6 Time Management Tips for Event Professionals
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler, Author
As an events professional, the ticking clock often seems to be your nemesis. As your event draws ever-closer, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a seemingly endless to-do list and a shrinking timeframe in which to get things done. But don’t despair. Here are our top 6 time management tips for events professionals, designed to save your sanity and your deadlines.
1. Treat your event as a project
Before throwing yourself headlong into your next event, take some time to create a schedule or step-by-step plan of action. By treating your event as a project – perhaps even making use of web-based project management tools such as Basecamp – you can easily keep tabs on separate tasks and map out completion dates to ensure you stay on track. A detailed schedule is not only a helpful time management tool – it’ll reduce your stress levels, too.
2. Be ruthless with priorities
To transform an event from concept into reality, every events manager is faced with tens or even hundreds of tasks – which can be overwhelming to say the least. To avoid feeling swamped, start every day by prioritising your tasks and putting all other jobs to one side. There’s no point in booking the caterers if you’re yet to secure a venue, so be ruthless in prioritising your tasks and apply tunnel-vision to get the most important things done first.
3. Learn to delegate
While events professionals do work veritable miracles on a regular basis, there’s no point in trying to be superhuman. If you have too much on your plate, delegate now before it’s too late. By relieving yourself of smaller tasks, you’ll have more time and energy to dedicate to the important jobs that will make a real difference to your event.
4. Don’t pressure yourself
When planning an event, it’s all too easy to pile on the pressure in the quest for ‘perfection’. But your event doesn’t need to be perfect, and striving for this ideal will only harm your ability to work efficiently. Instead, remember the 80/20 principle – that 80% of your event will be in-hand by completing just 20% of your tasks – and try to relax safe in this knowledge. The less stressed you are, the easier it will be to manage your time properly.
5. Pick up the phone
If you need a quick answer to a question, avoid the urge to communicate via email and pick up the phone instead. Whether you’re calling the venue or speaking to your client, telephone conversations are immediate and in-depth – ensuring you get the information you need as quickly as possible. If necessary, you can always confirm your plans in writing via email at the end of the day.
6. Remember – you’ve got this
Above all else, remember that you’re in control of your own time. Practice makes perfect, so exercise your time management muscles as much as possible by planning, delegating and prioritising event planning tasks. Stick at it, and you’ll be on the road to event planning success in no time.