Being an event professional nowadays means having no time to focus on what’s truly important. The urgency of daily tasks and assignments consumes more time than ever.
Because of the increasing complexity of event logistics and attendees’ higher demands, you might feel overwhelmed by the crushing speed of the entire planning process. This may stop you from developing a long-term vision and actually providing a meaningful experience to your guests.
How can you focus on designing authentic and engaging dynamics for your attendees when you’re too busy constantly updating Excel spreadsheets or trying to figure out registration form issues?
After all, you’re human. You can’t deal with absolutely everything.
That’s why you need to buy your time back and make sure that the event logistics won’t take over your creativity (and your sanity).
To guarantee your attendees receive a worthwhile experience and keep your stress levels under control, you must find a balance. Instead of focusing on the urgent, you must gain perspective and stay focused on what’s important.
To succeed (and stay healthy!), it’s necessary to step away from the planning task overload and take your time back.
Here are a few techniques you can use when managing your next event:
Tip 1. Delegate planning or administrative tasks
Have you ever heard of freelancers and virtual assistants? If so, then why are you trying to control and carry out every single planning task on your own, instead of delegating?
Obviously, there are some assignments that only you will be able to handle; for example, a freelancer can’t design the event project. You have a better understanding of what’s needed and your audience’s expectations.
However, tasks such as updating lists, designing the event program or website, or copywriting can easily be delegated to freelancers or virtual assistants.
If you have a small team and lack working hands, asking for external help will cut back on the time you spend on executing repetitive assignments. By bringing in some freelancers, you’ll take some of your time back and be able to focus on what’s important, rather than what’s urgent.
Tip 2. Use the time block strategy
According to a FastCompany article, "Time-blocking is essentially organizing your day in a series of time slots. Instead of writing a list of tasks that take as long as they take, with a time-blocked approach, each of these time periods is devoted to a task or tasks. It immediately lets you see where you’re being unrealistic about your time and keep yourself focused on what you’re supposed to be doing."
So instead of jumping back and forth between tasks, decreasing your attention and stamina, start structuring your day in time blocks.
For example, you could use the first few hours in the morning to set up the online registration and the registration forms. Then, you could block some time to design a powerful marketing strategy. After that, you could set an hour aside to answer urgent emails.
At least this way, you’ll have a better structure of your workday and you won’t feel so overwhelmed. The secret here is to include also time for thinking and strategizing.
Tip 3. Establish an event-planning protocol
Although no two events are the same, the planning process is quite similar. Some things are a must for all events: a website, a social media or marketing strategy, online registration protocol, searching for a venue, etc.
By structuring the event in concrete steps, you’ll know exactly what’s expected and how to tackle the logistics. Moreover, by having a reliable route map, you’ll gain back valuable time that you used to spend on disorganized, chaotic work.
Tip 4. Replicate, instead of recreate, an event from scratch
Instead of losing time doing everything from the beginning, think about what can be replicated. For example, maybe there’s a registration form you can reuse, or a website template from one event that you could apply to another. Maybe you can recycle a registration protocol here and there.
Why reinvent the wheel every single time if you already have something you know works? Replicating these little things will help you get back some of your time so you can focus on more important things.
Tip 5. Automatize certain planning tasks
The era of manual planning is over. There are tons of applications and planning software out there that can help you a great deal by digitizing every single assignment.
Think about what takes up most of your time, such as, for example, manually updating attendee lists, and search for a digital solution that will help you tackle this challenge. You’ll be surprised to discover how much free time you’ll have at hand.
Call to action
Planning and managing events shouldn’t be time-consuming. As an event professional, you must organize your workday as efficiently as possible, and make good use of your newfound “free time” to conceptualize, design, or strategize some of the event-related actions.
Don’t wait until you can’t breathe because you’re overwhelmed with all the event logistics. Use these tips and reclaim your time back.
Do you want even more tips? Read our book EVENTS.