Top corporate event planners are either good at their jobs – brilliant, even – or they just aren’t. The brilliant ones know the value of each event for promoting their company’s corporate branding, and seem to have enough creative tricks up their sleeves to pull off experiences that resonate deeply, engage and impress.
Another key quality that successful event planners possess is their exceptional organisational skills. They are good at juggling the finer details, reassuring their clients or bosses that all is under control, delegating tasks, pushing back on ideas or requests when they have to – and they have effective time management skills.
In fact, effective time management skills are quite ‘up there’ on the professional expertise list for any event planner – because if you don’t know how to orchestrate your own work life and manage your own work commitments, then how could you possibly do it for your corporate events?
The good news is that there is an abundance of advice for those event planners who need to improve their time management skills
According to a Mind Tools blog, goal setting, prioritisation, managing interruptions, and minimising the chance of procrastination are key components of effective time management. We also add ‘appropriate technology’ to the list of measures that event planners can use to manage their time more efficiently.
Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals is one way that corporate event planners can ensure they manage their time correctly. Goals should always be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. The best way to develop SMART goals is to write down a statement for each that reflects each letter of the acronym. For this, a Your Coach blog suggests asking yourself the following questions to flesh out each of your SMART goals and objectives:
- What exactly do I want to achieve?
- What steps do I need to take to reach this goal?
- By when will I need to achieve this goal?
- Who do I need to involve?
- What are the conditions and limitations for the task?
- Are there possible alternative ways of reaching my objectives?
Goals are prioritised according to their importance and urgency. Being able to appropriately prioritise a task involves the ability to understand relationships between different activities. How might one task affect another? How much time does one activity need compared to the next? Here, a simple project management tool may come in handy to set time frames and help event planners think through all the variables.
Even if an event planner has all their ducks in a row, there are bound to be interruptions to their workflow and processes. This is the nature of life and event planning. Effective time management skills include the ability to reprioritise goals and tasks so that processes can still run to schedule. Again, a project management tool can be useful here to recalculate and set new time frames for a team. Working to a too tight schedule, which cannot accommodate such interruptions, is never a great idea, so event planners need to provide for wiggle room in all their planning for unforeseen interruptions and time delays.
Just don’t’ is the advice here. Different personality types handle work pressure differently, though. Some people thrive on doing things last-minute, others may drag their feet because they don’t know how to get a job done, so an event planner needs to know themselves and their team members well enough to understand the different work styles and who to allocate to a task. Putting the right people on a job and delegating tasks according to each person’s strengths and preferences is one way to prevent any feet-dragging out of disinterest or lack of skill.
Effective time management skills can be augmented by using appropriate RSVP software for events. RSVP software can help corporate event planners streamline their online registration and guest management processes – freeing up more of their time to focus on achieving their goals.
The RSVP Agency’s Event Compliance Checklist is another tool that event planners can use in their event planning process to dot their i’s and cross their t’s – to prevent last-minute emergencies by ensuring that they’ve properly followed event compliance procedures.