Event project management refers to the entire process involved in planning and executing events. There’s a lot that goes into this, which means there are many different skills event project managers should develop.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the main functions of event project management and uncover some of the best tips to help you overcome common event management issues.
What is Event Project Management?
Event project management is the process of planning, organizing, and executing events. This is done to achieve specific event goals - including pulling the event off on budget and within the right timeline.
Event project management involves many different tasks. To be a successful event project manager, you need to have a wide-ranging skillset in many different areas.
Some of the main duties involved in the event planning process include:
- Setting event goals: Clearly define the goals and objectives of the event, including what you want to achieve with the event and who the target audience for the event is.
- Event planning: Developing a detailed project plan that outlines tasks, responsibilities, timelines, and resources needed to execute the event successfully.
- Budgeting: Creating a realistic budget for the event and making sure that all aspects of the event fall within this budget.
- Team coordination: An event planner needs to put together and manage a team to make sure all tasks for the event are properly handled.
- Venue selection: Choosing the right venue that suits the event's size, style, and logistical requirements is an important role of an event project manager.
- Vendor management: Event management teams need to choose and coordinate with vendors. This could include caterers, decorators, and technical support providers, to ensure they deliver according to the event's specifications.
- Marketing and promotion: A key part of the event planning process is developing and implementing a marketing strategy to promote the event, attract attendees, and build anticipation.
- Logistics: Event project management is mainly focused on logistics. This means managing details like transportation, signage, security, and on-site operations to ensure the event runs smoothly.
These are some of the main functions that event planners carry out. However, project management for an event covers every step in the entire event process - from planning the event right through to event execution.
Event Project Management: Best Tips
There’s a lot that goes into managing successful events. As an event project manager, you need to wear many different hats and develop many different skills.
To help you pull this off, here are some of the best tips for successful event management.
Define Your Objectives
Begin by clearly defining the goals and objectives of your event.
What do you want to achieve? Who is your target audience? Always start the event planning process with the end in mind.
Having a clear understanding of your objectives will guide all your planning and decision-making. This means making smarter decisions in every phase of event planning and management - ultimately helping make your event a success.
Create a Detailed Plan
Develop a comprehensive project plan that outlines all the tasks, responsibilities, and timelines for your event.
A well-structured plan is crucial for keeping everyone on the same page and ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. This is essential for solid event management, as you will have so many different things going on at once. Using software to help you control this is a good idea.
Establish a realistic budget and allocate funds to different aspects of your event, such as venue, catering, entertainment, marketing, and staff. Keep a contingency fund for unexpected expenses.
If you think the client’s budget is unrealistic, make sure you address this from the start. It’s also important to select from a wide range of vendors and compare quotes and reliability to ensure you know exactly how much the event will cost.
An enormous part of being an event manager is carefully sticking to a budget. Make sure you have a clear plan for pulling this off from the very start of the event planning process.
Use the Right Event Project Management Tools
As there are so many different elements that go into event management, you’ll want to make sure you use the right tools to stay on top of every detail.
Event management software can make your life a lot easier. You’ll be able to budget with greater accuracy, enhance communications, stay in control of all your vendors more easily, and more.
If you want to make sure you improve the success of any future events, investing in the right software solution is one of the most effective ways to do it.
Build a Skilled Team
Your event will only be as good as the team behind it. Focus on putting together a competent and dedicated team to help you execute the event. Clearly define roles and responsibilities, and communicate regularly to ensure everyone is on track.
Try to get your event team together early on so that you have enough time to properly brief and train everyone. The better your event management team is, the better your event will be.
Select the Right Venue
Choose a venue that suits the size and style of your event. Consider factors like accessibility, parking, and amenities. Always try to visit the venue in person to assess its suitability.
As an event planner, it’s always a good idea to have a list of available venues that you’re already connected with. This will help you find the right venue for each event more easily.
As an event owner involved in event project management, it’s a great idea to try to make your venue as versatile as possible. Try to see how you can utilize different spaces in your venue for different types of events. The more versatile your venue is, the more events you can book.
Select the Right Vendors
One of the most critical roles in event project management is choosing the right vendors for each event.
Carefully vet and select vendors, including caterers, decorators, and technical support. Ask for referrals and check reviews to ensure they can meet your event's needs and standards.
The longer you work in events, the more you’ll get to know different vendors and how they operate. It’s a good idea to keep a list of close vendors who you use regularly. This can help you secure more reliable service from them, and possibly even get special vendor discounts.
Make Registration and Ticketing a Smooth Process
If you’re in charge of ticketing, set up an efficient registration and ticketing system. Use online platforms that make it easy for attendees to register and purchase tickets.
Make sure that your event ticketing process is as seamless and user-friendly as possible. This will play a major role in shaping your participants’ perception of your event, so you’ll want to ensure they have a positive experience before the event even starts.
Focus on Risk Management
Even the most experienced event planner will have to face unexpected situations when pulling off the event. While you can’t always avoid things from happening, you can do everything in your power to carefully control each risk.
Identify potential risks and create contingency plans for common issues such as bad weather, technical failures, or low attendance. Having backup plans in place will help you respond quickly to unexpected challenges. If you don't have a plan B in place, an unwanted issue (like bad weather) could have a major impact on the entire event.
Maintain a Timeline and Checklists
Create a detailed timeline with milestones and deadlines. Regularly review checklists to ensure tasks are completed on time.
Event project managers need to squeeze a lot into a short space of time, so having a calendar or timeline in place will help you keep things on track. If you use the right event management software, this should include a central events calendar to help your project management process.
Be prepared to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Flexibility is essential in event management, as things may not always go as planned.
As we already mentioned, always try to have a plan B in place. Have backup vendors ready in case your vendor can’t make it, and be prepared to go off plan at times. Approaching event project management with a flexible mindset will make your life a lot easier.
Develop a Communication Plan
Effective communication is key to any successful event.
Maintain open lines of communication with your team, vendors, and stakeholders. Regular updates and meetings can help prevent misunderstandings and keep everyone informed.
Make sure you have an agreed-upon line of communication for everyone involved in the event.
This makes it easy to stay up to date with each person and it helps to avoid miscommunications. If you use the right project management tool, this often includes dedicated communication functions.
While event planning can be a complicated process, having a clear strategy in place from day one will help you pull off the event more successfully. Stay organized, work towards clear goals, use the right team, and use the right tools. Get these fundamental areas right, and your event should be a success.
Looking for the right event management software to make your life easier? Try Perfect Venue for free to see how the solution can help streamline any event management process.