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 !