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Event Management: Majlis Auction in Dubai Report

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Updated: May 26th, 2021

Introduction and Project Overview

Planning public events in the form of auctions is a challenging task because of involving the large audience. The Majlis Auction is a specific type of an auction organized for more than 45 participants that has been planned to take place in the Majlis at Dubai World Centre (The Majlis 2018). It is important to note that the Majlis Auction is a unique event that has no precedents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in general and in Dubai in particular.

The conceptual idea and mission of this event are associated with providing a wide public with an opportunity to buy used and new luxurious handbags. These bags include the variations of Hermès Birkin and Kelly models of bags, as well as authentic Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton bags.

This report provides the details on how this event has been planned to be realized through completing such phases as analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation, and what outcomes are achieved. Thus, this event is important to be conducted in order to set a precedent for the UAE and the Middle Eastern region in general for organizing similar for-profit auctions in certain communities.

The key objective of this project is to provide the detailed description of the steps related to analyzing the need for the auction, planning the event, implementing the Majlis Auction, and evaluating the results. The focus is on determining, describing, and justifying the main phases in the project implementation with reference to such expected outcomes as the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the event in terms of profitability.

Project Scope and Objectives

In order to plan and organize this project effectively, it was necessary to pay much attention to assessing the community’s need for conducting a certain type of events in order to guarantee its success. Therefore, the project development started with analyzing a variety of posts in social media and other community resources regarding available possibilities to buy authentic luxurious handbags and events designed as an auction.

The analysis of primary data in the form of social media posts and messages, as well as interviews with local stylists, buyers, and retailers, has accentuated some important aspects. In spite of the popularity of authentic Hermès, Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton bags, it is rather problematic to buy these original goods in the region even if they are not new. The analysis of secondary data from the literature on organizing events has showed that an auction can be selected as an appropriate type of events for connecting sellers and buyers of authentic handbags.

An auction is also appropriate for involving as many target community members as possible for the purpose of participating in collaborative for-profit relationships. After selecting the topic for the event and its type, it was important to determine the tasks associated with realizing the event and identifying the members of the team to organize the auction (Kilkenny 2016). Therefore, this report includes the detailed description and analysis of the phases of this project, the design and implementation of the event, required project solutions, project resources, the stage of evaluation, limitations, and recommendations.

The main objectives of this event are the following ones:

  1. To implement a new approach to selling authentic luxurious handbags (Hermès, Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton).
  2. To evoke the public’s interest in auctioning as a type of selling and buying goods.
  3. To guarantee unique experiences for both sellers and buyers.
  4. To generate profits for sellers and event managers.

Project Approach and Plan

The holistic approach to managing the project is used in the case of organizing the Majlis Auction with the focus on completing all key phases of project management, such as analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. This methodology allows for creating the most effective plan, developing the project following event and strategic management requirements, and using needed resources in the most efficient manner to achieve the objectives (Bladen et al. 2017).

The first phase in the project is the analysis during which the need for the event, its topic, type, and concept have been developed. At this stage, team members were selected, and the first meetings were organized to develop the conceptual framework. It was necessary to formulate the goal and objectives, to research available primary and secondary data, to identify the scope and outcomes, and to plan the project realization.

At the stage of planning, the following aspects were discussed and determined in detail: the venue and duration of the event, stakeholders and their contacts, tactics and procedures to complete during the event, and financing. Much attention should be paid to the promotion of the event, the design and décor of the selected place, risk and safety management, and the selection of required staff (Van der Wagen & White 2018). The stage of implementing the event included the following key steps: the organization of the auction, the work according to the set schedule, the work with human resources, and the communication with stakeholders.

The associated steps also include the coordination of services and logistics, as well as the control over processes, their quality, risks, and costs (Bladen et al. 2017). The evaluation of the event is based on the following stages: the measurement of achieving the event objectives, the analysis of data regarding gained profits, and the analysis of strengths and weaknesses in event organization. As a result, it is possible to assess the observed outcomes and determine the areas for improvement while planning similar events in the future.

