Productivity: it is a well-coveted quality that only the best event managers and event organizers obtain. Researching event planning best practices will help you know where your strategy stands and where to make adjustments. Check out the event planning tips below to maximize your productivity in the workplace.
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17 Event Planning Tips to Boost Your Productivity
1. Plan for the unexpected.
A study by Eventbrite reveals that 44% of event organizers consider last-minute requests as their biggest hindrance to productivity. To prevent this block, plan for the unexpected.
Take note of your most common, unexpected requests and prepare for them in advance. Consider freeing the last hour or so of your day for fulfilling unforeseen tasks. Also, set limits for last-minute requests. Learning to say “no” can save you a lot of time.
2. Create checklists and expectations.
As an event organizer, you will encounter many of the same expectations for each type of event. Although giving each event special interest and fresh input is advisable, you don’t have to start from scratch with every client.
Create personal event checklists for what to expect with each type of event you organize. You can even create a template checklist and make adjustments for each event. Not only will this save you time, but it will also add to the organizational flow. Remember to revise your checklists frequently as you come across new event planning trends and tactics.
3. Find your own Pomodoro method.
The Pomodoro method asserts that work is most productive when broken down into bursts with breaks in-between. The technique advocates working for 25-minutes, taking a break for 5 minutes, then starting the cycle over again.
Various studies and articles agree with this technique, but the numbers change with each one. Some suggest working for 52 minutes with 17-minute breaks, others say 90-minute work spurts are the best.
Among the top event planning tips is to find the best Pomodoro technique for you! Experiment with different work-break intervals. Measure when you typically start to lose motivation or energy during work. As a good rule of thumb, breaks should be no longer than 25% of your work time.
4. Minimize in-person meetings.
Do you find yourself frequently setting up meetings with clients and colleagues to discuss details and plan arrangements? Instead of wasting time with commuting, consider hosting more virtual meetings.
Of course, don’t devalue face-to-face interactions with your clients. But not every meeting has to be held at the office. By taking advantage of the resources around you, such as Skype, you’ll find yourself saving more time without cutting corners:
5. Set apart time to feed your distractions.
Ignoring distractions during work time is ideal, but sometimes the temptation to read personal emails or check Snapchat is irresistible. Even if you can successfully put off these distractions, the effort to resist can damage your mental focus and productivity.
Instead, keep a “distractions list” with you while you work. If you have the thought to send a friend request to X on Facebook or look up X on Google, write it down.
Once break time comes, address each distraction on the list. Until then, you can let go of these persistent thoughts, knowing that they are safely written down and will be addressed later.
6. Build relationships.
You don’t have to build a giant company to have a skilled, reliable event team. Instead, find dependable freelancers and distributors in your local area and build on-call relationships with them. Plus, the more people you know in the industry, the more new event planning tips you’ll discover. Grow your repertoire with the following:
- Venue and hotel owners
- Content and social media marketers
- Other event planners
- Equipment business owners
- Videographers & video editors
7. Bridle your activity on social media.
Social media is absolutely central to event marketing in this day and age. However, if SMM consumes a massive chunk of your work day—and steals your attention when you are supposed to be away from work—it’s time to cut back.
Do not curb your SMM efforts. Instead, brainstorm and research creative strategies to better manage your time on social media. If you haven’t already taken advantage of social media automation, do so, and you will already open up loads of free time. If you have the budget, consider hiring a social media manager for your event planning business.
8. Don’t waste time on over-marketing.
Among the most advisable event planning tips from professional event managers is to “let the participants spread the word for you.” This course of action, admittedly, still requires branding, content production, market research, and other efforts on your side.
Over-marketing occurs when your promotion efforts become so extreme that they are unprofitable and even detrimental. Your loyal following will disintegrate if all you do is advertise to them. ROI numbers will dwindle. Your brand perception will crumble. Instead, build a nice balance between marketing, communicating, and connecting.
9. Consider hiring an assistant.
If your event planning portfolio grows, investing in an event organizing assistant can maximize your work-time productivity. An event planning assistant can help with organization, calls, emails, social media, customer service, and more.
Recruiting an assistant means you’ll be able to focus more time on what really matters—which will lead to more profit in the long run.
10. Track minutes, not hours.
Don’t neglect the value of a minute. If your next meeting will only take 52 minutes, don’t schedule it as an hour. Try giving yourself 14-minute breaks instead of 15-minute ones. Don’t plan for a 25-minute commute if Google Maps only predicts 23 minutes with traffic.
