Event planning is an exhausting process, you have to pay attention to the tiniest details to make sure everything goes according to the plan on D-day. Even with acute planning and careful deliberation every step of the way, you cannot overrule the possibility of a setback so you have to be ever ready to tackle such a situation.
Event management and project management are quite similar when it comes to the fundamentals. Both have a start and an end, include resources (human and financial), and require proper planning and execution.
In this article, we will walk you through event project management and a few tips and tricks to efficiently plan an event with project management tools.
What Is Event Project Management?
Event project management refers to the organization and management of an event. The event in question can be a high school party, a college farewell, a convocation, office parties, birthdays, etc.
No matter what the event is, there are tons of things to prepare before an event. It starts with booking a place to choosing a starter. Everything has to be planned ahead to make sure things run smoothly on a special day.
The process involves:
- Making reservations
- Ordering food
- Sending invites
- Handling transportation
- Booking hotels
- Planning decorations and much more.
We know there’s a lot to take in but everything is made much easier when you think of an event as a project and use the same principle to plan for the bid day.
What Makes Event Management and Project Management Similar?
Here are a few similarities between both event management and project management:
Milestones are common in both. The completion of each milestone means you are one step closer to the successful accomplishment of your goal. Milestones are also an effective way of staying on track and making sure that tasks are completed on time. Some examples of milestones in even management can include:
- Book a hall
- Send invitations
- Food menu etc.
2. To-do lists:
Project management and event management, both include to-do lists. A To-do list can guide you on the next step of the process. With the completion of each item on the list, you can tick it off and move on to the next one. Here is an example of a to-do list:
- Contact flower vendor
- Book an appointment at the spa
- Finalize the cake for the event
3. Cross-Team Collaboration:
Neither project management nor event management is a one-man job. You have to deal with multiple individuals working in different teams. That means you have to communicate and collaborate with each other to make sure things are executed perfectly. When it comes to event management, team collaboration could involve:
- The finance team takes care of the budget
- The décor team is in charge of all the decoration and setting
- The food team manages food, etc.
You have to make sure that every individual is on the same page to make sure that the event is executed without any disasters.
9 Tips Event Managers Can Learn from Project Managers
Event managers can learn some really useful tips and tricks from project managers. These tips will help you organize a perfect event that will leave a lasting impression in the mind of the attendees:
1. Understand The Event:
Before you start planning the event, you must understand every little detail of the event. Meet with the host and discuss everything to understand the scope of the event.
Ask the following questions:
- How many people do you plan to invite?
- Do you have a specific theme in mind?
- What is your budget for the event?
- What should be the exact time of the event?
Ask as many questions as you want to get clarity on the requirements of the host and what they expect of you.
2. Start With a Project Plan:
Once you have understood the details of the event, you must start planning everything. Planning can include the minutest of details such as the color of the curtains at the entrance, to bigger things such as the place of the event.
In addition, you have to carve out a workflow of how all the different things will progress.
- Devise a schedule defining different tasks
- Assign tasks to team members
- Set deadlines for the completion of each task
- Set start and end dates to keep an eye on the performance of your event management team
Discuss the project plan with your team members and make sure everyone is on the same page. Listen to their feedback and make changes wherever necessary to eliminate any risks or issues.
3. Set Milestones:
Now that you have a project plan in hand, you have to set milestones to make sure tasks are completed on time and everything progresses smoothly. Milestones are a way of measuring your success along the way. Here are a few examples that might help:
- Get 200 reservations in a week
- Send 100 invitations a month before the event
- Book a suitable place within 5 days
4. Communicate And Collaborate with Your Team:
As we mentioned earlier, event management is not a one-man job, you have to communicate and collaborate with your team to make sure everything there are no hiccups in the process.
Make sure that each and every member of your team understands his responsibilities and the things expected of him.
Be it communication on the day of the event or earlier, make sure that everyone is on the same page, only then can you achieve your goals successfully.
5. Track Your Progress:
Tracking your progress over time will not help you efficiently manage one event but will also come in handy when managing future events. It will help you identify the loopholes in your planning, management, and execution. It will also allow you to keep an eye on the performance of your team.