Project Design

The design of the Majlis Auction starts with realizing the steps determined for the analysis and planning stages of the project management process. At the phase of analysis, the examination of data related to the local community has shown that the demand for luxurious authentic bags among the citizens and guests of Dubai exists. However, there were no similar auctions held in Dubai in the past. Preliminary meetings should be organized with the team members selected for addressing the identified need to determine the concept and goals of the project.

At this stage, the mission of the project has also been determined. It is to create a new specific type of an event depending on the principle of an auction but planned in a new style to provide guests with luxurious goods and a unique experience. Thus, the event is aimed at addressing the public’s demand regarding receiving unique goods, getting a specific experience, and improving socialization within a community, as well as generating profits. In the context of these mission and objectives, the vision associated with realizing the project is to make this experience (conducting the Majlis Auction) repeated until the event becomes an international one.

In order to address the set mission and objectives, it has been important to identify the type of the event and categorize it as an auction. The organization of an auction influences the design of the project in terms of the possible scope and expected outcomes because the actual profitability is unknown till the end of the event. The scope for this project can be presented with the help of Table 1.

Table 1: The Scope of the Project.

Who
  1. The event team members.
  2. The host.
  3. Audience: sellers, personal shoppers, guests, stylists, and buyers participating in the auction.
  4. An authenticator and a stylist to evaluate the authenticity of bags.
  5. Staff (Dubai World Centre staff, catering, service persons).
More than 60 persons: staff (about 15 persons) and audience (about 45 persons).
What The type of an event: an auction.
Scope of the event: the preparation stage, the introductory speech, the auction accompanied by catering services and music, the closing speech, transactions.
Resources: handbags to sell, human resources, the equipment for conducting the auction, finances.
Outcomes: successful sales of authentic handbags; profits for sellers, sponsors, and event managers; benefits related to a unique experience for buyers; the interest of the local audience in this type of an event; requests for conducting similar auctions during the next year; requests for conducting similar auctions in other locations.
Where Dubai World Centre.
The Majlis hall.
When Date: September, 9.
Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
Duration: 3 hours.
Why To address the public’s demand in this type of socialization and selling-buying goods.
To create a new type of an event depending on the idea of auctioning.
To promote the public’s interest in auctioning as a type of selling goods.
To provide the audience with a unique experience.
To generate profits for both sellers and event managers.

The key details regarding analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation stages are discussed during the first meetings, and they are reflected in the Work Breakdown Structure (Figure 1). At this stage, the roles and responsibilities of staff are determined and reflected in the Task Responsibility Matrix, guest lists with contacts are formed, and the Statement of Work is formulated. The details associated with the planning stage for this project (contacting sellers, inviting the host and guests, selecting handbags, advertising in social media) are represented in the Work Breakdown Structure (Figure 1).

Advertisements of the event were spread in social media and online platforms which potential buyers of luxurious handbags visit, including the websites of online stores. All stakeholders were contacted in advance and invited with the help of e-mail. Proposed handbags were checked by the stylist and authenticator, and the overall number of used and new Hermès, Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton bags to be sold was determined.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
Figure 1: The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

Project Deliverables and Solutions

Project Implementation: Addressing the Tasks and Challenges

The schedule presented in Table 2 is formulated for organizing the project implementation and resolving the key tasks identified while planning.

Table 2: The Event Schedule.

