Things the Most Successful Event Planners Do Every Day
Event planning is not an easy job. It’s fraught with challenges and high stress situations, yet some organisers seem to thrive. What’s their secret? We look at the 7 things the most successful event planners do every day.
Prioritise and Work on the Most Important Things First
Busy event organisers have limited time so it is critical they understand the most important areas to focus on. Because they’re measuring performance (see above) they can react quickly when a challenge presents itself and put all of their effort into getting things back on track.
If ticket sales are down, you need to get on the case with marketing. If the attendee satisfaction survey highlights a problem with the food and beverage, it’s time to source a new catering supplier pronto!To set priorities, planners must have concrete and useful data about their events, communicate the priorities to their staff, and implement processes to ensure that these priorities are carried out.
Talk to Clients
When it comes to organising events on behalf of other people, communication is key. As all successful event planners know, assumption is the mother of all screw-ups, so it’s vital to understand exactly what your clients want and expect, and keep them fully informed of progress.
If, on the other hand, you’re organising your own events, then your clients are your attendees – the ones buying the tickets. Be sure to communicate with them just as regularly – via your blog, newsletters and social media.
Research New Ideas and Trends
As well as taking time out to relax and catch up with your team, a wise event planner makes time to read industry news and blogs (like this one!) each day.
To stay ahead, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends, supplier news, new products and services and developments in technology. Meanwhile, case studies can show you what your competitors are doing.
Take 30 minutes each morning to browse the web, so you can start your day informed and prepared.
Consistently talking with clients is a good management strategy (as we discussed above), but it is also a good marketing strategy.
Regularly reaching out to past clients for a ‘catch up’ will show that you remain interested in their business and keep you front of mind when they next require event management services – this business is all about relationships!
And don’t forget about your suppliers – a great relationship with them will give you extra bargaining power.
Commonly Missed Event Planning Checklist Details
You know that feeling you have when you leave the house and feel like you forgot something? Keys? Check. Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Suddenly, you realize that you left the oven on, and turn back around to safely turn it off. Scary!
Thankfully you have that feeling to remind you, especially as an event planner. But even the most experienced event organizers can get so wrapped up that they forget a crucial detail.
Whether you’re a first-time planner or a veteran, you could miss a detail at any step of the way. You can easily prevent this from happening by having a sync-up meeting with your team, going over a planning checklist for your event or conference together, and find out those easily missed elements. After working with thousands of customers, we’ve learned lessons that every event planner ought to know, and we compiled an event planning checklist. In the checklist, you’ll recognize crucial items that get easily forgotten and how the use of technology can often eliminate that problem.
1. Keep the schedule on your event website up-to-date
In the days leading up to the event, small aspects of the event might change, such as a speaker or a session title. As the date of the event gets closer, you should make sure to update the event website at least once a day to avoid any confusion or complaints from attendees.
2. Remind your speakers
How embarrassing would it be if your keynote speaker didn’t show up in time, or even worse— believed the speech was on a different date? Hard to believe but it’s a real story! You don’t want to be the one handling this nightmare so the best way to avoid this is to remind each of your speakers the date and time of their talk several weeks before the event, so they would book the right flight and arrive on time.
3. Prepare for overcrowded sessions
While some sessions with popular speakers or interesting topics may attract way too many attendees and raise safety concerns, dozens of empty seats in a big auditorium can embarrass a speaker. If you want to be well prepared, check if your management platform enables you to set a capacity for each session, verify per-session tickets, and register attendees quickly and easily. See how a session management and check-in tool can help you execute a stress-free, well-organized event.
4. Print a master sheet
This master sheet will have coveted information, such as contact information for all the vendors, Wi-Fi passwords, and even the event checklist. You can keep this in Evernote, Google Drive, or an event app’s logistic section, however, it’s always a good idea to have printed copies on hand as well.
5. Test Wi-Fi stability and bandwidth
The Wi-Fi at event venues often gets unstable because of a sudden overflow of people. Make sure you test and try out the connectivity during busy days at the venue in advance. Also, make sure that your event app can allow offline access to your event agenda, like Whova. It’s a must-have for attendees who come to your event from other countries, hence an essential item in the planning checklist for your event!
