Organizing an event? Here are 3 things every event organizer should be doing.
Whether you’re organizing an upcoming business networking event for 20 people or a large music festival for ten thousand, there’s a lot of common ground that needs to be considered, addressed, and covered.
Typically, these “common areas” can all get traced back to the back-end of the event. This is what others might call the infrastructure or the foundation that paves the way and can often dictate the success of your event.
After doing a bit of first-hand research (and casually chatting with our clients), I’ve had the opportunity to speak with dozens, even hundreds of event organizers.
The verdict? I’ve been able to identify common key areas that all, or most, of them have identified as major tasks and mandatory ‘things’ that they are doing for their own events.
Below are 3 things that every event organizer should be doing.
1 | Identify and Manage Your Stakeholders
good great first step, and something that you’ll not only see direct results from, but also feel accomplished from is identifying all of your event’s stakeholders.
This is something that I’ve personally starting doing lately and I can honestly say that I’m much more confident, aware and decisive with what the next steps in the event’s pipeline will look like.
You might be asking “But who is considered a stakeholder?” and even “How do I properly identify them?”. Both of which are very good questions that you SHOULD be asking.
Really, anyone and everyone who has any sort of affiliation, relation or involvement with your event can be considered a stakeholder.
The important thing here is to identify those individuals or parties that you absolutely need to make your event happen.
For example, if you’re serving food at your event, then who are those possible (or confirmed) vendors? If you’re serving alcohol then how will you obtain your license, who will be working the bar and will there be sponsorship opportunities? And of course, there will be the obvious ones such as team members, volunteers, venue managers, entertainers, etc.
To further break it down and to help you make sense of it all, I would recommend creating two separate “buckets”, “lists”, or “tabs”. The first being for those immediately involved with your event such as your team members, volunteers, the venue, etc. The second for those who may be not-so involved but necessary for the event to take place.
By identifying your stakeholders, you’ll be helping yourself and your team understand expectations from your end, as well as being able to understand what the relationship looks like for each of the parties involved and the dependencies that need to be in place.
At the end of the day, you can almost think of this as a “cheat sheet” that summarizes all of the parties involved and what their involvement looks like.
Personal tip: The easiest thing to do in order to get started with this is to create a shared document in Google Sheets. Start by setting up your columns/headers such as name, organization, contact info, date they officially got involved, their tasks/responsibilities and any additional notes needed. Once you have that setup, you’re all ready to go and can start inputting information. Just remember, you’ll want to keep updating this as you progress and make sure that everyone on your team has access to it.
2| Plan Your Communications
Plan your communications?
Having a clear course of action when it comes to the communications is absolutely necessary for your event and will set you and your team up for success.
For those who have been following along with our #EventTips, you’ll know that I recently highlighted the importance of communication in a recent article, 3 important lessons for every event organizer.
But it’s something that is so crucial to any event’s success which is why it’s worth mentioning time and time again.
A few tips?
The very first thing is to address expectations and create a schedule that works for everyone. For example, event meetings will be held in person every second Wednesday at [location][time]. You’ll also want to have contingencies in place so if team members aren’t able to attend meetings, then understanding what the communication protocol then looks like.
You get the point.
I would also highly recommend creating a shared document where all team members have access to one another’s contact information at any given point in time. This includes full names, phone numbers, email addresses, and even mailing addresses.
If you’ve already started doing this by addressing your event stakeholders then you’re ahead of the game and off to a great start.
The important thing to keep in mind is making sure that everyone has equal access. This will help cut down on the back and forth, saving you quite a bit of time and a few headaches.
Lastly, I would recommend creating a Facebook group/chat or even a slack channel (preferably). Something where group conversations can be held, files can be shared and where you avoid the headache of sifting through emails.
3 | Take The Lead, Delegate Tasks, Hold Yourself Accountable
Well, because someone has to do it.
On top of that, taking the lead, delegating tasks and holding yourself (and your team) accountable solidifies #1 and #2.
Taking the lead means a whole lot more than just barking out orders and bossing people around. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
It means that you need to map out the full expectations, understanding, requirements and dependencies from your team and all major stakeholders. You need to commit to making sure that you are constantly engaging with stakeholders (where #2, even #1 comes into play), that you’re driving productivity, keeping everyone happy and especially motivated.
And what about delegating tasks?
Well, tasks don’t get finished magically by themselves. So yes, you need to take the lead and assign tasks to your team members. You need to be able provide instructions and directions when needed, and work with one another to make sure progress is being made.
You’ll want to keep in mind that matching up tasks with the right person/ parties is crucial for progress. This is where #1 comes in to play and can help influence who might be the best fit for certain tasks.
Well, there you have it! Those are our 3 things that every event organizer should be doing for each and every event.
After all, you want your event to succeed don’t you?
Until next time,
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