Whether you are an event planner for corporate events or a wedding, your organizational skills will determine success or failure. Irrespective of your experience or skill level, even someone who is enthusiastic about the hospitality industry can put on an unforgettable event with proper planning.
Tip on Organizing Events
However, as a professional who has more than one event to plan, staying organized can be a bigger problem than you realize. Here are some tips that can help you take care of everything:
1. Make Separate Event Binders
By creating a distinct event binder for each event, you can keep all of them on track whether you are planning a conference, an executive meeting, a get-together, a wedding, etc. Even though a number of professionals are going digital, physical binders are useful for maintaining important program details in hard copies which can be lifesavers in case your tablet goes on the fritz.
Depending on how large or complex the event is, each binder should include the following data:
* Main contacts
* Arrival and departure times
* Entertainment info
* Presents for attendees or special guests
* Banquet orders
Update the information in the binders regularly and make sure you can share that information with your team and clients. That way you can have enough time to prepare and make changes even on short notice.
2. Use Online File Storage
While binders can help you keep information on hand, online file storage options can ensure they don’t get lost. Tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive use cloud-based technology to compress tons of information into files that you can access easily using a smartphone or any smart device for that matter.
You can log in from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and access important info on the go. Give team leaders the credentials and you can rest easy knowing that everyone is on the same page for each event.
These applications are a digital alternative to binders and USB sticks that may go missing and large email attachments that can take ages to send. These are also quite useful in keeping clients updated on progress. For example, you can create a shared file with the client where they can see everything as it happens as you update each item on the agenda.
3. Create Email Folders
Even if you have Dropbox to store all of the event information in, you cannot survive as an event planner without using email. Most email platforms have simple features that you can use to keep information organized and keep your team/clients in the loop. For instance, you can create separate email folders for each event and filter your inbox into manageable sections.
This way the information you require will be at your fingertips and you won’t mix it with other data pertaining to other events on your agenda. You can also personalize your email to send certain mail to appropriate folders so that you don’t have to waste time manually sorting them. This is a great way to archive important data and keep your people apprised of progress.
4. Delegate Tasks
As the team leader, you are already responsible for a number of things but that doesn’t mean you should do everything yourself. There is a reason you have a team. Delegate tasks to each member so that you can spend less time worrying and more time ensuring everything remains on track. This will keep your team motivated, increase productivity, reduce turnover and ensure the events are a smashing success.
After telling your team what you expect from them, don’t hover over them. Allow them to work independently so that you can show them that you trust them. If you keep looking over your shoulder or taking over, you will not get anything done and can risk alienating your teammates as well. It will also prevent you from maintaining a plan that you can work with.
5. Sign up Volunteers
Not every team member has to be on the payroll. If you have too much on your plate for your team members to handle, don’t hesitate in hiring volunteers. Start with the people you know who don’t have any qualms about helping you such as your friends or family members. Tools such as VoluteerHub can help you locate willing hands.
However, just because they are doing the work voluntarily doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive any incentives at all. Encourage them by giving them free passes to the event if possible or even free products if your clients are fine with it.
Budgeting an Event
After you have organized an event, you should have no issues with budgeting but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain one. Knowing how you are to pay for the event can help you allocate funds to appropriate parties without overspending. Here are some things you should be aware of:
1. Most events are funded by ticket sales, sponsorships, client finances or a mix of all three. When you are organizing an event, you have to determine how much money you can raise realistically in these areas. Start signing up sponsors first or selling tickets in advance to make sure that there is enough interest in the event to attract more funds.
2. By creating an expense budget, you can save money for sponsor donations. Most events usually go over budget especially when it comes to the food and beverages. Make a list of all those expenses and then pick areas that you think sponsors can help pay off. The more brands or sponsors you have working for you, the easier it will be to remain on budget.
3. Consider crowdfunding to raise money for an event but make sure that you have the client’s approval beforehand.
Planning multiple events as a professional planner can be overwhelming, but you can make things easier for yourself by following the aforementioned tips. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the market and network at The Event Planner Expo.