From Fireworks to Freeze Pops: 4 Event Management Lessons from the 4th of July

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BOOM, crackle, “Ooooh.”

Who doesn’t love a good fireworks show? (Answer: dogs.)

Fireworks aren’t an American original, but it’s hard not to associate them with the nation’s Independence Day.

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While you’re gearing up for the pyrotechnics, the cookouts, and the star-spangled attire of the Fourth of July, we took a minute to reflect on what the holiday can teach us about event management. Here are the four most important lessons.

Tradition matters.

The Fourth of July taps into our collective nostalgia for classic Americana. Grilling in the back yard.  Sitting on a blanket to watch the fireworks. Small children in a wagon.

These are the images that come to mind when the holiday comes up, and even if you don’t buy into them, you’ll see them all over in the advertising lead-up to the fourth. Nearly every store circular and television commercial will be spirited in preparation for the patriotic bonanza.

Keep these major traditions – related to a national holiday or not – in mind when promoting your event. Deck out the flyers for your winter event with twinkle lights and ornaments, gobble up turkey themes in November, and lay out summer sand and flip-flops when planning a June bash. Harness their power and your single event can become part of a legacy.

Funding is tough.

Fourth of July celebrations are taking a hit.

After 10 years and millions of dollars, Liberty Mutual has announced it won’t be funding Boston’s Independence Day celebration after this summer. In Williamsburg, Va. (the birthplace of American democracy!), funding cuts spelled the end for live music accompanying the fireworks show.

Times are tough for event planners all over, with costs expected to increase across multiple areas of the industry like food and air travel.

There’s hope, though: We’ve got 12 ways to cut down your event budget, plus a dozen options in event management software that won’t cost you a dime.

Make it spectacular.

There’s nothing subtle about the Fourth of July, and that’s part of what makes it great.

It’s an American spectacle: kitschy clothes, tons of food, free-flowing beverages, and (the pinnacle) fireworks, which dazzle us with their bright light, vivid colors, and explosive sound.

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Embrace the flashy when you plan an event. Consider a theme to tie together many elements to delight the senses. Use eye-catching visual displays, focus on a few key colors, make sure your audio is top-notch, and build all the parts of a festive party.

Timing is everything.

This one time, 17 minutes’ worth of fireworks went off in about 30 seconds.

While it’s fun to watch, you don’t want it to happen to you, especially after weeks of careful planning.

It’s hard to control for computer glitches like this one, but you can do your part to make a complete event schedule, and stick to it. It starts with planning your social media posts ahead of your program, all the way through sharing slides to keep guests engaged after it’s done. Learn it, love it, and make sure every member of your team’s in on it too.

More?

How does the Fourth of July inspire your event planning? What event management lessons do you have? Tell us that, and any tips for finding the best spot to see the fireworks, in the comments below!

Images by Abby Kahler

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Hannah S. Ostroff

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Hannah S. Ostroff is a writer for Capterra, a free resource that matches buyers and sellers of business software. A graduate of the College of William & Mary, she spends her free time cooking, singing, reading, and watching videos of baby animals.

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