You can also determine the work progress and make adjustments wherever necessary to make sure tasks are completed on time.
6. Lead Your Team Confidently:
As a team lead, you should lead your team confidently and exhibit your leadership skills while leading your team. Your leadership qualities will be challenged when you encounter something unexpected at an event.
The way you deal with unexpected situations and resolve issues will be evidence of your leadership skills.
Plans are always susceptible to sudden changes. You should be able to quickly adapt your plan and make sure that the event is not delayed in any way.
Also, this flexibility should be a part of your leadership qualities. Give your team members the freedom to communicate their issues with you. Be flexible enough to listen to their feedback and change your plan, if suitable.
8. Organize A Great Event
No matter how many troubles you went through or how many mishaps happened behind the scenes, all that matters is the finished product. As long as people enjoy themselves at the event and there are no obvious accidents, you are all good!
Part is over but not your job. There is one last step to completing an event project management and that is debriefing. Just as in project management, project managers analyze and their performance and issues at the end of the project, as an event manager you should hold a meeting with key individuals and discuss the success or failure of the event.
Identify the gaps in your performance and make sure you work on them in the future.
Event Management Process: The Five Stages of Event Planning
Event management processes can often seem daunting and intimidating when tackling one, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
With careful preparation and organization, every step toward hosting great events can become quite an enjoyable experience for all involved parties.
Broken down logically, here are five stages required for creating successful plans:
Step 1: Research & Planning
This involves identifying the target audience, researching local laws governing events within certain areas; establishing budgets and sponsorships if necessary; determining date(s), venues & activities related will occur accordingly, plus many other considerations needed, depending upon the type of occasion going to host.
Step 2: Promotion & Publicity
Develop advertisements, collaborate with PR firms, and reach out to the crowd via flyers/newsletters/radio adverts, magazines, and even television outlets to attract interest and possible attendees.
Optimizing visibility surrounding the planned outing through social media websites increases the odds of more sign-ups and a better chance of success.
Step 3: Administration Tasks
Securing caterers, suppliers, and entertainers, preparing equipment delivered in advance.
Sending invites offering early bird discounts, compiling a list of contacts, webinar invitations, using cloud storage systems, managing registration procedures, ensuring the person responsible for signing contracts is willing to take responsibility for payments and services incurred, closing last-minute registration options, and further promoting upcoming celebrations.
This step critically ties together everything planned for keeping track of progress and ensuring smooth operation.
Step 4: Executing Onsite Activities
Ensuring production quality remains consistently high whatever unfolds.
Direction is discussed with designated managers for each section/division to maintain tight control, ordering equipment supplies, double-checking arrangements, enforcing safety regulations, responding promptly to assistant requests, and providing feedback to participants.
All while still managing day-to-day operations efficiently.
Step 5: Post-Evaluation Analysis
Gathering data, monitoring success trends, holding focus group questionnaires, analyzing feedback on ways organizers could improve the given moment, creating reports, summarizing experiences, and assessing methods to achieve aimed results, etc.
Insights gained are invaluable to build upon established plans and better meet the demands of the growing customer base for future endeavors.
Hacks to Make Your Event Successful:
1. Set your event goals
Establishing clear objectives for your event is crucial for guiding the planning process and measuring success. Consider the purpose of the event, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or celebrating achievements. Define specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to ensure that your event has a focused direction and that your team understands the desired outcomes.
2. Make a list of possible risks
Identifying and addressing potential risks is essential for mitigating their impact on your event. Consider factors such as weather, budget overruns, vendor cancellations, and logistical challenges. Create a comprehensive risk management plan that includes risk identification, evaluation, response planning, and monitoring. By proactively addressing potential risks, you can minimize their impact and ensure a successful event.
3. Set deadlines and assign roles:
Break down the event planning process into smaller tasks and assign deadlines for each. This helps maintain a clear timeline and ensures tasks are executed efficiently. Assign roles to team members based on their skills and expertise, ensuring everyone understands their responsibilities. Regularly review progress and adjust deadlines as needed to ensure a smooth planning process.
