When it comes to planning an event - and a great one at that - time management skills are everything. Between attendee organization and communicating with speakers and vendors, planners need to be at the top of their A-game.
Not only will effectively managing your time benefit your company, but it will also positively impact every person who attends your event. Not to mention, managing your precious time as an event planner will put your mind at ease and hopefully minimize the various directions it can go in while keeping your stress and blood pressure levels down. So have no fear - at Hubilo, we understand all about what it takes to plan a successful event, and will help you achieve just that with our 8 time management tips.
Want to know one of the most underrated yet important time management tips while planning an event? Know (and write down- yes, write!) your goals. The busiest of event planners know how easy it is to get sidetracked by any and all last minute details, so distinguishing your goals before you get started makes all the difference. Start by asking yourself and your team what desired outcomes would be preferred from the event and work from there. Do you want to gain new customers and teach them about your services? Or do you want to engage your already loyal customer base and leave them with valuable takeaways that remind them of why they chose your business? Or perhaps both! When you have goals mapped out, big or small, the time you save not worrying about lesser details will be astronomical.
A crucial part of planning for any kind of memorable event for your team or company is planning ahead. Strong project management and planning for any event means making clear to your team the important deadlines, marking them out for everyone involved, surfacing (inter)dependencies, and working backwards from there. It requires a level of organization that must be adhered to for any event to go off without a hitch. Figure out what tasks or deliverables can wait until weeks or even days before the event as well as what needs to be started earlier on in the planning stages. The bigger, more intimidating tasks that seem to be scary to start don’t have to be; break those bigger tasks into smaller, more attainable tasks that you can track daily. Making a list of those daily tasks for you and your team can be beneficial for everyone involved - especially as the event day nears. When working with platforms such as Hubilo for hosting your event, we recommend utilizing planning ahead by checking in with your client experience team to make sure you’re hitting certain deadlines and getting deliverables out by their recommended time. Event planning certainly isn’t easy, but when you plan ahead far in advance, you’d be surprised at the stress it reduces!
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With almost everything nowadays going virtual, the need for keeping things organized online has become a top priority not only for event planners, but companies everywhere, big and small. Luckily, there are a number of tools that you can choose from to keep your event planning organization in line, like Hubilo’s event planning toolkit. The toolkit provides an extensive collection of templates that relate to event briefs, agendas, sessions, speakers, partners, pre-event promotions and post-event communication. We used this toolkit to successfully host our Mastering Immersive Experiences (MIX 2022) hybrid event in March 2022!
While you schedule different deadlines for your event, use digital calendars like Google Calendar and share it with your team to keep everyone up to date with important deadlines. Make sure that your team's communication doesn’t fall to the wayside either with online chat tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Google Chat. You can even set up custom channels on these platforms for specific events or different tasks that your team needs to get done.
Creating spreadsheets to achieve a sense of unified organization through either Excel or Google Sheets can also aid in the planning process. There are also a number of work management platforms that can make organizing all your tasks much simpler; think Asana, Click-Up, Trello and more. Many of these softwares have integration tools where you can integrate calendars and different documents to keep everything together and streamlined.
Along with many usual online programs, the cost of these tools may vary. Discussing with your team what pricing, if any, you can afford ahead of time to integrate a tool within your company should be a first priority. With some tools, they may only allow a certain number of users on their platform for free and end up increasing the price with the more people you add. But as usual, check if your budget allows enough to add one of these programs!
When you’re in charge of planning an event, it’s no secret that the pressure is on. In order to produce a successful event from start to finish, all the details shouldn’t be left to just one person to get everything done. Whether you hand off tasks to just one person or you have a whole team ready to go, delegating tasks will help immensely. Spreading out responsibilities for an event will leave you time to focus on other objectives at hand. This is where your skills as a leader will come in handy- knowing what tasks can be assigned to certain team members and be delivered in a timely manner will greatly benefit you during the planning process. Taking that pressure off yourself will ensure that your event succeeds since you can narrow your focus on more important details without having to worry about tackling any extra ones.
