7 Tips to Keep Your Event To-Do List Manageable
Oct 07, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan

to-doYour company has been awarded a large conference and you are so excited about the prospect of planning this event. After the champagne is gone, the fear sets in. How am I going to manage all the tasks that is going to make this event a smashing success? The answer is time management, delegation, and creating a manageable to-do list. This process can bring fear, procrastination, and self-loathing into the hearts of the most experienced meeting planners.

According to Adam Pash and Gina Trapani, the co-authors of Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 7 great ideas from the book, as they apply to the event industry.

#1: Action!

Event meeting services planners are usually in the business of giving orders. Make sure your to-do list a collection of specific orders that requires little thinking on the part of the doer. 

#2: Be Specific

Getting your CMP, checking out different AV providers for your event, and learning new technology isn’t specific and doesn’t belong on your to-do list. These are goals or general project management ideas. However, the following statements would belong on the to-do list:

  1. Go the CIC website and download the CMP application.
  2. Call AV Event Solutions at 888-249-4903 and set up meeting to discuss event. 
  3. Read 1 MPI article about technology use in meetings (or download Tools, Technologies & Tips for Meetings)

#3: Break it down into a 5- to 30-minute task

"Managing the Product Launching Event" is not a task and cannot be handled in 30-minutes. David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity says, "Projects are not tasks; projects are a collection of tasks." Inspirational writer SARK breaks her tasks down into 5-minute increments, called "micromovements". "I’m a recovering procrastinator and I have a short attention span, so I invented micromovements as a method of completing projects in time spans of 5 minutes or less," she says. Again, here are some examples of easy tasks:

  1. Put a question on my Event Planners and Coordinators LinkedIn Group asking for recommendations for California event equipment companies.
  2. Call the Los Angeles CVB and to schedule conference call with them.
  3. Send out email to the event management team with availability dates to meet next week.

#4: Keep the List Short

Your to-do list should have no more than 20 daily tasks on it. 

#5: Prioritize

Ask yourself daily "What needs to be completed to make this event a huge success?" Those items are first. "What should be completed to make it successful?" Those are in the second group and lastly, "What would be nice to do?" If you complete this last group of items, great! If not, your event won’t suffer and neither will your reputation.

#6: Keep the List Moving and Focus on What’s Next

You need to know what tasks hinge on your completed task and keep the ball moving forward. For example, if you send out a RFP for renting audio visual equipment, and you give the vendors 2 weeks to respond, there is nothing to do on that front until the responses come in. Focus on the other elements of your event during that 2 week time period. 

#7: Log your Completed Tasks

Most planners, use some sort of project management system when planning a large event. Meeting Apps has several applications for meeting planners. Whatever you use, it is important to log a completion date and then communicate those completed items to the event team and client. 

Event planning in California? Give AV Event Solutions a call! They can supply you with state-of-the-art AV equipment, technical staff, as well as, an audio visual project manager. Call or request Express Quote today!

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