How Long Will It Take to Plan This Event?
When we ask for our customers’ advice about planning events, we hear lots of good ideas. One of the most frequent piece of advice we receive is: Give yourself more time than you think you need to plan your event.
But how much time is the right amount time? How do you know if you’ve given yourself enough time? While some of it is trial and error that you’ll figure out as you plan the event, getting organized at the very beginning can help make sure you avoid a last minute scramble to get things done.
- Make a Master List What needs to be accomplished? What kinds of things must happen? What additional things would you like to happen? Do you need any permits? Do need to secure a venue? Do you need to order tickets? Are you setting your tickets up online? All of these things should go on your list.
- Prioritize Your List Some things have to happen first, like securing a venue and setting the date of your event. Other things, like buying decorations, can wait. Figure out what is the most important.
- Make a time estimate First, take a good look at your personal schedule. How much time do you have to devote to planning the event? How many hours a week can you spend running errands, on the phone, hanging posters, etc.? Next, look at your list. How long do you think each activity will take? It’s better to over-estimate. If you’ve got two hours a week, and twenty hours of work, then you know you’ll need to start at least ten weeks ahead of time, or enlist more help.
- Make a calendar Plan it out. Make yourself an event calendar, and decide when each task will be completed. Give yourself deadlines for making decisions and firming up details, and set them a little earlier than they have to be.
- Add some extra time Leave yourself time for unexpected, time-consuming tasks, and the odd disaster. If you’ve scheduled yourself so tightly that you’ll be thrown off by any changes of plan, you’re setting yourself up for a last-minute scramble. If you’ve left extra time, you can change caterers, get the flu, and have unexpected house guests without sacrificing your event, or getting stressed out.