Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clock Ticking

As the clock was ticking , the event date was coming near.

A few friends chipped in, and were really supportive of the idea and urged me not to back off now and the event should go on, no matter how much audience we may achieve but we should go on. Record or no record but this event should go on- Such was there willingness for the event that they even offered their monetary support on the promise that i would not tell any one that they have supported me in this event. While many people were looking to gain mileage and fame from this event, it was in a way strange to still find people who were willing to help in a positive manner without wanting their names to be made public.

Their influence and presence gave a boost to the campaign.

A friend offered to make creatives for the banner, poster and the stage back drop.
Another friend offered to print posters, and yet some other friend offered to print the stage backdrop.
A few chipped in with material support like wireless communication sets.

CBM college, circulated an email among their faculty,staff and students about our event.
This was a big favor by CBM college and proved to be in the greater interest of the event.

In the meanwhile. we also started to look for prospective sponsors for the event, as we now had the venue, the set target, and lesser security reasons.

"Karo Mumkin" seemed to be a better sponsor for this event as they have been promoting their brand image in that direction. On contacting them, it dawned on us that they require 8 weeks time to process any sponsorships and that the time was too short to sponsor the event.

Contacted a few more of the prospective clients and their outright reply was "NO" - without any reasons been given.

A few of the sponsors were of the view that if the record is not made, then it would be a bad name for the brand.

In a frenzy of last minute calls to a few advertising agencies on Thursday, 2 days before the event, some were really not in the mood to listen, some were on leave, and a few for appreciative of the idea but understandably the time was too short for any one to offer any type of sponsorship.

The event was picking up pace and more and more people were booking their tickets online, and we were getting in a better position to understand the number of people who would be coming to the event. Out facebook event wall was buzzing, people were excited and were restless to achieve the record, while still a few thought it was a waste of time while a few commented that holding national anthem event in the month of ramzan was a sin.

On 11th August, in the last moment contact thru a friend, an advertising agency agreed to offer a sponsor, enough to cover our event expenses. This is what we were really looking for. The agency agreed for a sponsor and gave an unofficial nod. The official confirmation was to come on the 12th August. We were releived that now we can have an event successfully whose expenses would be covered good enough.

WE were relieved.
We called a meeting of our volunteers and our official photographers "Frame Photography"
It emerged that people from "Frame Photography" were young budding photography students from SZABIST. They managed a team of around 20 photographers, boys and gals, who were to cover the entire event photography and video.

And now as we all know they did a superb job with both photography and video of the event.

Our volunteers had a good look at the venue and how they would manage the crowd. The scouts head, visited the venue and proposed us a parking and entry points and how he plan to manage parking. As we all knew Khadda market was a big nuisance when it comes to parking around the venue.

We were really worried about the parking scenario of our expected 10,000 participants.
To cover this we even took a round around the venue to see possible parking points, requested a few shopkeepers to close their shops early on the event date. Some agreed, some did not.
On the event date, the scouts seem to have managed the parking in a much efficient manner. We did not head any complains about parking spaces or any other mishap. This was a big achievement of the event itself, as the area around khadda market can get choked with traffic on a regular day let alone on a day where 10,000 people were to come at a stadium.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Event Possibility

AS the date for the event was approaching, facebook attendees started to grow in numbers. We already made a couple of appearances in the morning show and an interview published in express tribune.

WE started online booking of tickets since mid June. The ticket itself was free, but it was required for entry so it would enable us to count the total number of attendees.

It was a simple process, where online buyers would enter the number of tickets they require, enter their email address and then they would instantly receive the ticket thru email as a pdf file attachment containing the barcode ticket.

The online event tickets were made possible thru www.eventbrite.com

We were to scan those bar code tickets and know the total number of attendance.

The online ticket gave us a head-start as people started booking tickets, and we were getting in a better position to know the number of people already bought tickets. The initial pace of ticket booking was slow, as the initial target was set to 1,10,000 people. That was a daunting task.

By mid July me and Abid had somehow made up our minds that it was not possible to hold the event now as we were standing no where. We did not have any thing to set our foot to. We were waiting for the right time to announce the cancellation to the people.

No permission means no security plan, which meant no sponsors.
Permission was the single most biggest hurdle.

In between all this we had a meeting with a couple of companies who were willing to help us in the event management, but then again we did not have any where to start from so they were also kept hanging in balance and some how lost their interest in the event.

A few companies offered us to cover the photography and video for the event, but this was bit too early to think about photos and videos of the video.

A boy scouts group offered us their service for security and parking.

Things were jotted down but it all seemed like a lost cause.

Eventually on Friday, July 28th 2011, we received an email from GWR stating that the record we would need to break would be 5248 of Philippines and not the initial record of 104637 of vande matram.

This was the starting point of our event !

Both me and Abid could not believe it that GWR finally accepted the claim, specially when GWR was hosting a program in India and also the Indian event was a highly marketed event. We were dancing with joy in our respective offices.

This was the starting point of the event for us but we only had 14 days to manage things.

