Planning events is a complicated task with many different moving parts. It can be easy to get disorganized and overwhelmed by the process. However, you can follow some tips and tricks to stay organized and pull off the event like a pro.
Start a Binder
Your first step should be to have a defined space to keep all of your paperwork for the event, such as itineraries, contact information for vendors and more. Using a binder and page protectors or pocket dividers, you can keep even the smallest scraps of paper organized and easily find when needed.
Make a Checklist with Deadlines
One of the pieces of paper you should include in your binder is a checklist of planning tasks with deadlines scheduled for each line. Need a video presentation incorporated into the event? Set a deadline for contacting an audio-visual production company and add it to your checklist.
Make a Defined Planning Timeline
Your checklist will get you started with a planning timeline because you will already have deadlines for each task. Once you flesh out the rest of the timeline, including adding in deadlines needed for other team members, you will want to make a list of daily tasks and define each carefully. For instance, the “call caterer” job is not as detailed as “ask the caterer about gluten-free options,” even though they are the same task. By making a detailed description, you are less likely to forget part of a task or need to repeat it.
Have a Collection Point
Your planning binder is a collection point for all the paperwork and schedules for the event, but what about decorations, merchandise samples and other event items that are too big for your binder? Having a set collection point for everything event-related helps you find things quickly when needed and gives you a visual of your progress so far.
Use technology such as a scheduling app to set reminders for important tasks like checking in on team members, projects and vendors. By regularly checking in, you will know what stage each element is at and not be scrambling at the last minute when the promotional items are back-ordered or the speakers are not booked in time.
Wrap Up Completed Tasks
Once you have completed each task, take the time to file any documents related to it and organize associated items. This helps you wrap up the job while keeping everything accessible for the next event or, if needed, for reference later. Wrapping up a completed task will also keep digital or physical files related to it from being mixed in with files from the next job.
Staying organized while planning events is an excellent way to keep the progress moving without increasing stress. By grouping all of the paperwork and items, you can find them better when needed and have a reference accessible for the next event. By keeping your checklists, timelines and task definitions in one place, you can quickly and easily check your progress and compare it to the deadlines.