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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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Monday
Sep152014

Planning & Timeline Process

Planning & Timeline ProcessMANAGING THE DETAILS
This is what meeting and event planners are famous for and everyone has tools to help them be successful. Everyone develops his or her own style and methods, but generally detail management includes these elements:

 

  • TASKS... determine the tasks needed to be completed to ensure a successful event

  • ORDER... determine the order in which these tasks need to be completed

  • DEADLINE... determine the time by which they need to be completed

  • DELEGATE... determine if, and to whom, they can be delegated

This is where you'll hear those magic words:
TIMETABLES, WORKPLANS AND CHECKLISTS

THREE-PART TIMELINE
One simple way to begin managing your information is to break your timeline into three parts:

 

  1. PRE-EVENT or MEETING

  2. ON-SITE

  3. POST-EVENT or MEETING

You can then add the functional sub-categories under each part, like event design, speaker recruitment, marketing and promotion, registration, site selection, etc. Determine what needs to be accomplished during each phase.

MANAGEMENT TIMELINE (SAMPLE TIMELINE)

12-18 MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT

 

  • Suggest program and "needs" list subjects

  • Define audiences

  • Determine needs

  • Draft theme/title

  • Determine pricing

  • Establish program budget

  • Select dates

  • Conduct site inspections

  • Book meeting, banquet, and sleeping room space

9-12 MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT

 

  • Determine speakers

  • Determine agenda: business and social

  • Contact speakers

  • Contract transportation: ground and air

  • Coordinate facility needs

  • Send "save the date" mailings to audiences

  • Solicit exhibits and sponsors

6-9 MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT

 

  • Review program needs

  • Review audio visual needs

  • Review and refine budget

  • Select catering and event menus and themes

  • Communicate with vendors

  • Establish registration procedure

  • Design registration materials

  • and so on...

USING A WORKPLAN
Once you have determined the tasks, give them a deadline and delegate. Responsibilities may be assigned to individuals, groups, committees, or suppliers, such as hotels, caterers, etc. Even if you are the ONLY person working on your event, suppliers or vendors do have a place in your delegation timeline. They need to get back to you in a timely way that works for you; you need to get signed contracts and guarantees back to them. Through the WORKPLAN you can manage the details.