When it comes to events, no two plans are the same, but utilizing the following tips can help make your planning and execution as smooth as possible.
1. Use Google Docs – Chances are you will be collaborating with others on the event planning, whether it’s with members of your own team, a planning committee or others. Keep everyone on the same page by using Google Sheets to store all of the event information, including individual sheets for items like:
- An overview document
- Detailed to-do list
- Vendor information
- Contact list
- Invite list
2. Agendas and meeting notes are your friends… – Events call for intense project management skills. Don’t forget the basics, such as a workable agenda that is sent out ahead of time identifying what others are expected to report out on. Meeting agendas sent out directly after a meeting clearly outlining to-dos will keep everyone on track and accountable.
3. …And so is a good layout – When it comes to an event’s layout, getting everyone on the same page (literally) is key. Using a layout software like Canva allows you to diagram locations of everything from the tent and registration tables to volunteer stations and parking. Doing a diagram early on allows you to visualize where things will be and then make adjustments as the planning progresses.
4. Draft your materials earlier than you think you need to – Never underestimate the number of approvals you need or the number of revisions the approval process will take. Just because someone isn’t included in the speaking portion of the event doesn’t mean he/she won’t want to review the speeches ahead of time. Give yourself plenty of time to have the appropriate parties review and approve all necessary materials.
5. Get as much done as possible before the day of the event – This seems like an obvious tip, but it’s actually one that is often overlooked. If you’ve kept up with tasks and feel like you’re totally prepared for the event, it’s easy to feel like you can leave last-minute details until the day-of the event, but don’t! On the day of the event, it’s amazing how much of your time gets eaten up by unexpected things — volunteers forgetting what they’re supposed to be doing, the wrong flooring being delivered, catering forgetting plates — so get even the little things done the day before so you’re free to take care of the unexpected.