Time Activity Participants
4:00 pm –5:30 pm Preparing the Majlis hall for the auction, arranging the furniture, the equipment, and the place for handbags The event manager
Cleaning services staff
The event services staff
4:30 am – 6:30 pm Preparing for providing catering services The event manager
The catering staff
Waiters
Valuing and organizing items (handbags) for the auction The event manager
Sellers
Personal shoppers
The stylist
The authenticator
6:30 pm -7:00 pm Welcoming guests according to the guest list The event services staff
7:05 pm – 7:10 pm The introductory speech The event manager
7:10 pm – 7:50 pm The auction (new handbags) The event manager
The host
Sellers
Guests
The event services staff
7:50 pm – 8:10 pm Break The event manager
The catering staff
Waiters
8:10 pm – 8:50 pm The auction (used handbags) The event manager
The host
Sellers
Guests
The event services staff
8:50 pm – 9:00 pm The closure, the closing speech The event manager
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm Organizing the actual sale of the items to buyers (guests); packaging the items The event manager
The event services staff
Sellers
Guests

The event management team starts working three hours before the auction begins. The focus is on organizing and preparing the seats and equipment in the Majlis hall that should be placed around the tribune for the host. The important stage of the preparation phase is the evaluation of the provided handbags according to the categories (the brand, model, color, used or new ones, price) by the stylist and authenticator.

The purpose is to guarantee the authenticity of the items and set the starting price. If there are no original receipts, the authenticity of handbags is determined with reference to their serial numbers and distinctive features of models. Only the high-quality, authentic, and popular bags are selected to be offered during the auction.

During the next stage, the event services staff welcomes guests (potential buyers of proposed items) and helps them take their seats. All guests are informed that the auction will be held in two parts with a break during which it will be possible to try the offered dainty and beverages. The auction starts with the introductory speech by the manager who informs the audience about the purpose and mission of the auction and its rules, as well as introduces the sponsor.

The guests are informed that each item will be discussed and offered referring to its starting price until the bid satisfies the seller and no other bids are declared. The host selected for conducting the auction is also introduced at this stage. During the first part of the auction, new handbags are offered. The host describes the specifics of the proposed item in terms of its model, quality, and value, and the items are demonstrated by the staff members who bring the handbags closer to the guests. Requests, bids, and actual sales are written down by the manager.

When all new handbags are sold, the break is organized with the help of services provided by the catering staff who proposes dainty and beverages to the guests. After the end of the break, the auction for the used bags continues. The host describes the items and controls the selling process. The event manager monitors the overall process with the focus on the safety of all guests. When the active phase of the auction ends, the manager performs the closing speech and invites all buyers to pay for their chosen handbags. After the closing speech, the guests receive their handbags carefully packaged by the staff.

Evaluation

The assessment of the post-event achievements and outcomes should be realized with the help of providing sellers and buyers with the follow-up e-mail that includes a questionnaire on their experience during the auction. The questionnaire should include questions on guests’ satisfaction regarding the organization of the event, the uniqueness of their experience, and their thoughts regarding the quality of the purchased items (Bladen et al. 2017).

Guests should also be provided with questions on whether they want to participate in a similar event in the future. The opinions of sellers, as well as their propositions, should also be taken into account. The data collected with the help of questionnaires will be carefully organized in spreadsheets and analyzed for the purpose of determining the areas of success and weakness to refer to when organizing similar events.

The other step is the completion of the checklist (the Event Evaluation Form) by the manager in order to compare the target objectives and actual results and compute the received revenue. This checklist is also important in order to identify possible challenges to be overcome while planning and organizing a similar auction in the future. All notes regarding the strengths and weaknesses in planning, using a budget, and organizing the event should be considered in order to make a comprehensive assessment of the conducted auction.

Project Resources

The auction is oriented at selling used and new luxurious and authentic well-known handbags (Hermès, Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton) that are provided by independent sellers. These items are checked regarding their authenticity and quality associated with their model and popularity, and there are no other limits for sellers to request for the participation in this auction. Human and financial resources, as well as revenues, should also be discussed in detail here.

Human Resources

The following human capital will be involved in organizing the event:

  • The event management team (the manager, the marketer, staff).
  • The catering staff and waiters.
  • The cleaning team.
  • The Majlis hall staff.
  • The host.
  • The stylist.
  • The authenticator.
  • The sponsor.

Financial Resources and the Cost Structure

Table 3 presents the categories of capital identified for the project depending on its projected and actual budget.

