What is time management? Tips and tricks for event planners

If you’re an event planner, you’d know that time management is an important skill to have. You need to be one step ahead at most times, prioritising your to-do list to create events that run smoothly. 

Knowing how much time you have for the lead-up and the event itself will help you formulate your event management plan. 

How important is time management for effective event management?

The best events are those that have every detail planned out, from the moment your guests receive your event promo right through to the days following the event. 

Event managers need to execute every necessary step to create a flawless event precisely. 

And time management plays a significant role in creating an effective event management plan.

In the lead up to the event, time management helps you:

  • Plan when to send out invitations
  • Promote your event via email blasts, social media and more
  • Handle registrations 
  • Book venues, speakers and other suppliers

At the event, time management helps you:

  • Set up the venue 
  • Have suppliers on-site at the correct time (e.g. caterers, audio, ushers)
  • Welcome guests and speakers 
  • Run the event to a schedule

After the event, time management helps you:

  • Pack up the venue
  • Send thank you gifts or notes to your suppliers and speakers
  • Follow up with attendees 
  • Promote the success of your event on social media

 

Here are 4 top tips for event managers to improve their time management skills

An organised event manager is going to stand out. You’ll have the entire event planned, and your team (including suppliers) will all be on the same page. 

If you want to improve your time management skills to be a better event organiser, here are our top tips. 

Plan ahead

The best-made plans start with knowing your end goal. What is the nature of the event, and what does your client want to see? Are you creating a gala with over 500 guests, or are you hosting an online event with a maximum of 100 guests? 

Once you know your end game, you can start working backwards to create your event management plan. This includes creating a timeline. 

You should know what needs to be done and by what date. Make sure you leave some time for unexpected things that pop up (like a supplier who can no longer provide a service etc.). 

Planning helps you and your team all work on achieving the same goals and meeting deadlines.

Use a Project Timeline

A Project Timeline is your best tool when it comes to event time management. Whether you’re using an excel or word document or a Project Management program like Monday.com or Asana, make sure you refer to it often.

If you’re working with a team or coordinating an event, it’s best to make sure you share your Project Timeline so everyone can see the deadlines.

Using your Project Timeline will help you see when there are busy or quiet moments in the planning to help make time for yourself – something many overly busy event planners tend to forget! And this is especially important if you’re running multiple events. You don’t want to burn yourself out and drop the ball by missing important deadlines.

Open communication

Communication plays a major role in time management for events. It’s easy to take on every project that comes your way, but sometimes, you need to ask questions at the start to make sure you have time to take on a project. 

And if you don’t have time, let your client know you can’t take on their event. The alternative is becoming great at delegating and using a team. 

If you’re leading a team, you will need to master the art of clear and open communication. You all need to be on the same page and working towards the same goals for a successful event. 

When you’re all on the same page, you’ll find your time management is enhanced as you’re not explaining the same thing over and over. You delegate clearly and leave the task up to them to complete in time. 

Remove any distraction

When you’re planning an event, you can’t afford to get distracted. And let’s be honest, most of us have something that will distract us and take our mind off the job at hand. 

The biggest issue with distractions is that they aren’t always the best use of our time and are not likely to have been included in your event time management plan. 

For example, you may be posting about the event on social media, and before you know it, you’re scrolling aimlessly and laughing at funny memes about cats. Or you’re working from home, and your dog pops over for a quick pat, and just like that, you’re out in the backyard playing fetch. 

All excellent distractions, by the way, but a distraction all the same! 

One way to remove distractions (besides locking yourself away from the world) is to schedule your ‘known distractions’ into your event plan! Take time out to scroll through your social or play with your dog, and so on. 

Make your ‘distractions’ a part of your time management plan. 

Time management for event planners is a skill and quality that often comes naturally

Most of the time, event planners are naturally talented when it comes to organisation and planning. You’re meticulous in paying attention to details, and you know how to capture every item for a successful event. 

Remember to be kind to yourself and factor in time for you, your distractions, and multiple clients, and you’ll find that you’ve got this time management gig down pact.