Creating a schedule to follow when planning your event is time well spent that will pay dividends later on.
Even with the simplest of events it can feel like there is a lot to manage, so any processes you can put in place to help you will make life so much easier.
Here are 5 easy steps to follow to build your event schedule;
- Set up the parameters of your event project
Work back from the chosen date of your event itself to the current day. Build a schedule that allows you to insert daily tasks and that enables you to clearly see where you should be in terms of your activity at any point in time. You could tick off tasks as you go, or add update comments so you can quickly see where you are with the various tasks.
Don’t forget you need to build in some post event tasks too, so you may find the schedule ends up to a month after your event.
- Add key dates
Think about the key dates and deadlines along the way – these could include the date you must confirm your venue booking, the date(s) you need to make payment(s), deadlines for any adverts you are placing, print deadlines etc.
Highlight these key deadlines in some way so that you can quickly see them. If it’s something big like confirming your venue, often your biggest single cost, think about adding a countdown so you can see this is coming up.
- Work back from the key dates to build in your tasks
As an example, if your print deadline for a piece of collateral you need for the event is 2 weeks out, you may need to start pulling together information and designing the collateral 2 months out to give plenty of time before sign off.
Your venue may need to know the final numbers for catering or room layout a week prior – in which case you will want to have sold as many tickets as possible to be able to give as accurate a number as possible. Your marketing activity should be aligned with this, gearing you up for being sold out in good time.
- Choose a scheduling tool that you are comfortable with
There are lots of project management programmes available and if you use one of these in your work already, you may find it useful to add your event project to it.
You could use a free piece of software, like Asana, available for PC, mac and smart phones. The benefit here is the lack of cost and if you download the app to your phone you will always have your schedule to hand.
Of course there is no need to use anything more than a simple excel spreadsheet, or even a white board, if these are tools and methods that work for you in your business. The point here is to keep your event project as simple as possible.
- Share your schedule with your team
Share your schedule with anyone who is tasked with helping you plan your event. Allocate tasks to different members of your team if necessary, so you can all be accountable for your own areas of responsibility.
It is also well worth sharing your schedule with any suppliers you are working with. Think about creating a simplified version that you are happy to share, so that key suppliers can be fully aware of your plans and timelines.
Do please share any scheduling tips you have in the comments below – I’m always interested in hearing new suggestions on how to make life in the event planning world easier!
Thanks for reading