Planning a corporate event can be stressful at the best of times, but when faced with a short lead time it can become a real headache for organisers. The increased pressure of a quick turnaround means you could be faced with fewer venue choices, a smaller pool of entertainment options, or difficulties obtaining group rates for hotels .
So far in 2016 we’ve seen a steady rise in the volume of event planning with a 4-6 week time frame. Technology-driven businesses, which are evolving at a fast pace, are particularly influential in creating a demand for quick turnarounds. Technology is also driving the increased pace of modern business communication, and large corporations are eager to communicate new guidelines and laws to employees faster than ever before.
If the pressure of planning an important event or conference with decreased lead time is driving you to a nervous breakdown, don’t worry! You can use the following tips to guide your planning:
1. Sign off your event budget early
Your first task is to outline an event budget, and get it signed off as early as possible. This decision is important because it’s an indicator of event priorities, enabling the planner to organise the necessary key items quickly.
Start with creating a list of event ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ to help plan for key priorities. It’s important never to compromise on the list of must-haves as these are necessary for the event to go ahead. You can compromise on the extras at a later date, should the need arise.
3. Define clear responsibilities during the internal kick-off meeting
In a short-turnaround delivery, it’s even more important for your events team to work together seamlessly. Key responsibilities need to be defined amongst team members. The often-confusing process of ‘who’s doing what’ can become the real enemy if this isn’t defined early on. It’s best to eliminate these time-wasting issues at the outset.
4. Secure the venue first
Securing a venue should be your first major priority, particularly if you’re running on a 4-6 week lead time as many venues will already be booked. You may have to widen your search pool to include less traditional venues.
5. Single point of contact
Having too many ‘cooks’, and copying many contacts into long email chains, can hinder the planning process and make it difficult to sign off on quick decisions. When planning a quick turnaround it’s important to appoint a single point of contact.
Do you have any advice or practical suggestions for planning an event on a short lead time? We’d love to hear from you on LinkedIn and Twitter.