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A series of articles about all facets of event planning with helpful hints, planning ideas, sample schedules and budgeting tips from the B&E Team.

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Administration & Leadership Skills

In conjunction with site and vendor selection, you, as the planner, will also attend to the daily administrative tasks necessary to put on an event or meeting. Administration is where communication with your audiences will take place.

Administration & Leadership Skills

This is where you will determine appropriate mailing lists and how to handle RSVP's or registrations. How will the mailing happen? Will you use volunteers or mailing houses? Create the graphics and coordinate the printing of all your written materials as early as possible. This is your promotion and publicity for your event. If staff or volunteers are needed, start recruiting them early.

The administration portions of the task list and budget usually include registration, name badges, financial record keeping, database, and computer work. Developing a smooth system that allows checks and balances along the way will help you feel confident that the paperwork is getting handled. A lot of meeting planning is telephone and paper work! The development of clear instructions to the registrants in all your materials will save time and money throughout the meeting process!

Good communication with your attendees is only half of the successful meeting equation. The other half is good communication with your selected vendors. This means ordering the food and beverages, the room blocks, the room setup, the flowers, and the awards! Hopefully, you have selected a great team and they are supporting you all the way! But they are not mind readers...let them know in writing, in diagrams, charts, and phone calls what you expect--what you are planning, what you need, and when you need it. Lack of information and lack of feeling for the big picture are two of the biggest problems in planning an event. You, as the planner, appreciate a timely response from your vendors, and they appreciate the appropriate direction from you.

For a large event or trade show, extra staffing and assistance is necessary. There are companies and coordinators that can manage the entire registration for your event--handling reservations, organization, name badges, and staffing. Also, there are staffing companies that can offer assistance on a temporary, as-needed basis--data entry of names, greeters, setup help, etc. The benefit of these companies is that they assume all the liability for the employees, you just pay an hourly wage.