The Four T’s of EvenT Planning
If you’re like us, you’re excited about event planning! There’s nothing like that giddiness you feel in your chest when the opportunity to plan an event comes your way. We know this feeling well, but we also know the overwhelming care and attention that event planning requires. It’s easy to talk the talk when conversating about your plans for an event. However, it’s the diligent and thorough preparation that can make or break your event. It’s necessary to be thoughtful about every aspect of your event: from start – to finish - to after the event.
As you plan your event, you want to keep in mind the four T’s of event planning. These don’t offer suggestions for party favors or tent rentals, but they help outline the mindset that can ensure thorough event planning.
Eyes on the clock! Your calendar is your best friend. Whether you have 6 months, 6 weeks, or 6 days until your event, every second is valuable. It’s important to map out your schedule as soon as you know your timeframe. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. You need to plan out your schedule to ensure success. In planning ahead, you can map out how and when you will inform your guests about the event. To increase event attendance, you need to adequately inform your attendees enough time in advance. Having your schedule mapped out ensures you’re not missing major pieces of your plan. When planning an event for a client, it’s your duty to monitor the timeline and enforce decisions that mediate the stress of running down to the wire. Waiting until the last minute can detract from strides you may have made earlier in your schedule. Altogether, use your time wisely and respectfully to ensure a successful event and a happy client.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Hellen Keller
A good team can transform the success of your event. You can’t do everything yourself; you will need some type of assistance along the way. Your team may be with you from the beginning or join mere hours before your event. Your team is anyone that contributes to the preparation or execution of the event. To coordinate this, there must be a leader. Having a strong leader to monitor a single vision of the event will prevent a confused team. You don’t need too many cooks in the kitchen. The leader should enforce one overall vision, which will alleviate confusion and gaps in event execution. Adding, a good leader has two key qualities: patience and communication. Patience is important to amplify good morale and protect your professional image to the client and everyone that works with you. If you lose your cool, you lose cooperation and respect. A good leader is a fantastic communicator. When delegating work to your team, communicating thoroughly increases their ability to complete tasks. Making sure everyone is informed about the mission will relieve stress in ways you never realized. That’s why you have a team, to delegate to and trust with completing goals for the event. A quality leader embraces teamwork and preps them accordingly.
Your schedule is made, and your team is working towards your goals. To further prepare you and your team, do a thorough walk-through of the event. This should happen a few times so that your team can picture what things will look like on event day. Help your team understand the event’s location and layout. Being able to picture the layout really makes a difference in alleviating confusion. If possible, do a walk-through of the location before the event. This way your team is familiar with the location, even knowing where to park and how long it may take them to arrive on the event day. After establishing the location, do a step-by-step walk-through of what each hour will look like. Informing your team of when and where they will need to be can prepare them to tackle tasks without needing major direction on the event day. Testing the schedule (almost like a dress rehearsal for a theater play) will make sure your team stays on script the day of the event.
Gratitude is a virtue in professional event planning. Continuous gratitude towards everyone involved with the event will boost the functionality of your event goals. Do not be mistaken, a good leader must be stern with quality expectations for the team and other vendors who provide you services. However, leading with thankfulness and respect will fortify event success + future business growth in ways you couldn’t imagine. After the event, continue to thank the members involved. Thank your team, thank your third-party vendors, thank the venue staff, thank your client, and thank anyone else you worked with. Saying thank you has never been more important because it helps to ensure that another opportunity for your business is right around the corner.
The four T’s of event planning help outline the mindset needed to ensure quality event planning is executed. Even planning entails the preparation and organization of more details than you may first consider. Planning your time, organizing your team, testing your plan, and thanking your acquaintances are all helpful reminders for professional event planning.