“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
Organising an event is a stressful experience that can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. The job of an event organiser has been yet again ranked among the most stressful jobs in the world in 2019, reinforcing the need to take more steps to focus on the well-being of event professionals.
According to the 2019 Stress Matters Report, 71% of event professionals believe their colleagues are suffering from stress. A major contributor to this stress is the invisible workload that overwhelms event organisers – the endless list of tasks that keep piling up at every step, from venue sourcing, registrations, feverishly finalising the marketing budget, collating event data from numerous sources, creating reports out of them…and so on.
While there are several ways to reduce your invisible workload, following certain event management tips from the start can be a huge help in minimising stress and preventing things from slipping through the cracks. Here are 7 of the better ones:
#7 – Set clear, crisp and achievable goals
To organise a successful event, you should first have a clear outline of your goals. Ask yourself:
Why are you conducting this event?
What will the attendees learn from your event?
What will be the metrics of gauging the success of your event – attendance, leads, or brand engagement?
While your goals should be defined at the outset, you should provide room for enough flexibility so that they can be further developed and refined as your project progresses.
#6 – Begin early to smoothen the edges
The earlier you start organising for your event, the better it is. Lock down the venue in advance, strike up agreements with different vendors (take advantage of those early bird offers), and envision all the hurdles that could appear down the road. Planning early will save you a lot of money and headache!
#5 – Set a realistic budget and stick to it
A simple thumb rule to ensuring a successful event – create an event budget and stick to it. More often than not, cost overruns happen because event organisers tend to underestimate actual costs, lack awareness about prevailing market rates, or opt for unrealistic venue designs. If the total event cost turns out to be way higher than planned, your ROI will go for a toss, resulting in major headache for you while presenting it to the higher-ups.
To avoid this nightmare, it is recommended to opt for an event budget management tool that will help you monitor event costs, track returns, optimise investments and create integrated budget reports.
#4 – Create a central cloud-based sharing hub
For organising an event, you usually have a team at your disposal that works on multiple data sets to create a successful event. The bigger the event, the more complex and disparate the data can become. If your team is working on different data sources, there is a strong chance of inaccuracy, duplication, inconsistency and security threats cropping up. To ensure this doesn’t ever happen, deploy a central cloud-based sharing repository that can be accessed by them. There are several benefits to this:
- Improved decision-making owing to availability of accurate, consistent and complete data.
- Cross-platform integration
- Eliminates manual data processing, saves time and cost
- Reduces risk, allows for real-time analysis, accurate reporting
#3 – Automate as much as possible
The real ingredient to organising a successful event is to eliminate as many manual processes as possible. Any task that can be automated should be done so immediately, as it will save you a lot of time and headache. From venue sourcing, registration, event promotion, e-mail marketing to making payments, collating attendee data and getting prompt feedback – there are many aspects to the event organising process that can be automated. How does this make your life easier?
- Being time and cost effective: Instead of dealing with individual registrations, ticketing and payments, you can get all the tools in one integrated event management software package that will do the job for you. This will leave you ample time to focus on other critical aspects of the event.
- Customisation options: You can customise the software as per your requirements by adding logos, image and other details that will enhance your brand presence.
- Optimise event marketing: Schedule emails, schedule social media posts, track campaigns through Google Analytics – there are a host of options that can be optimised through automation.
#2 – Always have a back-up plan
Dealing with contingencies is a critical part of managing any event. Despite your best efforts, all sorts of problems could occur before or on the day of event, such as:
- Faulty equipment
- Inclement weather
- Breakdown of transport
- Last-minute cancellation from speakers or celebrities
- Injuries, accidents
- Shortage of food and beverages
How do you deal with these issues?
First, aim to minimise disruption to the event by dealing with common mishaps like an equipment malfunction or food running short. Keep spare parts of equipment and an onsite technician to keep everything running smooth on the day of the event. While you should keep a curated list of attendees to plan F&B in advance, find out what options would be available on short notice at the venue, in case the attendees start feeling more hungry than usual.
If there is a breakdown in transportation, or the weather turns rough, make sure you have a list of backup vendors whom you can call upon. For this, you need to work, develop, and build a robust network. So make sure you start networking early with the right people!
What should you do if the keynote speaker bails on your event?
Well, this is certainly a tough scenario to deal with. You can either scout for a last-minute replacement by handing out some extra pounds or promote another speaker to the main gig. If your budget permits, you can arrange for other activities and seminars for the attendees or maybe offer a partial refund or discounts on future registration to assuage tempers.
#1 – Delegate smart
If you take the entire weight of the event on your shoulders, you will eventually reach the point of burnout. To mitigate physical and mental stress, it is important to streamline your project and delegate the ever-growing pile of tasks to people who are more skilled. For instance, hiring a marketing manager to take care of the promotional aspects of your event, or getting a dedicated executive to deal with vendors. Whether it is routine work or specialised activities, you can always have someone else doing it for you.
There are numerous advantages of having good delegation skills, as it:
- Saves time, lets you focus on more important tasks, such as interacting more with attendees, partners and sponsors.
- Give others a chance to learn new skills and improve their organisational skills.
- Build trust, improve communication, efficiency and productivity.
Simple yet essential, these 7 event management tips are the basic building blocks upon which you should develop your event strategy. Follow them religiously and you will never find yourself under stress!
Event management tips are essential but can only get you so far in creating a successful event. To truly maximise your event ROI and capture higher leads, you need to understand what attendees want and what they don’t during live events, and how you can capitalise on opportunities before, during and after the event to connect with potential leads. Download the report now.