What is your event planning style?
- Do you stress about every single detail, or do you have a more laid-back attitude?
- Do you work on weekends, or do you manage to accomplish your tasks during the work week?
- Do you know how to delegate, or are you obsessed with micromanaging everyone and trying to do everything yourself?
Whether you’re planning a large conference or a niche seminar, your planning signature will impact the way people experience the event. It will also heavily impact your results.
How’s that possible?
When you aren’t able to delegate and want to have control over every logistic or communication element, you become the decision-making bottleneck and slow down the entire process.
You also run the risk of alienating your team, and even making some big mistakes, because no human being can juggle multiple important issues with a laser-focused mind.
You’ll miss something, and those errors may compromise your entire event’s success.
There are good and bad event planning styles.
To plan and run a powerful event, one must show a proactive and positive style based on cooperation and professionalism.
How can you improve your event planning style? We’ve prepared a few tips you may want to consider:
Tip 1. Become comfortable with uncertainty and lack of control
No matter how much you want to, it’s almost impossible to entirely control all the logistics. Things will happen before, during, and even after the event.
You’ll run out of time, and uncertain incidents (for example, flight delays or speakers getting sick at the last minute and being unable to attend) will always happen. There’s nothing you can do about it than to adjust, adapt, and learn to improvise.
Once you understand that there’s nothing completely under your control, your planning style will change, and you’ll become more confident that no matter what happens, you and your team will be able to solve it successfully.
Tip 2. Delegate tasks and delegate correctly
Planning an event is teamwork. You can’t do everything by yourself. That’s why delegating tasks (and delegating them appropriately) is an important aspect of improving your event planning team.
Make a list of all the planning aspects that need to be covered, and then decide who is the most qualified to tackle each task.
There are people on your team who might be good at running social media campaigns. Others may be familiar with event planning softwareand can give you a hand with digitizing the logistics.
Someone else may have good negotiation skills, so they’d be perfect for communicating with the different event suppliers (catering, the venue, audiovisual, etc.).
Don’t feel bad about delegating.
Your team members will be happy to understand their roles and execute. Plus, you’ll not only improve your planning style, but also show yourself as a true leader.
Tip 3. Stop micromanaging people
How old are your event planning team members? Are they 13 years old? Or are they grown-ups?
The answer is obvious; however, the tendency to micromanage others will lead to people on your team not feeling terribly confident about their skills (thinking you don’t trust them to do the job correctly) and suffering from a lack of autonomy, which is essential when enjoying your work.
So if you want to improve your event planning style, learn how to trust others.
Yes, people will make mistakes or maybe do things not exactly the way you wanted, but remember this: How many errors have you made in the past, and how many times have you underperformed?
Mistakes are inevitable in learning, so don’t annoy your team with micromanaging. Instead, inspire them to be autonomous and take action as they consider necessary.
Tip 4. Learn how to communicate with your team
Communication is key to both ensuring team efficiency and overcoming logistic-related challenges. If you don’t know how to communicate correctly, you might create even more confusion, and chances are you won’t be satisfied with the results.
The first step to becoming a better communicator is to learn how to actively listen. This means being totally present in the moment and actually understanding what the other person is saying.
Second, you’ll want to enter the dialogue with an open mind, accepting the fact that someone else may have a better idea.
Third, know that when people are treated rudely, they will interact as infrequently as impossible. So make sure you’re creating a space of trust for your team, so that everyone feels like they can express themselves without worrying about being ridiculed.
Learning how to plan events efficiently takes time. You won’t get it right not in the first, or the second or third time.
However, with practice, you’ll be able to adjust your planning style and actually see real improvement. The main secrets are to be ready for constant learning and quick problem-solving, and to have faith in your team.