What You Should Look For In a Good Event Planner
As you start thinking about planning an event, it quickly becomes evident that it’s much more difficult than it might seem at first – the logistics alone are enough to make one cringe about the idea of doing everything yourself.
That’s why most people and companies turn to a professional – an event planner who plan events for a living usually has the necessary recourses and expertise to organize an event suited to each individual clients’ needs.
Still, even among event planners, there are those who, despite presenting themselves as professionals, might end up causing you headaches, instead of taking the event planning process off your hands. That’s why you have to be careful about who you choose – there are certain traits you should look for in an event planner that can go a long way in making your event successful and efficient.
So here are some of the most important qualities you should seek in a good event planner:
Lots of things can go wrong in the corporate event planning process – a venue reservation could fall through, suppliers could be unable to deliver, or a speaker might come down with a severe case of the flu just days before the event.
It’s these kinds of scenarios where you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you’re working with a true professional – someone who has a big rolodex from which he can immediately find an adequate replacement or addition for almost any unplanned problem that might arise.
It also means that the event planner will never be short on thoughts on what would be the best approach to running your product launches, developing corporate event ideas, or anything else that you might need done.
Organisation & Time Management
One can’t be a good event coordinator unless he has a natural talent for multi-tasking – being able to juggle a lot of details, big and small, at once. This requires good organisational and time management skills, as well as the ability to instil these qualities into the events’ staff.
Think about it – when you have to manage dozens of staff workers, make sure that hundreds of guests are all comfortable and entertained, see that the event goes according to schedule and that all key parts of it get properly executed, among thousands of smaller jobs, you have to be a master multi-tasker to pull it off.
That’s actually one of the bigger reasons people even hire event organisers – with so much to plan, most would simply become overwhelmed and inevitably forget at least a few crucial details, which can and usually does cost the entire event.
Finally, no matter how good and experienced the event planner is, if he is not willing to communicate and go through planning the event together, then in the end it might be absolutely different than what you envisioned and wanted.
After the initial interview, constant communication is going to be required – perhaps you’ll start to see new opportunities for the event, or the event planner will want to suggest some improvements.
Now this does not mean that you should go ahead and micromanage the process of planning an event – the event planner is, after all, the professional with years of experience. You should trust that he knows best what approach will work. But no matter the event type, it’s still about your product, or about your company, and you should make sure your opinion is also considered and worked into the event planning process.
Why you should hire an event planner
There can be many reasons why you might want to hire an event planner. Although a good event planner isn’t cheap, they can often save you from making costly mistakes.
1. Time management
There are many things to do in relation to organising an event, and time is your most valuable asset. A seasoned event planner can help you streamline the process and save you time.
2. Budget management
Although time is valuable, so is money. A good event planner can help you manage your event budget and negotiate with venues and vendors on your behalf so you get a good deal.
3. Stress management
Event planning is frequently cited as one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Seeing as you’ll have many other things to think about, why not outsource the extra stress to a professional?
Here Are The Questions To Ask An Event Planner
You now know why you might need to hire an event planner and where to find them. So far, so good. Let’s dive into the fourteen questions to ask an event planner during the interview.
1. What do you specialise in?
Most event planners will specialise in a certain type of event, which could be anything from weddings to business conferences. Make sure their area of expertise aligns with your event.
2. Which services do you offer?
Event planning consists of many moving parts, so make sure that your event planner is able to accommodate all of your needs. Examples include sourcing speakers and organising catering.
3. What is included in your fee?
Establish what you’ll get for your money, and what will cost you extra. Agree on a flat, hourly, or commission-based fee, and determine additional charges like travel expenses and support staff.
4. Who will work on the event?
Find out who your main point of contact is and how many other people will be involved in organising your event. Get an overview of who everyone is and how to contact them. (You might want to think of separate interview questions for event staff, too.)
5. How much time will you need?
How much time your event planner needs to organise your event will depend on the size and type of your event, as well as how many other events they’re working on at the same time.