Both me and Abid did not have any prior experience of organizing or managing sizeable event.
The next thing was to call the event management company once again and tell them of the new target as it would now be easier to manage people and we can now host it to a more private venue.

Focusing sponsors, thinking of prospective sponsors for the event and how to reach them. Event management company was to reach and pitch them the idea. It later emerged that nothing was done in that direction by them, or if it was we dont know.

Now a venue was needed, a more private one where we do not need to involve government agencies and which is big enough to host at least 6000 people.

For this we wrote to a few universities like CBM, SZABIST, IQRA asking them for their permission to hold our event. We were hopeful that since this would be a major event some university may offer us their campus. CBM offered their campus to us and were very accomodating and helpful in offering us their campus but cbm campus would be too off the way for the public.

We decided to stick with a venue in dha as it requires minimal government interaction and only permission from dha is required to hold events.

We then visit DHA Zamzama club to know the available date of 13th August 2011 for the event and made an interim booking. Zamzama club demanded Rs. 64,000 as the venue rent.

By this time TV ONE host, Faisal Qureshi joined the cause and used a few of his connection to help us. Hence he contacted DHA administrator and appraised him about the event. DHA administrator was very helpful in this regard and allowed us the venue free of cost.

First and the biggest hurdle gone !

Friday, September 16, 2011

No Permission

While we continued to market and get excited about our national anthem world record event - the biggest hurdle was getting the permission from the authorities.

We started contacting every tom, dick and harry who we thought could help us in getting the permission for the event. We were common man with no links in the high-ups and whatever links we had didnt respond on our time of need.

We wrote to various government organizations asking them for permission.
Our initial crowd was 1 lac 50 thousand, naturally no one was willing to take the risk of such a big crowd, specially when we were not politically associated.

If we were any political party or a power group, we could have easily got permission but since we were common man everyone was of the view to let go the idea - It was not possible.

Seeing all the political parties getting permission to hold their rallies and dharna was frustrating us more, as we were kept hanging and waiting and waiting.

The only reply we received was from the city government that they have received our application and have forwarded to the concerned department and they will contact us soon. But they never contacted us.

My only ray of hope and thought was if GWR reduces the target and disqualifies vande matram as vande matram was not the national anthem of india but was listed as the national anthem.
For this I started faxing GWR every 10 days, waiting for even a little confirmation or any response from them or acknowledgement or reply or whatever that can satisfy me either way.
GWR wasnt replying either.

I also sent them email thru their online form, still no reply.

The target remained 150,000
No permission was insight.

I used a few contact to get permission from the governor house and involve the governor sindh in this, however mqm resigned just a few days later and governor also resigned. The plan was hanging in balance.

We continued promoting the event and it started getting some attention among facebook users and among some media houses and we got our first interview published on the express tribune blog.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/195168/karachi-youth-hope-to-sing-their-way-into-the-record-books-and-beat-india-while-theyre-at-it/

Various tv channels and media houses approached us for promoting our event but no one was willing to be associated with such a big event which involved to much security risk and which needed so much work to be done as without the permission for the venue the event was standing at zero point only.

Our second break-thru was when DAWN NEWS TV channel approached us and offered us to be our exclusive media partner. The idea seemed good , but I was of the view that we should not make any EXCLUSIVE media partner as this is a national event and all the tv channels should be allowed to cover this event and not just one, as making exclusive media partner reduces the interest of other tv channels.

Dawn did not stop us from inviting other channels to the event, however when we contacted other tv channels and told them of our association with dawn they were reluctant to offer any publicity or support to the event as seemingly they were of the view since we have already signed an exclusive media partner other tv channels will not and cannot cover this event.

This was a set back to us as we were unable to get due coverage in the media - the event continued to remain the facebook event, while we made a few appearances on some morning programs.

Time was getting shorter and the event date was coming closer.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Will the Guinness Record for National Anthem come to Pakistan ?

Finally the month of ramzan is over. Its been a busy ramzan mainly due to the national anthem world record event.

Initially when the idea first came to my mind, i did a little research to see if any such event has taken place any where else in the world. Googling it a bit, made me land on the Guinness World Record website, and where i found that the record for "most people singing a national anthem" was with India, where 104637 sung "vande matram"

My initial thought was that if we do this event on the night of 13th August 2011, just on the night of our independence day, we can find enough people on the streets to break this record.

At that time I was unaware about the counting methods we would required to count and other such requirements that we would need to fulfill for GWR (Guinness World Record)

However, I was confident that we can do it with the help of friends and people as we are nation of 18 carore and only karachi has a population of 2 carore and it was only 1% of karachi population.

I contacted my friend abid beli and put forward this idea to him. He bought the idea instantly and started working towards this project.

Our initial start took from facebook , where we created an event page and started inviting our friends and family to the event page.

At first i was of the opinion that may be not many people would be encouraging of the idea as this was a huge task , gathering more than one lac ten thousand people.

However, with in a couple of days of launching this idea our facebook page had an attending of around 2000 people, average 500 people per day.

