Event planners all over the world could do with a bit more of two things: time and money, and while we’ve tried to help with the latter here we’ll be talking a little bit about the former. As great as having an abundance of time to plan an event would be, in most cases we find that ample lead time and manageable timelines are more best-case scenarios than actual realities.
The world is getting faster – and with it the eventing industry! Meeting deadlines is obviously extremely important – but it isn’t always easy to do. That’s why we’ve created a master list of a few tried and tested tips from our team that will change your approach to Eventing and hopefully leave you with enough of this precious commodity to stop and take in the moment when all your hard work finally comes together.
How to save time when planning an event
Use The Good Old To-do List
To-do lists can go a long way to ensure you don’t forget all the tasks you need to get done, and they’re also a great way to track how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go. Start off by getting a notebook that you won’t get tired of looking at … you’ll be taking this with you everywhere! It may seem old school but take a minimum of 30 minutes in your day to plan out what is needed for the project at hand. List the tasks you need to do and a short description of how you plan to carry them out, which will save you plenty of time when you revisit the to-do list for execution purposes. More of a digital worker? No problem! Keeping your to-do list on a cloud means you will never lose it and you can access it on any device, provided you have access to the internet.
Once you’ve created a to-do list with all your tasks, be sure to prioritise them. Depending on how you work, this could be according to size or urgency, and then set a reasonable deadline for each task and add it to your Google calendar or work calendar. Revisit your to-do list to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines, and be sure to include tasks for before, during, and after the event.
Delegate The Work
The beauty of being part of a team is that you don’t have to do everything on your own and that you’re surrounded by people with different skillsets to your own. Identify individuals that could make up your team and delegate roles. This could be selecting your top project coordinator, assistant, production, comms person, and using your discretion and budget to make those selections. Trust your team to play their roles but make yourself available for questions they might have. Remember, you can delegate the work to suppliers and partners – it doesn’t just have to be internal staff. This won’t just take the weight off your shoulders, it’ll also give your team the platform to prove themselves while giving you a chance to focus on what you’re really good at.
How does working in a “deadline-induced-panicked-state-of-mind” sound? Not fun, right? Well, that’s what procrastination is. A key way to avoid procrastination is to create a system of accountability. Make sure you keep to the deadlines you set, make sure your team holds one another accountable, and check in with each other regularly to ensure that everyone is on track with their tasks. You can either have brief meetings to touch base or send short reports on the tasks leading up to the event. If you need further encouragement, we’ll leave you to mull over this old school saying: “Be like Nike. Just do it”.
Technology exists to make our lives easier … So use it! There are several apps available that can make the planning process more organised and efficient. Apps have been designed to meet each of your different eventing needs, including everything from budget creation to sharing documents with internal and external teams (clients, suppliers etc), managing your calendar, sending out communication to various stakeholders, and so much more! You can try apps such as:
We know this blog is about saving time – and advising you to take some time off may sound a little counter-productive but hear us out. It’s important to take breaks to maintain a high level of productivity. Consider breaking between three or four tasks on your to-do list – depending on how long your list is. For example, 45-minute work intervals with 15-minute breaks in between. A more mindful approach to managing your productivity will keep you from burning out and needing to take recovery days, which could set you back.
Selective Meeting Requests
If your concern is that you’re always in meetings – which can be extremely time consuming – then maybe it’s time to reject those meeting requests. It sounds harsh, but it has to be done. Use your discretion to decide whether certain conversations are worth calling a meeting for. Sending an email or drafting a WhatsApp message might be a great alternative.
We hope these hacks help you to squeeze in a few minutes or even hours in your day. Happy Eventing!