4. Set an event project scope
Defining the scope of your event is critical for maintaining focus and preventing scope creep, which can lead to increased costs and delays. Outline key aspects of your event, such as its size, duration, target audience, and budget. A well-defined project scope provides a solid foundation for your planning process and helps ensure that your event stays on track.
5. Track progress using Gantt charts
Gantt charts are a valuable project management tool for tracking progress and visualizing the timeline of your event. They display tasks, deadlines, and dependencies, allowing you to easily identify potential bottlenecks and adjust plans accordingly. Using Gantt charts can help you stay organized, manage resources effectively, and ensure the timely completion of tasks.
6. Monitor and evaluate
Continuous monitoring and evaluation are vital for ensuring the success of your event. Regularly assess the progress of your planning, track budget, and resource allocation, and make adjustments as needed. Use project management tools and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure performance against your goals.
The post-event analysis is equally important for identifying areas of improvement and learning from your experiences. Collect feedback from attendees, sponsors, and team members to gain insights into what worked well and what could be improved. Analyze the results against your initial objectives to determine the overall success of your event. By monitoring and evaluating your event planning process, you can continually improve and refine your strategies, ensuring that future events are even more successful.
Event Management Software – nTask:
How great would it be if you could manage events online with the help of a tool just like PMs do? Worry not, you can use the usual project management tools for event management too. nTask, for example, is an ideal tool for event project management.
The tool is recognized as one of the most efficient ones in the market, trusted by over 250,000 teams across 150+ countries. nTask is turning heads with its long list of advanced features, a very user-friendly interface, and very affordable pricing.
Some of its key features include:
- You divide your project into tasks and subtasks
- Allocate resources to each task
- Set deadlines for tasks
- Set start and end dates to keep an eye on your team’s performance
- Track the progress of your team
- View your performance via Gantt charts, Kanban boards, etc.
- Communicate with your team via comments
- Share files, images, videos, etc.
- Set priority status for each task
- Customize your workflow according to your preferences
- Integrate with other apps to unify your workspace
- Download iOS and Android apps to stay updated on the go
- Notifications, alerts, and reminders keep you informed
With the features mentioned above and tons of others, we are sure event management will be a walk in the park for you.
Sign up now and enjoy the perks of an efficient tool!
Top Discussions on Event Project Management
How is an event managed as a project?
An event is managed as a project by adopting a systematic approach that encompasses several key steps:
- Initiation: This first stage involves identifying the event’s purpose, goals, and objectives. Stakeholders and decision-makers come together to discuss and agree upon the event’s overall vision, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and expectations.
- Planning: The planning phase is where the event is broken down into smaller, manageable tasks. Organizers create a detailed timeline, set deadlines, and assign roles and responsibilities to team members. This stage also involves crafting a budget, developing a marketing and communication plan, and selecting appropriate vendors and venues.
- Execution: With the plans in place, the event execution phase kicks off. Team members execute their assigned tasks, while the project manager oversees the entire process, ensuring coordination and communication among all stakeholders. This phase includes activities such as securing permits, designing event materials, setting up the venue, and engaging with attendees.
- Monitoring and control: Throughout the planning and execution stages, the project manager continuously monitors progress, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within the allocated budget. Project management tools, such as Gantt charts and dashboards, are used to track progress, identify potential bottlenecks, and make necessary adjustments to keep the event on track.
- Closure and evaluation: Once the event is complete, the project moves into the closure phase. Organizers gather feedback from attendees, sponsors, and team members to assess the event’s overall success. This information is used to evaluate performance against the initial goals and objectives and identify areas for improvement in future events.
By managing an event as a project, organizers can streamline the planning process, efficiently allocate resources, and ensure a successful outcome that meets the goals and expectations of all stakeholders.
What does a project manager do in the event management process?
In the event management process, a project manager plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of the event. Their responsibilities include:
- Defining the project scope: The project manager collaborates with stakeholders to establish clear event objectives, target audience, budget, and timeline.
