Event Planning Best Practices: Time Management (Part 2)
LAST week we discussed common Time Management mistakes an Event Planner could make and how to overcome them. Today in our series on Event Management best practices, we want to see another dimension to Time Management, which is accurate estimation of time and how it can affect event planning processes.
Accurate time estimation is a crucial skill in Event Management without which you can hardly record any meaningful success as an Event Planner. Since an event is often judged to be successful when it has been delivered on time and on budget, you as an event planner therefore, must be able to meet set deadlines to win your clients’ accolades.
How to estimate Event Time
Understand the details
Start by identifying all the tasks that need to be completed to make the event a reality and create a checklist of them. For example, if the event you are planning is a wedding, some of the tasks to be completed would be to print and send out invitations, order all bride and groom’s attire, book and confirm reception venue, to mention only a few. Be sure to also allow time for meetings with both clients and vendors, reporting and every other activity that is crucial to your event success.
Prioritize these activities
After identifying all the tasks to be completed, you will need to list them in the order in which they will happen. That is, from the time the event is being initiated to its closure, what activities take place first, which one would come in the middle and which is to happen last. Also note important deadlines.
Now Make Your Time Estimates
Begin by estimating the time required for each task to be completed. You will also need to break larger tasks into detailed tasks and estimate time for each of the smaller piece of work identified. Then sum up the total amount of time to complete the plan. Make sure you list all relevant assumptions and possible constraints too. This will help you identify any risk areas should the circumstances change.
It is also important to assume that your resources will be productive for only 80% of the time. This way you build in time for unforeseen circumstances like supply problems, emergencies, meetings and so on.
Prepare Your Event Schedule
Once you have estimated the time for each task, you may now prepare your event schedule, assigning resources to tasks and finalizing milestones and deadlines. At this point, you must identify those tasks that you cannot afford to delay if you must meet your deadline.
In conclusion, if you are ever going to deliver events on time and on budget, you need to be able to estimate time accurately, because without this skill, you can hardly get any client to commit their events into your hand.
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