Many platforms like Hubilo include features that can do certain tasks for you, including ticketing and registration needs, branding services, and more. With Hubilo’s email builder, for example, you’ll be able to handle the email marketing component of your event if you don’t have a marketing team to delegate that task to. The email builder will allow any planner to do things like segment and target specific audiences, promote their event, and schedule emails in advance- all in an easy to use platform.
Rain, missing speakers, spotty wifi- oh my! These are just some of the possible mishaps that can happen when it comes to planning a special event. Due to the many potential mishaps that could occur, allotting time in your agenda to deal with any inconveniences ahead of time will save time that could be taken away from other important priorities.
Block time out on your calendar once a week or even once a day to attend to any last minute problem before the event day arrives. When the event day arrives, it’s important to also be prepared in case more mishaps happen; this includes things like ensuring you have enough staff to support attendees and your team if the event is an in-person occasion. You also want to make sure that any technology is up to par, including projectors, printers, and more.
For virtual events, it’s equally as important to ensure that the platform you are using is prepared to help at any given time. Hubilo offers a live chat team that’s available if any technical difficulties occur, for both attendees and the hosting team. Our client experience (CX) team is always ready to help provide support pre-, during, and post-event.
When you’re planning an event, every second of that event counts. Hosting a live event means that things should be running smoothly, even though it can be a challenge. This is especially true with any presentations you broadcast to your audience. To alleviate any pressure about how a presentation will go, you have the option to pre-record different aspects of your event and set them to go live when the time comes.
Programs like Hubilo can provide you with advanced broadcasting abilities with an easy to use interface. Pre-recorded content doesn’t have to be boring, either. You can customize the look and feel of sessions by adding graphics, logos, and background images. You can even provide relevant on-screen information with a static banner or make announcements with a ticket/crawler banner. As long as your technology is up to date, broadcasting pre-recorded events either in-person or virtually will be a huge stress reliever!
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There always seems to be an endless amount of distractions as you go about your day during the planning process. It’s in both your and your events best interest if you reduce these distractions to a minimum, if possible.
Many computers and phones have modes such as “do not disturb,” where you can mute or prevent any alerts from popping up. It will limit any sounds as well, so you won’t have to hear any text notifications or social media notifications.
Utilize your digital calendar to minimize distractions as well. Block off certain times in the day or in your week where you can strictly focus on tasks you need to get done while not answering any emails or chat messages. You can let your team know about your “focus time” too as an extra measure; giving them a heads up will let them know when to avoid interrupting your work flow. Once that time is over, you can spend it answering anyone who needs your help. Managing your distractions will ensure you have plenty of time to focus on planning the best event possible.
As you plan an event, it can be easy to get caught up and become all-consumed with every stressful detail. This is where it’s critical that you incorporate self-care into your everyday routine. Adding some extra pauses will help to prevent any sort of burnout.
According to a study conducted by Asana, “42% of workers experience burn-out, and 40% of workers believe burnout is an inevitable part of the process”. It doesn’t have to be a pattern in your industry too!
Whether it's going on a 10 minute walk on your lunch break or treating yourself to that special coffee you get every once and a while, taking time out of your hectic day to do something special will do wonders for your mental health. Not only will preventing burnout improve your mental health while planning a big event, but it will also make whatever event you plan even better since you took care of yourself in the process.
By utilizing certain time management skills such as the ones listed above, you can ensure your event goes off without a hitch. Whether in-person or virtual, it’s extremely important as an event planner to take advantage of every minute you have. Then, once your event is over, you can take into account which time management skills helped during the planning process and which didn’t; this will give you the knowledge to know what to improve on for your next event. Our expert team at Hubilo understands that the planning process is never an easy one, so if you’d like to know more about how we can help simplify the planning process, contact us today!
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