved which were: not having the necessary supplies – for example, it is not every day that you can buy Harry Potter items in a shop, the couple’s or the guests’ disappointment with the themed wedding, high costs involved in customized Harry Potter wedding décor, the magical Harry Potter wedding concept clashing with religious/cultural wedding values and so on.
The second step was to analyze the impact of the risks on the project. For instance, if there were to be a lack of Harry Potter decorations and accessories, would the overall theme of the wedding be affected?
The solutions were gathered in the third step and executed in the fourth stage, where plans were developed to see how to reduce the impact of the risks. For example, many suppliers and shops were contacted, temporary contract clauses were discussed and an agreement was made about making all preparations at least 6/7 months way before the big day. The team also contacted other wedding organizers which specialize in such customized weddings in order to get a deeper insight.
Contingency plans were also prepared in case of any emergencies. For instance, different venues were reviewed in case one would be unavailable and both indoor and outdoor locations were chosen. Again, several suppliers were contacted to avoid having to face a lack of necessary equipment. Some special staff workers were chosen such as a chef who specialized in preparing customized Harry Potter cakes. An emergency plan was also devised and conveyed to all members of the team to follow.
Now, after the project brief where the main points were discussed, risks and benefits analyzed and plans were developed, the management team laid out all the important points on an official document, highlighting all the evidence and set out to present their new project to stakeholders.
Once sponsors have agreed to invest in this new project and when the financial returns of the project have been analyzed and once experts have given their line of thoughts, the management team goes ahead with the project.
A continuation of this article will be published in part 2!