“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
The first time I heard this quote was at Pro Tour Nagoya 2011, from Head Judge Scott Marshall. That moment changed my approach to event preparation forever.
If “plans are worthless”, why “planning is everything”? The truth is, reality is unpredictable and no plan will survive when it clashes with reality. You will have to change, adapt and reshape your plans as you go. This is the key part. You have to be ready to adapt your plans on the fly, and your best ally is the preparation you make beforehand.
When you take the time to create a plan, you understand the situation, you evaluate and discard various options and you consider potential scenarios. In the end, you have to build your plan on what you consider to be the most likely scenario, but all this work will help you to properly react and adapt your plans in a timely manner. All that work is never wasted, instead it is training to adapt your plan and have it succeed.
During this course, we are going to visit some planning techniques, both generic and specific to magic events. Then we will review some ideas for planning a Magic event. Finally, we will briefly cover some planning ideas for other judge related activities, such as conferences.