Ahh the pressure of event-management…There’s nothing quite like the weird buzz of having loads of pressure placed on you to make a great event for others! A key part of my current job is managing events and I’ve since made a list of key things to consider when the day is on the horizon.
- Create a checklist of things you need to do before the event and a timeline in which to complete them. This will help to keep you on track and ensure nothing is missed.
- Write a schedule, send it out early…and be prepared to throw it out the window. Changes are inevitable – try not to be precious about it.
- If you’re running an event it’s highly like you’ll also be managing a small team as well. For this, give specific roles to each member of your team – highlighting the important tasks within these responsibilities. Make sure you have a briefing meeting with them before-hand so they are not only clear with their individual role, but this also allows them to see where they fit within the overall objectives of the entire event. Providing a sense of purpose is key to an enthusiastic team.
- Linked to this, I cannot stress enough the importance of allowing others to help you. Regardless of the size or scale of the event, you will never be able to do everything that’s required on your own. There’s strength in numbers and as long as everyone has clear roles (point 3), there’s less chance of things going wrong (or if things do go wrong, there’s more people on hand to help fix them – it’s a win/win).
- Ensure you make visible as much information as possible on the day of the event. Whether that’s door-signs, running orders, directions, group/delegate lists, staff locations, programs or anything else you can think of – make the day as clear as possible for everyone. This ensures that participants, delegates and all other guests can feel confident in the plan for the day and know who to go to should they have a question.
- When you speak to your guests/delegates, always appear relaxed, calm and happy. Even if something has gone completely not to plan and your mind is running a mile a minute to find the solution, if someone not on your team asks a question or wants to hear from you -put the mess to one side. Nobody needs to hear that something’s not right or to feel weird stressy vibes from you. In that moment you’re there to host, do so graciously.
- Equally, if you have performers or speakers at your event, take the time to speak to each of them individually. They have spent time and effort to prepare for this so it’s important to ensure they feel valued. Be a face they know and recognise, be interested in what they have to say and give them the time they deserve. This will never be a bad thing, just do it.
- After the event, always speak positively to your team about the overall successes. Definitely make a note of anything that could have gone better or perhaps wasn’t accounted for in your original plan, and be prepared to discuss these in a de-briefing the following day/week (depending on schedules). However, directly after the event is not the time to discuss shortcomings – ALWAYS focus on the achievements of the day and be sure to congratulate your team (and yourself!) for the work you’ve done together.