There is no doubt that planning an event is a stressful experience — and that’s why it’s best that we leave the pros to do it. If you are in the event organizing industry, you know that the process begins months before the actual big day, if you want to keep your sanity intact, that is. Whether you’re new to the business or have been at it for years, one can never be short on reminders on how to make sure that planners are relatively anxiety-free whenever there’s a booking. Anything that can be done to make the experience more efficient and the result stronger. Here are five ways to plan an event — minus the stress.
1. Organize your workspace and time
Efficient work habits and a decluttered desk make for an efficiently carried out event. When you know where things are and have quick access to your essentials, it will be easier and faster to get things done. Time is also of the essence and this does not mean devoting all of it to the planning process. Save time for yourself and take short breaks — and always allocate a part of your day to deal with unexpected happenings and last-minute client requests, which is one of the biggest hurdles to productivity (but is also often inevitable).
2. Always create detailed contracts
Take the time to read the fine print and make sure all elements of the event you organized are laid out in writing, down to the smallest detail. This prevents misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and manipulation. This goes for the contracts given by your suppliers and those that you create for your clients. Pricing estimates should include hidden charges and taxes, as well as other contingencies, so nobody feels they have been blindsided when the final billing comes.
3. Stick to the budget
While creating budget spreadsheets isn’t the fun part of event planning, it is absolutely necessary. There are plenty of apps you can use to make sure that your spending is still within the set budget, or you can rely on deal old ledgers and tables to keep track. Also, always set aside a safety fund amounting to some 5 to 20%, depending on the type of event you are handling.
4. Have a solid list of reliable suppliers
Every event planner should always have this core list of go-to suppliers for printing, catering, venue, transport, hotel bookings, corporate giveaways, hosting, entertainment, and more. While you are free to experiment with new partners, having this core list ensures that you are always safe whenever things need to be done rushed or during busy seasons.
5. Reduce last-minute changes
One of the biggest barriers to event planning productivity is last-minute changes. To prevent this from happening as much as possible, always lay your cards down at the planning stage and set expectations with your client, so that there are no major alterations especially when the big day comes near. Your contracts should always have a clause that institutes penalties for cancelations, for instance. Last-minute changes are inevitable, but you can certainly discourage and limit them.