So much to do but not enough time? Many event planners struggle with the same problem, especially for large events. After all, event planning is an ever-changing industry and it’s easy to get caught up on the long list of tasks. To help you, we shared here 10 productivity tips that our team practices.
As the year gets busy with upcoming events, make sure that your productivity skills are up a notch. This will help you save time, secure the event’s success, and win repeat clients.
1. Systematize your planning
Organization is the name of the game if you’re in the event planning business. You must create an event planning template that you’ll use for each event. That way, you don’t have to start from scratch all the time.
Such a template includes all general tasks, status schedules, and expenses. Simply fill it out for each event that you’re handling.
Aside from that, you can also try David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) technique. This is done by collecting all tasks, organizing them, setting up actions, and keeping track of results. The goal of this method is to minimize information bouncing around your head, so you can focus on each one at a time.
You should put all the tasks into writing, so you can take them off your head. This will also prevent anything from being forgotten along the way.
For better organization, you can use these tools to your advantage:
- Calendars/planners. This is an indispensable tool to ensure that everything is tied to a specific deadline. Online calendars are a good choice since they can send you reminders on your preferred schedule.
- Spreadsheets. This will let you keep neat lists, compartmentalize tasks, calculate numbers, and so on. You can also share access to make it more collaborative.
- Smartphone reminders. You can use a variety of smartphone apps to remind you of all the event tasks you need to do.
- Desk organizers. Your office desk can get cluttered with event paperwork, so make sure that you have a desk organizer in place. Label each one, so you can easily find the files you need.
- Cloud storage. Printing and mailing all documents are a waste of time. Instead, you can get secure a cloud storage account where all collaborators and team members can access all the event files.
2. Maintain a prioritization list
It’s impossible for you to perform all things at once and be productive. You’ll end up not finishing anything or going beyond the budget.
So once you have a list of tasks, the next step is to organize them by the level of priority. Create a sheet where the important tasks are logged.
This will improve productivity by knowing which one needs to be finished first. Along the way, you can cross out one task at a time.
Make sure that you share the list with your entire team, so they will know the goals for a specific day, week, and month. You can also update the list as you go along the planning process.
3. Delegate the tasks
No matter how good you are as a planner, there’s only so much you can do at a specific time. This is why you should delegate a lion’s share of the tasks to your team members or staff.
By distributing the workload, your entire team will get more done in a shorter period. This means that you’ll have extra time to fix issues or unforeseen changes leading to the event.
Aside from that, it’s best to let someone with the skills and knowledge handle a specific aspect of the event. For example, you can hire someone for social media content instead of stressing yourself over it.
Many beginner event planners tend to juggle everything on their own. While this may seem like a budget-saving measure, it may cost you more if the event fails.
Overall, delegating is effective in reducing stress and increasing your focus. This will allow you to be more productive in other aspects of your event planning.
4. Use automation
Gone are the days when event planners have to do everything manually. Task and time management are much easier with various online tools and software. Here are some that you can add to your toolkit:
- Social Tables. This tool provides event diagramming, check-in, guest management, and venue sourcing, among other automation.
- Cvent. This tool will simplify your planning process, starting from your choice of venue to post-event assessment.
- Caterease. For events that require custom catering, this tool will let you create a visual menu. It also allows you to draft food prep lists, which is perfect if your guests have specific dietary needs.
- Hubb. This is perfect for those planning conferences and other corporate events. It allows you to source programming info from resource speakers faster and easier.
- Monday.com. This powerful project management software is a must for whatever event you’re planning. It allows you to create to-do lists, prioritize daily tasks, track progress, and more.
- Eventbrite. This is a popular ticketing platform that automates ticket sales and registration for your event attendees.
- Avochato. This CRM allows you to send reminders, texts, and event updates to your attendees. It’s a great tool for your customer service team.
- Survey Plant. You can use this tool to gather feedback from guests after the event. Survey Monkey offers unlimited respondents, surveys, and questions.
These are just some of the tools and software that will help you save time. By freeing up your schedule, you can do more and boost your level of productivity.