People were appreciative of the idea and were praises for the idea.
This realy built up my confidence that this can be done.

A few people were worried about security - understandably , because of the conditions we were going thru. Osama bin laden recently caught from abbotabad and pakistan naval head quareter came under attack.

However, more people started to appear of the facebook event page and it gave us a ray of hope that this can be done.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pakistan is hopeful of National Anthem Record

Being one of the organizer of Pakistani National Anthem Record, makes me very hopeful that Guinness will approve our evidences and will award us the certificate.

It has been hard word for 3 months and finally it is quiet a relieve that it paid off.
We are now preparing evidences for GWR which we will send shortly - hopefully by Monday 22nd August 2011.

Soon, Inshallah, I will be writing a detailed account into the GWR attempt, the idea, the build up and the final achievement.

For now, been a bit busy in pending work and compiling evidences for GWR.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

World Record for Most People Singing Pakistan's National Anthem

The most people singing a national anthem simultaneously is 104,637 and was achieved at an event organized by The Art of Living Foundation (India) where participants sang 'Vande Mataram,' India's National Anthem, in Pune, India, on 12 January 2010.

We have contacted GWR to rectify the record as "vande matram" is not a national anthem of India. We are waiting for their reply and correct record details.As National Anthem record was with philipines, with 5000+ people singing their national anthem.

On 13th August at 10pm
We are going to Break 2 records & will Make 1 New record
1. Most People Singing Pakistan's National Anthem
2. Most People Dressing Up Like Quaid e Azam
3. Most People Attending a Facebook Event

Join the cause at our facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=212768995421043&view=wall¬if_t=event_wall

Friday, May 6, 2011

Osama Bin Laden - funeral in absentia.

The recent bad shot selection is from the people of our country by offering a funeral in absentia for osama bin laden.
Osama bin Laden was not a Pakistani national, he was not a Pakistani hero or any thing near. He was a Saudi national, who lived in Yemen, Sudan and Afghanistan.

We did not see any report or pictures of people offering his funeral prayers in Saudia Arabia or Yemen or Sudan, then why are people offering his funeral prayers in Pakistan ?

We have seen images and pictures been broadcasted and published showing people in Pakistan offering his funeral prayers and crying over his death. While this is a tougher time for Pakistan with the world accusing Pakistan of protecting terrorist and harbouring them.

Our Governemnt and agencies are being accuesed of protecting terrorist and having a soft corner for them, and images like these may easily be linked with what we are being accussed of by the world.

As it is said, we must learn to play the right shots at the right time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cricket Tourism

Cricket playing nations are reluctant to visit Pakistan due to security concerns.
This is a great loss as people specially youngsters are devoid of watching the cricket match in their own country.

To promote cricket and to keep it alive in Pakistan and to attract youngsters, PCB should open the stadiums for general public for tourism purpose. This may include letting the common man access to the ground, main pavilion and dressing room.

This way he will be able to relate himself to the players in a more closer way. He would be able to visit and see the same dressing room which his star players use during the match. A walk down the dressing room to the main ground and pitch would help him relate and think himself as a player.

PCB should allow access to the trophy room, where people can see and admire the various trophies Pakistan have won.
Access to PCB photo gallery containing photographs of important timelines in the history of Pakistan will be worth watching.
A Hall of fame, containing various records by Pakistani players.

People would be able to visit various sections of the stadium like the press box and the vip / corporate boxes and other areas of the ground, which will inspire them towards the sport.

Special tours of school children can be arranged to let them see the ground in more closer way.

This can be true for other sports of Pakistan like hockey and squash.

Sporting bodies can put an entrance fee and souvenir shop to help promote sports in a more better way.

As a child I always wanted to see the dressing room and the press boxes, and I am sure it would be a great treat for both older and youngers alike to experience the stadiums first hand.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to unsubscribe google groups mailing list

Recently, in Pakistan many companies have started offering email marketing.
These companies collect email data from various sources, and then start sending emails in bulk.

Majority of these email marketing companies are using google groups to send emails.
Google groups enables them to build an email database and thru these groups then can send bulk emails.

Many people have complained about being added without their consent and receiving several emails on daily basis.

Here is how you can unsubscribe google groups, and make sure that no one can add you again.

Create an account on google at : http://accounts.google.com
You can use your company email address to create an account.
Google will send you verfication email which you should verify.

Once you create the account, you will see the main dashboard page.
Add as many emails as you want in the same account ( usually the ones which are receiving mails from google groups)

Once you have added all the accounts.
Go to dashboard -

At the lower part of the screen there is a link for GROUPS
Click on the link.

On the lower right hand side of the screen, you will find the option for "manage subscription"
Once you click on that link, you will see how many companies / groups have added your emails address.

From here you can select the option to unsbscrib from that mailing list.

Also, from the same option, you can enable the option to :
not to allow any other company to add you
not to send any other google group emails.

The google group spam has been there for a while and many people have been asking me about how to avoid the spam.

I hope this will help to unsubscribe and reduce the spam from google groups.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

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