Managing an opening ceremony can be crucial when a convention or conference goes on for several days and the event organizers want to gather, welcome and address their audience. The most cherished opening ceremony is the Olympic Games. Athletes from all over the world gather to compete on hundreds of sports and celebrities perform songs, some specially written for the occasion. Preparation for an opening ceremony starts weeks prior to the event date.

How to plan an opening ceremony

Around the world, locale sporting leagues imitate the Olympic ceremony. Corporations also have conventions or annual meetings and they hold opening ceremonies. Though these two seem different, they have quite some similarities. They all usually involve some kind of entertainment. Sports ceremonies have marching bands, dancers and even celebrities performing at times and large corporations have subtle piano music playing during presentations. Though the rest of the meeting is all business, the opening ceremony is the fun day.

In addition to the entertainment, opening ceremonies have a planned agenda. This could include unveiling a new product, product advertisement for a large corporation, announcement including good news or a guest speaker. Because it takes time to pick and book speakers, opening ceremony planning often begins a year prior to the event date.

For some ceremonies, picking the venue is easier, whilst some are more challenging. Sports ceremonies are normally held on playing fields, like an outdoor stadium if the game is baseball or on ice if the game is hockey. If there are adequate participants, the event can be held near the location of the games in a convention hall. If the opening ceremony is for an annual meeting or convention, it is best to have it in the same location as where the rest of the event is being held. The event could also be held at a fun venue that is close, there are endless possibilities.

You will need to do more as far as decoration and preparation goes for opening ceremonies for annual meetings and conventions. Opening ceremonies are more like festive events, whilst the rest of the meeting is more solemn. If the duration of a conference is a week, it is unlikely that food, drinks and music may not be on the agenda for the entire meeting.

The guest list for an opening ceremony may vary. Take the Olympic Games into consideration, some people only attend the opening ceremony, and this happens often, no matter what the event may be. Large corporations may welcome the media to get coverage of their event. If for example, you are planning a sports event, each teams’ family may be there, hence promoting a larger venue. When planning, the attendance must always be considered. You don’t want to be in a situation where you do not have space to fit everyone who came out for the opening ceremony.

Opening ceremonies are also held to inspire all attendees. Take the Olympics for example, can you imagine anyone getting that excited for the event without the fanfare at the opening? After being entertained, fed and encourage, at even the dullest convention, participants are ready for the event.