It takes an entire team of dedicated individuals to create a large-scale event that draws big crowds and goes off without a hitch. But with a lot of people working on one event, it can be a bit chaotic if you don't know how to manage them well, so delegation and communication are just as important here as they are with any other aspect of your business.
Having a “dream team” to help plan and run your event not only makes everything go off more smoothly, it brings a lot more brainpower and varied perspectives to the project. That can elevate the entire experience – for you and for your attendees.
Here are some of our top tips for managing your event planning team from day one.
1. Set goals, so your entire team is going in the same direction
What do you want to achieve with this event? Set measurable key performance metrics (benchmarks) for key components and for the overall event, so you can assess afterward how you did. Create a timeline so you can prioritize and track tasks.
2. Identify key roles/responsibilities
Your dream team should consist of the individuals you assign to head up the key components of your event. Those will depend on the scope, purpose, and location of your production. Each of these people will likely have a few (or quite a few) staff or volunteers under their direction. This simple structure increases efficiency without sacrificing details or dropping some balls along the way.
(By the way, do not assume that volunteers don’t need to be managed or that it is somehow “rude” to do that. People need to know their roles and what is expected, and you need to control who is doing what, when.)
3. Consider using event planning software
Technology exists to help, so take advantage of it. The right automated workflow management platform can streamline collaboration and communication, keep everyone on track, and make it far easier to ensure nothing is overlooked. You’ll get better results without wasting people’s time.
4. Communicate frequently
Don’t use technology as an excuse to avoid regular in-person meetings, though. It’s easier to hash out complex ideas in person, and live meetings keep the group energized as a team, whether everyone is in the same room or the meetings are virtual. If someone misses a meeting, make sure the notes are immediately available via your software.
In the meantime, use email, text, and/or chat to keep the team updated on planning progress or any exciting new developments as they occur.
5. Thank and celebrate as you go
As the event director, you are the leader of your dream team. Whether they are paid or volunteers, they are in effect employees, even if you regard them more as colleagues. Savvy “people managers” know that thanks never go out of style. It is highly motivating to know your work is appreciated, so recognize individuals and thank them for their great work before, during and after your event. Do it in meetings or group communications so everyone can bask in the glory. Deliberately celebrate progress as you go, too – things such as signing that amazing headline act or presenter, or snagging a new sponsor.
The better you treat your event planning team, the harder they will work. And the more enthusiastic they will be about re-upping for a return engagement next year. Having a team of event veterans is truly a dream come true for any event director. All that history builds on itself year after year, making the event exponentially better and making planning and execution more efficient.