When it comes to organizing an event, a thousand things can go wrong. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a wedding, a conference or even a simple meeting, there is always a slight chance that the end result will be less than satisfactory.
So, if you are staring down one of the most important events of your life or career, how can you make sure that you avoid a disaster?
Although every event is different, there are some basic principles that you can use in order to guarantee the best possible outcome for your scheduled event.
Even if you are doing this by yourself, or you have an entire department below you, these tips can help you achieve the results you are looking for.
Plan ahead – and Revise Constantly
There is almost no way to have a good event without a careful plan and execution. In some cases, you can just wing it, but if it isn’t your kid’s birthday party, it is not a recommended course of action.
Even the smallest events, and especially the big ones, require a lot of coordination, scheduling, and simultaneous activities. It would be impossible to keep track of all of that without a solid plan.
If you are not sure how to organize all of this data, there are various tools you could use, such as Excel Spreadsheet, Microsoft Project or some new arrivals, such as the new tool called Monday. Try out a few different options, and you will see which one suits your needs to the fullest.
Focus on Communication and Collaboration
If you are planning an event alone, you will have a lot of contact with external vendors, or service providers. In case that there is an entire team involved, their mutual relations and ways of working will have a huge impact on the outcome you will have in the end.
Communication and collaboration between people aiming to achieve a common goal are one of the most important foundations to build your event on. No amount of planning can save you if your people don’t know how to work with each other. If you see potential challenges in that area, focus on improving your team’s communication before you do anything else.
It might take some time in the beginning, but it will help you tremendously down the line. And if you are doing all the talking, then make sure you are at the top of your game.
Don’t Forget to Delegate, and to Track!
Chances are that you won’t be able to do all of the work yourself, nor should you. Once you know your plan and the end goal, it is time to share not just the activities, but also the responsibility. Allow your team members to have a more serious role and impact.
They will feel the ownership, and not have the impression they are just doing your grunt work. So, instead of telling them to go pick up some item at a certain address, allow them to choose the item, the vendor, and the conditions of the deal.
Just make sure that you are tracking them and supervising them, so the end results are what you expect them to be.
Always Have a Backup Plan, so Nothing Can Surprise You
No matter how carefully you make your plan, or how great your team is, something unexpected will surely happen.
Even when you do your absolute best, there are things you simply can’t control. So, what to do then? Perhaps there was a small fire in the kitchen, or the main waiter is sick, or the rain has ruined the terrace… You can’t hope for the best possible situation as your only method of coping.
Instead, you should plan for the worst, and always have a backup plan. A terrace with a roof, a senior waiter on call, and a properly working fire extinguisher can always be there to save the day.
Hire an External Event Manager for the Best Possible Outcome
Sometimes all the hard work you plan to invest isn’t enough, because you can’t do everything by yourself, nor can your team. This happens either when an event is too big, the area too unknown, or when you are too close.
This is the reason why many people choose to hire someone to plan their weddings. It is not the case whether they should do it themselves, but should they. There are many benefits to hiring an external event manager, but one of the biggest ones is the significant drop in the level of stress.
You just need to communicate your needs and ideas, and the planner will enable them to come to life. All of the messiness of the process will be taken out of your hands, and you can focus on more important things.