Event planning and management are by far one of the most stressful jobs out there. One of the key factors to which this stress can be attributed is the plethora of tasks that the job encompasses. It’s a job that begins even before the contract is signed.
From initial pitch, concept, incubation to the actual event plan, it is difficult for event planners to keep their eye on the ball and maintain a steady work-flow, overwhelmed by the accountability and magnitude of each event planning task.
So, here’s a little something to help you out. Check out these 10 tips to help you stay organized while planning your next event:
1. Define and decide
Before beginning to plan an event and getting started with set tasks, it is imperative that you have a vision in your mind and a set timeline to finish it. Define a direction and decide upon a strategy for the same.
You need to be clear in terms of the direction you want to go, the kind of event you need to plan and the things you need to do to accomplish the task. Hence, the first step to getting organized is to define a goal and decide a plan of action to accomplish the same.
2. Create a checklist of tasks
The only way to remain organized is to follow a set direction. How do you know the direction you need to remain focused on? It’s only by clearly defined set of tasks that you shall know what work is to be done and in what timeframe.
This is where a checklist of tasks to be done comes in. Get a presently made template or an event planning checklist of sorts to get you going. This can either be on paper or in a digital format. I personally would like to suggest a digital format as it is quick and easy to maintain and you can always back it up in no time.
3. Set a deadline
The events industry is currently a booming one. From conferences to summits, the number of events across the world is growing year by year. This has lead to shorter lead times for planners.
Due to this, event planners are often forced to work under a time constraint.
In order to remain on track, it is essential that you set a deadline and work accordingly. Prepare a timeline for each task on your checklist and work according to the same.
4. Define tasks of the day
The goal you set in terms of planning and executing an event is relevant to a bigger picture, the final e-day. In order to achieve that final goal, you need to decide upon smaller milestones that you need to achieve.
Decide a task you want to accomplish within the week, decide upon the work that needs to do during the day in order to complete the set goal of the week. Divide and delegate these tasks to your members. You can go old school with rosters or you can use digital formats like google sheets or group messaging tools for the same.
5. Get a little help from tech
Technology can be a trusted helper when used the correct way. It is imperative that you use the right tools for the right tasks and this I cannot emphasize enough, for the tasks you require. Too much of a good thing can actually turn out to be bad.
Having multiple tech tools each with its own set of features, some of which may overlap the other is definitely confusing and most of all, time-consuming. Tools like an all in one event management software or a single team management app like Asana or Slack can be the helping hand you need to remain organized.
As mentioned before, event planning is a stressful job that comprises of multiple tasks to be done based on the event plan. Hence it is of utmost importance to have a good event team in place.
Event planner must define the roles of each team member and delegate the tasks to be done accordingly. While allotting these tasks, make sure that both you and the team member are on the same page in terms of what is to be done and how apart from the resources required to do so. This makes it easier for you to coordinate.
7. Coordinate and Update
Delegating the tasks in no way reduces accountability on the event planners part. Daily coordination is required for the deadlines to be met. For this, it is best to have at least two team meetings a day, at the beginning and end of each day.
Each member must be clear about the tasks to be accomplished during a set day. Follow up on those tasks at the end of the day to ensure that the work is being done as defined. You can use event team management strategies and tools for the same. For e.g., you can have a task list that you every member needs to update by the end of the day for the same.
Time and again it is necessary for event planners to de-clutter. By de-clutter, I mean cleaning up their task list as well as the physical space around them.
Practice this for a week if you can: at the end of each work day, allow up and n the tasks you decided to accomplish at the beginning of the day and colour-code them as per tasks completed or in progress.
Clean up your desk, throw away Styrofoam cups, stack your papers and ensure everything is in place before you call it a day. This will give you a fresh start to work with the next day.
Now and again, it is necessary for event planners to take a step back and relax. Working like a well-oiled machine may seem like a good option to get things done faster, but it is definitely not a good way to get things done better.
You can put in longer hours when it is absolutely necessary. Apart from that, overworking often leads to decreased productivity and inferior quality of work. Take time to relax, listen to music that gets the creative juices flowing or read an article or a blog to learn something that might be useful.
All the planning and coordinating is in vain if you don’t learn from your mistakes. After every event, it is important to evaluate your approach and learn from it. Know what worked and what didn’t.
That method you used for tasks delegation? Understand what went wrong in terms of execution and what tasks took up what amount of time. Alter your ways according. Updating your processes is the best way to remain organized.
Every event planner has their own system of work. Some like updating things on a daily basis while some like to do tasks in bulk. The final result has to be a well planned, well executed event.
In conclusion, take note of these tips, know what system and what tools work for you and create a strategy of your own and everything else will fall in line accordingly.