Nobody really knows the insanity of being a corporate event planner like an event planner. Most will agree it’s a similar experience to herding cats. Just when you think you have one aspect under control, something else goes completely out of control. And the irony is that when the event is a smashing success, no one has any idea of all the stress involved in getting there.
Here are some surefire ways to ensure that your next event goes more smoothly, not only in the execution, but in the planning as well. Take the headache out of pulling together a big event and reduce your stress exponentially. Here’s how:
As you develop your timeline for an event, make sure you allow a lot of padding. The rule of thumb is an extra week (or even two!) for every three months. Having sufficient time to plan an event is the most critical component to avoid last-minute disasters, which brings us to our next hot tip.
Just assume that Murphy’s Law is at work and that whatever can go wrong, will. It’s not a question of if there will be some snafus, but when. Knowing this can give you some peace of mind. If you allow that extra padding in the schedule for crises, they will be infinitely easier to handle without pulling your hair out.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but having a kickoff meeting with all the stakeholders present, particularly key decision makers, is one of the most proactive ways you can fend off crises. A kickoff meeting gets everyone on the same page from the get-go and establishes the team. It can also help you to avoid the dreaded Monday-morning quarterbacking or ease delays in getting things done. A kickoff meeting is your insurance that you won’t be hearing: “Well, no one ever told me.”
Not long after the kickoff meeting, you should call a second meeting, which should be focused exclusively on the event’s timeline, benchmarks, and deliverables. It’s best to bring something to the table, and also to send it out early to the team so that they can review and raise any objections or concerns. Set a regular schedule of meetings, at least one per month, to make sure that everyone is on track with deliverables.
With many teams being virtual these days, it’s helpful to have an accessible place where information can be stored remotely. File and calendar sharing systems can help you manage the project better and eliminate miscommunication. Google Docs and Calendar, BaseCamp, or a similar software, are an excellent way to manage the project, set and adjust timelines, and more. It’s so much easier and more reliable than searching your email for the right attachment.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for planning an event is the sheer amount of legwork that must be done prior to the event. It takes an army and that army must be organized with clearly defined roles. One of the biggest causes of event planning confusion and resource wasting is when two people are doing the same thing. Having everyone know exactly what they are doing is the best insurance against chaos.
Whether it’s a 2-hour meeting or a quick phone chat, make sure that all offline conversations are taken online with an email summary. This digital documentation will spare you the “I didn’t hear that,” or he said/she said frustrations. Send the confirmation email as soon as possible so that details do not get lost.
In the midst of all the work, it’s easy to forget the fun stuff, and nothing is more fun that swag. Whether you are providing gift bags for event attendees or just a thank you to your planning team, swag is where it’s at. And the custom-packed travel kits from Convenience Kits are just the ticket to make everyone happy. These TSA-compliant kits can be filled with an array of toiletries and personal care items. It’s a gift that everyone will love.