Table 3: The Budget (The Cost Structure).

CATEGORY PROJECTED SUBTOTAL ACTUAL SUBTOTAL
Venue and Equipment SUBTOTALS 58,000 AED 65,000 AED
Location Rental 20,000 AED 28,000 AED
Equipment Rental (audio equipment, a credit card terminal) 15,000 AED 14,000 AED
Additional Tables / Chairs 8,000 AED 8,000 AED
Décor 5,000 AED 5,000 AED
Video Production 10,000 AED 10,000 AED
Public Relations and Social Media SUBTOTALS 13,000 AED 11,000 AED
Announcements and Advertising 5,000 AED 5,000 AED
Press Releases 5,000 AED 4,000 AED
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat 3,000 AED 2,000 AED
Human Resources SUBTOTALS 90,000 AED 80,000 AED
Event Staff 30,000 AED 25,000 AED
Stylist 10,000 AED 7,000 AED
Authenticator 10,000 AED 9,000 AED
Host 10,000 AED 10,000 AED
Catering Staff 20,000 AED 20,000 AED
Cleaning Services Staff 10,000 AED 9,000 AED
Refreshments SUBTOTALS 110,000 AED 95,000 AED
Drinks 50,000 AED 40,000 AED
Food 60,000 AED 55,000 AED
Other SUBTOTALS 8,000 AED 8,000 AED
Gift Bags 3,000 AED 3,000 AED
Pens and Notebooks 1,000 AED 1,000 AED
Tools for Packaging Handbags 2,000 AED 2,000 AED
Packet Printing 2,000 AED 2,000 AED

Revenue

The forecasted revenue for the project is presented in Table 4.

Table 4: The Revenue.

CATEGORY QUANTITY COST SUBTOTAL
Ticket Sales PROJECTED ACTUAL
Entrance Tickets 50 44 100 AED 4,400 AED
Sponsors/ Partnerships PROJECTED ACTUAL
Local sponsors 1 1 100,000 AED 100,000 AED
Product Sales PROJECTED ACTUAL PROJECTED PROJECTED
New handbags 10 10 200,000 AED 200,000 AED
Used handbags 25 25 250,000 AED 250,000 AED
9% from selling new bags 10 10 18,000 AED 18,000 AED
6% from selling used bags 25 25 15,000 AED 15,000 AED

Project Evaluation and Key Lessons Learnt

While evaluating the project, it is possible to state that it can be realized successfully with the focus on completing all objectives. In this context, the evaluation of the project associated with organizing an auction is based on two data sets: the feedback of participants and the conclusion made by the event manager. Referring to the feedback of participants, it is possible to expect comments on the overall organization of the event, the place, and the quality of proposed goods and food. The comments made by the manager provide more details regarding the effectiveness of the planning stage and the appropriateness of the determined scope.

The suitability of a schedule and a proposed timeline is also discussed. The appropriateness of the set budget with reference to the received revenue and the quality of overall outcomes need to be mentioned. In order to report all these aspects, the event evaluation form should be used (Figure 2).

The event evaluation form.
Figure 2: The event evaluation form.

The organization of an auction in a new format and with the focus on items to sell that were not proposed previously in the region is a challenging task for the event manager. Much attention should be paid to selecting the target audience, place, and goods, and organizing an event associated with a high level of offered items (luxurious handbags) in order to succeed and get large revenues. A range of lessons has been learnt when realizing the project.

Firstly, the most appropriate tools and methods used for event management analysis, planning, and implementation were selected and applied. The focus on the project allowed for developing skills in evaluating the event and its success with the focus on the idea of an event’s life cycle. Moreover, it was possible to learn how to apply such important and useful tools for planning and control as the Statement of Work, Work Breakdown Structure, and Task Responsibility Matrix. As a result of using the variety of these and other event management tools and techniques, it has been possible to learn how to organize an event in the most efficient manner.