5. Practice networking
Networking should be the habit of every event planner. Instead of looking for vendors from scratch every single time, you can partner with them long-term. This way, you can save a great deal of time, which can be used in other important matters of your event.
Aside from vendors, you can also keep a network of clients, sponsors, and volunteers. All of these people will make your event planning process more worthwhile. Make sure that you collect their contact information for future events.
You can continue networking by attending seminars, trade shows, conferences, and other events that will showcase your business. You can also join social media groups on LinkedIn and Facebook where you can connect to other planners and vendors.
6. Outsource event production
Event production is a gargantuan task to handle, especially for large events. Most event planners will take the smart move of hiring a professional event production company.
Take note that event production is not just time-consuming. It also requires a large inventory of audio, visual, lighting, staging, and more equipment. Buying all these for your event is both impractical and extremely expensive.
Instead of risking your budget, you should consider renting and hiring a professional crew. For a competitive fee, your event will have professional-quality equipment. Also, you’ll get an experienced tech team to run the show.
Overall, outsourcing event production to a trusted company will let you avoid rookie mistakes that could compromise your event. Also, you won’t have to deal with the dilemma of technical difficulties.
You can partner with an event production company long-term, so they will handle all your event needs. It’s one less thing to think about whenever you accept new projects.
7. Look for volunteers
Volunteers can save the day, especially if you’re working on a limited time allowance. Same with your staff, you can delegate tasks to volunteers to free up your schedule. In turn, you can offer them a small compensation, referral, free training, and so on.
With more hands and brains working on your project, you can improve your productivity by a mile. Also, volunteers will help spread the word about the event.
However, it’s important to recruit your volunteers as early as possible. Also, you should assign volunteers responsibilities that match their skills.
To ensure productivity, you must keep your volunteers’ morale high. Load them with sponsor goodies, freebies, swag bags, and exclusive treats. Also, allow them to enjoy the event after their volunteer hours as a reward.
8. Practice weekly check-ins/check-outs
The last day of the week is as important as the first one if you’re in event planning. Before the weekend break, make sure that you send a short email or make a phone call to all sponsors, collaborators, stakeholders, and team members.
Ask them how they are doing in terms of the event planning process. You can ask for specific details and updates, so you can keep tabs on everything. Overall, this habit will give you an idea about how well the event planning is going week by week.
This will also reduce your anxiety, especially with vendors or collaborators involved in a large portion of your event. You won’t be left guessing whether they would deliver or not. And if they fail to deliver, you can mitigate the issue early.
9. Avoid multitasking
Multitasking is a word that often gets thrown around in event planning. It’s perceived as a great skill of having the ability to juggle many things at once. But here’s the thing: you should stop doing it.
While this tip may seem counterproductive, hear us out first. Doing multiple tasks at a time will give you a false sense of productivity, but it won’t yield the best results.
It’s best to focus on one task at a time, so you can guarantee its accuracy and quality. You can schedule a time of day for each one, so you can accomplish more without juggling them together.
Aside from that, constant multitasking will increase your risk of burnout. It’s your biggest enemy when planning a big event.
Again, delegate, prioritize, set boundaries, and create a schedule. Through this, you can cover all needed tasks without the need to multitask.
10. Turn off distractions
If procrastination is a big struggle for you, it’s crucial to identify distractions and turn them off during work hours. Get off your personal social media accounts, install a distraction blocker on your computer, and stick to your schedule.
You can schedule short breaks to allow yourself to enjoy these guilty pleasures. Some event planners will even get an accountability buddy to nudge them whenever they are getting distracted.
Aside from that, you should take days off from event planning. While time is of the essence, rest is also crucial to ensure that you’re on top of your event planning game. Don’t forget to reward yourself whenever you accomplish big tasks, so you’ll be more motivated to stay focused.
Level up your event planning!
Event planning demands a lot of time, focus, and organization. The key here is creating a system that will streamline all your future events.
Also, don’t hesitate to expand your team. Here at Rent For Event, we can be your event production partner. We will cover all your audiovisual needs for whatever event you’re hosting.
We hope that the 10 tips we shared here help make your planning process much easier. Overall, it just takes practice to boost your productivity. In no time, you’ll be handling events like a total pro.