- Developing a detailed plan: The project manager creates a comprehensive plan that outlines specific tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities for each team member. They also develop a risk management strategy to mitigate potential issues.
- Coordinating with stakeholders: They maintain open communication channels with all stakeholders, including clients, sponsors, vendors, and team members, to ensure that everyone is aligned and well-informed throughout the event planning process.
- Managing resources: The project manager allocates resources, such as budget, personnel, and equipment, effectively and efficiently to ensure that the event is executed within the established constraints.
- Monitoring progress: They continuously track the progress of the event planning and execution using project management tools, such as Gantt charts, to identify and address any bottlenecks or deviations from the plan.
- Risk management: The project manager identifies, assesses, and mitigates potential risks that may affect the event’s success. This may involve developing contingency plans and adjusting the project timeline or resources as needed.
- Quality assurance: They ensure that all aspects of the event meet the desired quality standards and adhere to the established objectives and goals.
- Evaluating success: After the event’s completion, the project manager gathers feedback from stakeholders and analyzes the event’s performance against the set objectives. They use this information to identify areas of improvement for future events and to measure the overall success of the event.
Is project management necessary for a successful event?
Absolutely, project management is an essential component for the success of any event. By employing project management principles and practices, event organizers can effectively achieve the following:
- Streamlined planning process: Project management helps event organizers break down the event into smaller, manageable tasks, assign responsibilities to team members, and create a timeline for completion. This organized approach ensures that every aspect of the event is considered and executed efficiently.
- Risk minimization: Through project management, event organizers can identify potential risks and challenges before they become critical issues. This proactive approach allows them to develop contingency plans and adjust resources as needed to mitigate risks and ensure the event’s success.
- Efficient resource allocation: Project management ensures that resources, including budget, personnel, and equipment, are allocated appropriately and optimally. This ensures that the event is executed within the established constraints and maximizes the return on investment.
- Clear communication: Effective project management fosters open communication between team members and stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is informed and aligned throughout the event planning process.
- Goal achievement: By setting clear objectives and using project management tools to monitor progress, event organizers can ensure that the event meets its goals and delivers value to attendees, sponsors, and partners.
- Attendee satisfaction: A well-executed event, made possible through effective project management, results in a positive experience for attendees, which can lead to increased loyalty, repeat attendance, and positive word-of-mouth promotion.
What Are The Core Features of an Event Plan?
Organizing a successful event is no easy task. It requires planning, coordination, and oversight to ensure the event runs smoothly and meets any objectives set out by its organizers.
A key component of successful event management is creating an effective event plan – this will provide you with a clear strategy to follow when coordinating your event.
But what are the core features of an event planner?
The most important feature of an effective event plan is setting objectives.
Objectives help define why the event is being organized and what outcomes it should achieve once completed – substantial (e.g., attendee numbers) or intangible (e.g., improved customer loyalty).
Once objectives have been determined, goals can then be created that act as specific milestones along the way to achieving those outcomes.
Scheduling plays a key role in any well-developed event plan – timing needs to be considered for all aspects such as promotion, registration, setup/pack down, etc., taking into account potential issues arising from external forces like peak business demand or availability of staff/volunteers, etc.
Having appropriate timelines for each stage also helps identify any potential risks associated with running your particular event, e.g., if registrations need processing after sales close, enough time must be allocated between these two stages to allow them to complete without issue!
Budgeting appropriately for your events should also form part of your overall planning process – this includes considering not just fixed costs like venue hire but also factors such as personnel costs, food & beverage spend, decorating costs, etc., allowing you to make sure there’s sufficient money available throughout the entire duration of your event plan’s implementation period.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider insurance policies before commencing proceedings to avoid unexpected expenses.
Finally, defining responsibilities among relevant people should not be overlooked – assigning roles ensures tasks are completed on time while ensuring everyone knows their responsibilities and how they fit into the wider team effort needed to run even successfully.
Communicating expectations upfront allows people employed temporarily to understand their duties quickly & easily without having to go over the same guidelines numerous times during the planning process, ultimately registering maximum efficiency during the actual day’s execution!