Project Limitations and Challenges

The key limitations of this project are associated with the time constraints and some weaknesses in the schedule of the day during which the auction was held. The time limit that was determined for conducting the auction without the preparation stage was set as three hours. The time limit was agreed with the Dubai World Centre managers. However, the problem is that the nature of an auction does not allow for determining strictly how much time will be required in order to discuss bids on this or that item (Van der Wagen & White 2018).

In order to overcome time constraints associated with prolonged discussions of certain handbags (the most popular ones), the number of offered items was reduced. Still, it is important to note that the profitability of the event and received revenues directly depend on the number of items to propose for selling. Therefore, an appropriate timeline for the event should be determined with the focus on the time required for selling as many items as possible at their higher price.

Challenges that need to be taken into account while planning the project are numerous. They include the duration of a planning stage as one of the most important ones in realizing the project and the selection of the qualified staff to work on the project. It is also important to guarantee that the catering services are of the high quality and invited waiters and members of a cleaning team are professionals in their areas.

Much attention should also be paid to the distribution of tasks and responsibilities among all team members in order to avoid problems with monitoring, realization, and control during the event. Potential barriers to organizing similar events in the future can include problems with selecting appropriate locations, developing a schedule, recruiting the qualified staff, inviting sellers, attracting sponsors, and selecting items to propose.

Recommendations

In order to overcome the major limitation of the project associated with time constraints and an ineffectively designed schedule, it is necessary to realize the following steps:

  1. It is important to plan the time required for completing different tasks and activities taking certain barriers or unexpected challenges into consideration. There should be a time gap in order to address problematic situations.
  2. It is necessary to select locations and days for conducting similar auctions paying attention to the possibility of the location owner to provide managers with the required time period. Time needed for bringing the equipment back and cleaning the room should also be taken into account.

To address potential challenges in organizing auctions, the following recommendations can be followed:

  1. The selection of the qualified staff and items to be proposed during an auction requires a lot of time for contacting persons and discussing the details of cooperation. The time set for these activities should include the period from several days to several months, depending on the scope of the project.
  2. The selection of the catering services should be based on recommendations received from other event managers and on information and rating retrieved from social media and professional websites.

Summary

This project has been aimed at describing the organization of the Majlis Auction in the Majlis hall at Dubai World Centre. The purpose of the Majlis Auction is to provide the public with unique experiences of buying luxurious handbags (Hermès, Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton) with the focus on the audience’s demand for purchasing unique goods. The project has also been oriented to describing all stages in organizing the auction in detail with reference to the analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. The organization of the Majlis Auction has been based on the methodology appropriate for the event project management that includes such stages as analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

This report has presented the detailed overview of the project, its scope, requirements, as well as the phases of the project and its design in the context of analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The key deliverables and solutions related to the event organization are also represented in the report in detail. Much attention has been paid to describing the resources to be used for realizing the event, including human, financial, and material resources.

The focus on the evaluation of the event completion and learnt lessons is important in order to analyze the outcomes of the whole project. In addition, limitations and challenges associated with realizing or implementing the planned project are also described. One of the final sections of this report provides the recommendations regarding the steps to complete in order to overcome the determined barriers and challenges while implementing similar events in the future.

Acknowledgments

I would like to express my gratitude to the supervisor for the continuous and meaningful support during completing the project. I should state that the received knowledge was extremely important for organizing the work on the project in order to achieve the set goals and provide a high-quality report. I am also grateful to library media specialists who have helped in collecting data that were required for completing this project.

Reference List

Bladen, C, Kennell, J, Abson, E & Wilde, N 2017, Events management: an introduction, 2nd edn, Routledge, New York.

Kilkenny, S 2016, The complete guide to successful event planning, 3rd edn, Atlantic Publishing Company, San Francisco.

The Majlis. 2018. Web.

Van der Wagen, L & White, L 2018, Event management: for tourism, cultural, business and sporting events, Cengage, Sydney.

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