Most event planners work as slick as a whistle 4 in one team. However, it is important to recognize that in order to be successful and keep running smoothly, the working dynamic needs to change as well.
For example, TEDxColombo requires a 10 people core team and over 45 volunteers, the staff Christmas party requires a 3 people team and your wedding ceremony may require 1 exceptional project manager.
Remember – You Are the Event Planner
You have the tendency to think differently than other people, which is part of what makes you so awesome! Delegation is a crucial part of putting an event together, just as it is crucial to the long term success of your project. Just like building events, empowering a smooth, and effective team does not often happen by chance.
Meeting deadlines, expectations, communication, and pre-planning are some of the biggest issues you will face when working with other people. Remember that you are the expert, you live and breathe the checklist that is necessary to build a successful event.
Pre-Planning and Expectations
With enough pre-planning, you get to run through every imaginable situation that may arise and come up with your go-to strategies to resolve them before they even happen. Your overall team environment should be one that invites open and honest communication so talk to them often. They should trust in each other to be able to speak and without fear of judgement. By building a team of effective communicators, you will be able to pre-plan and solve any potential problems.
They will all bring unique skills and experiences to the table.
- Walk through the entire event/project
- Dive into any possible scenarios
- Ensure you have meetings for everyone to come together and review progress.
Importance of Time
You may have projects running parallelly or have a long term game kick into full force to your pleasant surprise. This is when it becomes important to communicate the importance of timelines, due dates, and schedules. If they do not plan accordingly, they may not understand how each task effects each of the next tasks to be completed. If you expect excellence, be sure to have practical deadlines. While a few rushed deadlines are inevitable, be understanding of what your team can manage with the resources they have. It is better to do a dedicated task than a half-hearted one due to stress and burnout of your team.
When you have tasks spread across a team of people, it is even more important to stick with deadlines, especially when one task depends on a completed task from another team member. Always remember to calculate for possible lead times.
The Magic Pill
If you were ever looking for that elusive magic pill that solves everything, clear communication is absolutely vital. The art of speaking and communicating seems to be quickly disappearing from the world. As a leader, you must be able to effectively and clearly communicate your thoughts and requirements.
“If an entrepreneur can’t tell a convincing story, I’m not investing. You call it soft. I call it fundamental.” Y- Combinator
In the world of information overload, people are reading less and less. So, response time is getting longer and longer. If you add in unclear communication, vague questions, and inadequate answers, it can very easily become excruciating slow. Take the time to craft your language, finding the balance between too much info and being short and sweet.
Craft your messages so you can set expectations from those around you, including the client so the communication process is much more effective.
You should keep in mind that not everyone thinks and analyzes things the same way you do. Be aware that various team members may require explanations in different ways, depending on their learning style and background. There are often times when you have the need to delegate a task to a team member who has no previous knowledge or background information of the task. Be sure to take the time to provide them with the information that they need to get a good, solid grasp on what is expected.
Some things are simply impossible to execute. If something was not planned for or communicated properly before the event, you have to realize the impact that may occur.
While appreciating people that take initiative on-site to help solve the problem, it’s important to communicate the expectations of how and when you would like tasks accomplished. Don’t assume someone will know how you desire tasks to be completed.
You are the Planner! When building your team, regardless of their expertise, you have the know-how needed to build your dream team. Remember to share your vision, especially when new colleagues join your team. Keep your expectations high, and ensure the importance of sticking to reasonable timelines and due dates is stressed. Whichever, way you choose to communicate – it is crucial to keep it consistent. These simple building blocks, when implemented correctly, will create a successful project and an enjoyable team.