It's all in the timing

Everybody knows that event management and team building isn't rocket science, don't they? All you have to do is book a venue and lay on some lunch, get some audio-visual equipment set up and Bob's your Uncle. Isn't he?

Actually he isn't. My Uncle's name is Mark. And there is a difference between doing something and doing something well.

The process of event organisation can be simple if you understand the way it works and treat that process with respect. So many people get it all wrong and end up with an event that doesn't achieve their objectives, doesn't attract enough delegates and doesn't put a smile on the MD's face. And these people convince themselves that events aren't an effective marketing tool when the reality is that their events are not being used effectively.

The secret to successful event organisation is planning. Pure and simple. And the more time you give yourself to formulate each step of the process the more effective your planning will be. How can you plan, organise and stage a well-received event that really delivers if you only have a matter of weeks in which to do it?

Time is of the essence so give yourself as much as possible! Time to really consider every aspect of the conference, the awards ceremony, the roadshow. Time to look at your target audience and the best way to engage them. Time to look at your key event objectives and the best way to achieve them. Give yourself at least six months preparation time to organise the annual conference and you'll be amazed at the difference it will make.

An event has an absolute deadline to it. You can't squirm out of it or ask the boss for an extension, the date is the date and everything must be ready.

So how do you make absolutely sure that all those jobs will be done? Six months is a long time to plan something, how do you ensure that nothing slips through the net?

You start at the end, it's a little like time travel. Start with your vision of the finished event and work backwards from there. If you can see the event then you will be able to see the jobs that need to be done in order to create it.

For instance, your vision will include delegates so how do you make sure they attend in reality? Think of all the things you can do to persuade them to attend, think about how you will manage the invitation and registration processes. Make a list of all these jobs and then put them in chronological order.

Now you have the makings of an event schedule. A timeline that, once you have been through the same process for every aspect of the event, will tell you exactly what you need to do and when. It will give you key milestones and deadline dates and it will ensure that everything is ready in time.

And when your vision of the event matches the reality, believe me there is no buzz like it. Event management may not be rocket science but as with so many things in this life, it's all in the timing.

Author's Bio: 

Alan Hunt is a team building specialist with a keen sense of what works and what doesn't. He's been active in the Team Building world for more years than he cares to mention. The psychology of the individual and team dynamic is what makes him tick. His company, Sandstone ( is a leading provider of team building events, corporate retreats and away days.