Event planners are a jack of many trades. From booking the venue to printing out name badges for each of the attendees, every single task is important to ensure a great client and customer experience. While each planner might have their own approach or style these are four ways to make event planning bulletproof:
- Over Communicate
It’s difficult to juggle all the different people associated with an event. The hotel staff, the vendors, the attendees, etc. When you add the different times, meetings, and conference calls it’s a good idea to take note of when you last spoke with each of these people. So, do not be afraid to refresh and go over the notes from the last meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page. The reminders or follow ups will ensure nothing is miscommunicated and done incorrectly. Additionally, it helps organize everything you are handling and improve the general rapport that you have with all of the people helping you make your event a success.
- Track All Deadlines
Everyone has their own methods, such as having Post-It notes all over the desk, marking it on the Outlook calendar or simply jotting it down in a notebook. There are also many apps and software programs specifically for deadline tracking. Whatever strategy works for you and gets the job done is all that matters (even if you look like a crazy person with all of those Post-It notes). The important thing is not as much how you track the deadlines is that you are meeting them. Always give yourself ample time to get everything done without the added stress of wondering: “Will this get done on time? Should I have set an earlier deadline for this?” If you find that more deadlines are missed than made, it might be time to invest in a new process and recognition of the bandwidth you have. When you see really good planners, one thing is usually noticeable. They delegate some of the deadlines to others so that it is not entirely on their shoulders.
- Be Proactive
The one thing you can do for yourself is be proactive instead of reactive. This runs true for event planners specifically because they need to always be (or appear to be) on top of everything that is going on before, during and after an event. As one great planner told me “I never assumed someone was going to take care of it. I would ask and often times, no one realized it needed to get done.” Being proactive does cover all phases of the event from pre to post and the skill of thinking, asking or doing before it might be needed can only make the event run better. And being proactive doesn’t always require a lot of time or thought. A good step towards getting asked to do the next event might be a simple e-mail or phone call thanking them for the opportunity to put on the event shortly after the event has completed.
After the event is done the last thing to do is document and keep track of everything that went down. While this typically will include contacts, vendors and the names of staff that helped, one should take time to write up what worked, what didn’t and any ideas for the next one. When everything is fresh in the mind the transfer of information will be better. Another benefit to creating deeper documentation is because it builds out your portfolio of what you have been working on and can help you better outline your strengths and capabilities. If you think of the variety of events and different sectors you like to work with, will your information and experience demonstrate this? Lastly, if you land that next role or opportunity it is always best to leave your previous company or client in a good place. Making the transition as seamless as possible for the new person coming in through solid notes, information and contacts is never a wasted effort.