Last Updated on October 7, 2021
In any career, there are certain best practices which you should stick to, and event management is no exception to that rule. The pieces of advice I’m about to impart to you are things many novice event managers wished they knew when first starting out.
Maybe you already know everything here, but in the event that you don’t, maybe I’ll have made your life – and your career – just a little bit easier.
Establish A “Concrete Date” When Planning An Event And Stick To It At All Costs
When you’re planning an event, start by establishing a concrete date and work from there.
I’m not just talking about the date on which you plan to run the event, by the way. In addition to this, you should also establish a ‘point of no return,’ at which you will no longer make changes to the scope and nature of the event and instead focus entirely on execution. Figure out those two dates, and stick to your guns.
Not only will it help you avoid potentially disastrous last-minute changes, having a clear deadline in mind will keep you focused and on-task.
Pay Close Attention To The Details
As the old cliché goes, “the devil is in the details.” Nowhere is this truer than in event management. This is where being a little bit obsessive can go a very long way; you’re going to want to pay close attention to pretty much every facet of your event and manage as much as humanly possible without giving yourself an aneurism or getting in the way of your team. Stay organized, stay focused, and keep analyzing every facet of your event.
Know The Clients’ Success Metrics
It might sound fairly obvious, but the best way to give a client what they want is to know what they’re looking for in the first place. Before you start working, ask your client how they intend to measure success – what metrics are they going to focus on in order to determine whether or not their event was a bust? If you know what the client is going to be measuring (ie. Attendance numbers, attendee satisfaction, budgeting, etc.) you’ll be able to focus on what they’re looking for.
Set Up A Contingency Plan, And Know Your Past Mistakes
I’ve covered this before, but it bears mentioning again: make sure you’ve an idea of what you’re going to do if something goes wrong, because I can all but guarantee that something inevitably will. Keep in mind that proper crisis management can be the difference between a successful event with a few hiccups and an unmitigated disaster. Of course, having a contingency plan for when something goes wrong isn’t all you need to do – you also need to be aware of your own shortcomings.
Self-awareness is a skill that’s useful in any profession, including event planning. Knowing your past mistakes and failings will help you avoid making the same mistake twice.
Always Over Deliver And Never Promise Too Much
Last, but certainly not least, when you make promises to your client, always promise a little bit less than you’re capable of accomplishing. That way, if you end up falling short, you’ll still have kept your word, and if you come through, you’ll have given more than they expected. If you under-deliver (or make promises you can’t keep), you’ll quickly find your reputation as an event planner falling into the toilet.
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