Thinking in minutes, not hours, can reshape your entire day. You’ll be able to fit more into your schedule, but also remember to account several minutes for unexpected delays and miscellaneous activities.
11. Schedule time to eat.
Food is a must to reach your full energy potential. Event planners and other freelancers often become workaholics, valuing hard work over proper nutrition and even overall health. Many organizers often train their bodies to withstand hours of starvation.
However, you’ll find that scheduling some extra time in the day for eating will greatly improve your productivity. You will feel better, which means you will perform better. Waking up a bit earlier for breakfast and setting apart a proper time for lunch are sacrifices that will pay off in the long run.
Plan for an adequate breakfast to get your day started, then follow up with a proper lunch and snacks in between as needed. Although eating healthy snacks is ideal, munching on some chips or a candy bar is still better than starving yourself!
12. Question your actions and motives.
Along with other event planning tips, Eventbrite shares this powerful principle: “The 80/20 rule suggests that 80 percent of our output comes from only 20 percent of our input.”
Essentially, every task you perform as an event planner makes a difference. One or two tasks done to the best of your ability will likely have a greater impact than several tasks done carelessly.
Question every move you make. Mentally map out what objectives you plan to reach with each task. Most importantly, ask yourself what you could do better. Don’t get caught in the trap of a mundane and thoughtless routine.
13. Streamline your event budgets.
In another study, 45% of event organizers reported budgeting as their biggest challenge. To streamline your event budgeting, try this technique: Instead of asking your client for a specific allotment for each budgeted item, ask them to prioritize the items. For example, if you are organizing a wedding, ask the host to prioritize items such as:
- Tech (speakers, microphone, wifi, etc.)
- Necessities (altar, tables, chairs, dishes, etc.)
For example, if the host places food as the last item on the list, it could take up 0-1% of the budget. If food is their number one priority, it could take up as much as 15-25%. Encourage your clients to prioritize their budgets, then you handle the numbers. Keep an index of the most common budget allotments for each item.
Most of all, revise your budgets as needed! A set-in-stone budget can lead to undue stress. If a certain amenity costs more than expected, then be prepared to cut the costs from elsewhere and adjust accordingly.
14. Rethink your personal habits and routines.
As an event planner, your work and personal life can often merge—from working at home with the kids to using your personal social media for promotion. If you feel like you don’t have time for everything, reevaluate your entire daily routine, not just your working hours.
We often get stuck in a cycle of pride, thinking that what we do and how we do it is best. Instead, prioritize your daily activities, drop what you can, and try new routines. We all have 1,440 minutes in a day. How do you choose to spend them?
15. Beat your deadlines.
Punctuality is an integral characteristic of any good event manager. Just like you should always plan to arrive 10 minutes early, you should also strive to beat your deadlines by at least a day.
Beating your deadlines will impress your clients and inspire your productivity. If your deadline for finding a caterer is May 21st, for example, shoot to schedule one by the 20th or earlier. Plus, completing tasks early will give you some extra leg room in case anything goes wrong.
Minimizing last-minute changes is among the best event planning tips, so take extra care to follow it!
16. Be realistic.
We’ve all had it happen—when “Oh, this will only take 10 minutes” turns into a 45-minute-long ordeal. Don’t expect your future self to complete tasks at superhero speed. Instead, overshoot each of your tasks for the day so you have plenty of time to properly and efficiently do them.
If you think answering emails will take 15 minutes, plan to take 25 minutes. A purportedly 2-minute phone conversation could take 10 minutes with a chatty client. If you finish these tasks earlier than expected, keep a list of extra tasks to perform if you find some free time.
17. Drop multitasking.
As an event organizer, you have probably developed a knack for multitasking. It can certainly crunch down time, but not in every situation. One of the most common event planning tips is to avoid multitasking.
The key to correcting your multitasking habits is to differentiate between actual multitasking and when you are simply switching between tasks. For instance, eating breakfast and reading emails is an example of true multitasking. Reading two articles at the same time is not.
Productivity is the crowning characteristic of the exceptional event planner. The next step for you is to take these event planning tips into action. If you want to boost your productivity levels in the workplace, Valoso can help. Our experienced team can handle all your videography and video editing needs to help you organize the perfect event.
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