Event management – part I

Organisation of events is the same project as producing cars or constructing a housing estate, which is why its preparation should be treated like that. Do we in Poland know how to manage projects, particularly the event ones? Experienced event managers or producers are able to organise even the most extensive event. They have been doing it for years according to their common action plans, but do they manage projects? Many of them will say yes, but the remaining part will certainly think twice.

When we talk about project management, this is not about a typical theoretical attitude one can read about in books, but rather about adapting a project management theory to part and parcel of event execution. Project management requires changing one’s attitude, putting effort into a proper plan of activities and communication in a project, which is often event organisers’ Achilles heel.

Good event management can help us, among others, increase control over our team’s activities, improve communication and significantly save time. Time devoted to planning a proper schedule, learning about a new system, familiarising oneself with a work-facilitating tool or writing a brief for a subcontractor or a new team member allows for saving a few valuable hours. This is the largest challenge a Polish event manager faces. The golden rule says that an hour devoted to planning a project saves up to 20 hours during its execution. So what can 2 hours of planning do?

For some people, the best part of an event execution includes developing schedules, assigning tasks to particular people, planning activities into time slots, creating documents which determine hierarchy in a team and flow of communication. For others, this is just a waste of time. Many assume that everything is clear and it can be quickly discussed during a meeting, in an email or via phone. Of course, it can. Nevertheless, let’s imagine we have fifteen very large event projects in a month. Without a proper plan, we can have problems to pay attention to every single detail in every project, and assigning tasks, looking to communication, control and time become something organisers value most.

What to begin with?

Changing your attitude towards your work is the basis. Give yourself time for planning and just do it. Knowing how to do it is not enough. Start doing it.

  1. Work on communication processes in your team so that everyone knows how to pass and generate information.
  2. Set priorities for activities, do not let yourself get carried by emotions, avoid chaos. New ideas are always welcomed, but they do not have to disturb previous actions
  3. Use available work-facilitating tools, such as project management software or platforms for the purchase of conference and event services. Learning how to operate them may require time, but as you know, time devoted to learning new things is never wasted, but gives you some extra hours.

One has to grow mentally to properly and effectively manage projects. It is important not to stick to common action plans. The motto “Think outside the box” is appropriate here. The fact that we have done something in a given way does not mean that we cannot try something different, something which could facilitate our work. This is similar to getting used to a new phone or computer. At the beginning its functionalities seem very complicated, but in the course of time synchronisation of all devices and available functions becomes something that makes our life easier, saves time and we cannot imagine our lives without them.

Soon we will provide you with some more tips showing how to use event management tools.