Constant multitasking. Tight schedules. Almost no margin for error. Hard deadlines. And to top it all off, unpredictability. Sounds familiar? We know it does to all event planners. An event coordinator’s job is one of the most stressful jobs in the US.
Sure event planners are pros at quickly adapting to new realities. But even the best ones, with decades of experience and expertise, get stressed and unproductive at times. When things get out of hand, going back to the fundamentals always helps. Let’s look at 11 fundamental event planning tips that will never fail you.
1. Work with smaller, regular milestones
Break up large projects into smaller tasks and assign completion milestones to each to ensure things keep moving. For example, don’t work with one final swag kit delivery date. Ask your vendor to send you images and samples of whatever gets completed. Regular updates ensure you don’t get any last-minute surprises and you can spot any red flags early on.
2. Have plans B, C, and D ready
Expect the unexpected and plan for it in advance. What will you do if a speaker cancels at the last minute? Will you play a pre-recorded session for attendees or will you open up the schedule for networking? How about having an entertainer on standby to fill up the schedule?
3. Build a strong team
Build a team of domain experts and delegate key responsibilities to them. Enable them with the right knowledge and resources and then trust them to take lead and deliver. There’s no reason to do it all alone. Let each team member work on their strengths and you work on yours.
4. Use tools and technology to your advantage
You don’t need to keep checking your event registration numbers or where you are at with your budget. Set reminders for yourself and your team on due dates for different tasks. Automate alerts for anything that’s overdue, over-budget, or even when you haven’t heard back from a partner after two days of sending an email. You can use a project management tool for the entire event. Or consider using an automation tool like Zapier to automate a few tasks.
5. Build buffer in your plan
Always keep buffer days in your plan. If your final day to get something done is X, let the partner delivering it work on an X-4 days deadline. This helps you accommodate for any delays as well as gives you time to fix things in case they don’t go as planned.
6. Proactive communication
Schedule time in your day for follow-ups, check-ins, and ask your event team how you can unblock them or enable them to deliver on time. A simple Slack message – ‘Is everything on track? Let me know if you have any questions or need any help to meet your deadline.’ – can go a long way.
7. Choose an intuitive event tech platform
With more and more events going virtual and hybrid, getting an easy-to-use event tech platform is crucial. Choose an event platform that’s super intuitive not only for you, but also for your entire team, speakers, sponsors, and partners. If you’re spending too much time understanding the event platform you’ll have less time to focus on other critical components.
8. Have a designated customer success team
A customer success team from your event tech platform that’s available on-demand is confidence-inducing. It empowers you to be bold and creative with your event ideas. Such a team will know the event platform like the back of their hand and can help you a great deal with troubleshooting.
Hubilo’s designated customer success team resolves queries instantly. And we don’t mean that you just get a support email address or a phone number. You have a person at your event with you the whole time, to help address any issues.
9. Use checklists and templates
Checklists and templates ensure nothing slips through the cracks. They also lay the foundation for repetitive success. They help you keep everything organized, give clarity and the big picture vision to your team, and most importantly, they help you clear your mind.
Additional resource: The ultimate hybrid event planning checklist
10. Take help from your professional network
Build your network of fellow event professionals. Don’t shy away from taking tips and recommendations from them. Talk to fellow event planners and understand what technology and tools they are using. Check out social media communities to know about the new thing in the market that everyone is going gaga over.
11. Focus on delivering high engagement
Create a detailed plan for each engagement activity you want to organize. Define engagement metrics and assign one person from your team to drive them. Focus on creating an audience-friendly agenda. Make time in it for networking, audience Q&As, contests, polls, and other fun activities audiences can participate in.
A virtual event platform that’s built with a focus on engagement can enhance the attendee experience tenfolds. Hubilo offers the industry’s largest suite of engagement features that have helped our clients deliver some of the most engaging virtual and hybrid events. Want to know how? Book some time to chat with a virtual event expert today.