When it comes to event planning, our event professionals soon find that this isn’t exactly your typical 9-to-5 job. For starters, events don’t tend to stick to the traditional work day, and for good reason – if you want busy businesspeople to attend, you’ll often have to host your event in the times that they’re available, and that means evenings and weekends. And if a big set up (or strike) is required for your event, you might even end up needing to work through the night.
But, just because working as an event manager might mean that you don’t keep the same hours as everyone else (not to mention the fact that you’ll be the first to arrive and the last to leave), doesn’t mean that you need to prepare yourself for ridiculous amounts of overtime. In fact, if your time is smartly anticipated and well managed, you can pull off a great event without having to put in a second of overtime. Here are our top tips on doing just that.
Tips to avoid overtime
Organise, organise, organise
You don’t need to look very hard to find us repeating this mantra across our blog posts, but it’s our golden rule for a reason! Organisation really is the key to thriving as an events planner, and it can also go a long way to ensure that you manage your time correctly and that you don’t run over. If you know exactly what you have to do, and how long you have to do it, your timesheets (and your stress levels) will be much happier for it.
Build in some leeway
An experienced events planner always prepares for every eventuality, and part of that is giving yourself a little bit of padding when it comes to time. Remember that sometimes it’s the smallest tasks that you leave to the last minute that end up taking the most time (think making name badges for registration!) so be sure to do these upfront. We also know that things can (and do!) go wrong, and tasks that were supposed to be quick can end up taking much longer, which can have a knock-on effect when it comes to setting up. So, if you factor in a little bit of grace from the beginning, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and will also help avoid the need to work extra time. And if nothing ends up running over, you’ll be done ahead of schedule – bonus!
Learn from past mistakes
If you do happen to plan an event that ends up requiring overtime, don’t despair. Instead, take it as a chance to learn from the mistakes that put you over, and make sure that you account for these learnings when you plan your next event. Even the best event planners will have situations and incidents out of their control that need time and attention to rectify them, but what separates them is their ability to learn from these occurrences and ensure that they don’t happen again.
Ultimately, time is money, and the more effectively you’re able to use yours, the better the financial results of your event will be. Work efficiently, stay calm, plan ahead, and you’ll be clocking in and out right on time.