The process of planning an event isn’t simply a race to the finish. In fact, event planning is more of a marathon, a process where you need to think ahead and pace yourself in order to reach the finish line. That means having every single detail organized.
Organization is crucial for any event, no matter the size. And a successful event starts with the right organizational tools.
Why Organization Matters
When you’re hosting an event, having to focus on the never-ending list of details can feel overwhelming. It may start out simple with just a couple of plates spinning, and as your event date approaches, you continue to add plates, and it's critical that you keep them ALL spinning.
In order to achieve this, having the right organization matters.
Staying organized before, during, and after your event will help you set and meet deadlines. It will also help to keep you and your team accountable while enabling you to see what needs to be done when it needs to be done, and what you have already accomplished.
In order to become and stay organized, you’ll need the right tools.
4 Event Organization Essentials
Planning a successful event doesn’t have to be an obstacle. With a clearly designed timeline, list of tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities, you can keep ALL the plates spinning ALL the time.
Utilizing these 4 event organization essentials will reduce your stress and help to keep everyone on track.
1. A Place for Ideas
An event starts with an idea. But once you start planning, that idea gets bigger and there are more moving parts than you can handle at once. With all of the things floating around inside your head, you’ll want a spot to quickly and easily jot down your thoughts and ideas.
And, chances are you’re not always going to be in a place where you can record those lists and must-dos exactly where you want. So having a place to physically or electronically write down your thoughts, ideas, and action items will ensure you remember everything.
Utilize a note-taking app, create a voice memo, or keep a notebook on hand to clear your mind when you’re on the go. I personally send myself emails, and then once in front of my computer, move the email to an actionable list so I have certainty that it will get done.
2. Event-planning / Project Management software
The right all-in-one software can help reduce the stress associated with planning an event. There are plenty of options out there to choose from to help you manage every detail.
You need to make sure that your event information is organized as well. Most software systems will provide you with spreadsheets and checklists, timelines, and venue mapping tools, as well as a place to keep your event budget on track. When looking at software, make sure that it is collaborative and you have the ability to view tasks and deadlines, assign responsibilities, and collaborate on specific tasks so that all information is readily accessible and organized accordingly.
3. Online Document Storage
In addition to your project management software, you should also have an electronic copy of all spreadsheets, files, contracts, etc. stored in an online document storage system.
Tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive can help you organize your documents to make them easy to find and accessible to anyone who needs them. Create your own system of folders and subfolders to make things easier to find when you’re out and about or need to find something at the last minute.
Having everything stored in one place allows you to easily attach links to emails, enables collaboration, and ensures that everyone is working from the most current version, which is critical when planning an event since things are constantly being updated.
Make sure to include items such as a list of ideas, meeting notes, copies of documents and contracts, as well as electronic payments and correspondence.
4. Event binders
Sure, there are plenty of digital organization tools out there, and we encourage you to use them! Even so, you can’t underestimate the importance of having a hard copy of your event details.
Great event planners have contingency plans in place for everything that could potentially pop up. A hard copy of event details is one example!
Think about it. Although online tools can be incredibly helpful, technology isn’t always reliable. There have been moments in every professional event planner’s life when their phone or laptop isn’t working, and their event binder becomes a lifesaver. (Every good planner has a contingency plan...the event binder is our secret weapon).
Organize your binder into sections that make sense for you. And don’t forget to keep it updated regularly with hard copies of contracts, checklists, seating charts, budgets, a list of contacts, timelines, receipts, and all other essential documents.
No matter the type of event - in-person, virtual, or hybrid - your event binder holds your most important event details and reference items. (And, is a planners bible when on-site).
Be Bright Events created our own project management portal that streamlines everything making it super simple for our clients to know what WE are working on, what items THEY need to complete, and constantly staying updated throughout the entire process. We would love to help you streamline your event planning and reduce the stress associated with keeping all of the plates spinning at the same time!
Schedule a Free Consultation to find out more about how our team can help organize all the details for you!