Planning prevents piss poor performance
Of course it would seem logical to plan well in order to avoid disaster but it is astounding how many events take place that are either poorly attended because a concise marketing strategy was never properly implemented or the event is utter chaos because somewhere along the line, someone dropped the ball. Keeping the 5 famous P’s: Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance in mind when arranging any event, however big or small, will always keep you on track.
Keeping yourself organized extends beyond the tidy looking desk, despite claims that you like it looking as if an earthquake just topped the rickter scale and you know exactly where to find everything. Slithering piles of paper do not acknowledge an organized Event Planner and you may be in serious jeopardy of losing credibility amongst your colleagues, boss, employees or worse, your clients. Even if your desktop mess has been discreetly swept into drawers in the hope that no one will notice, it is almost 100% guaranteed, that when it comes to the crunch, you will be hastily scrabbling around for that little post-it note that you distinctly remember writing but just can’t find. Being organized is being efficient and efficiency provides for a quality, value-for-money event planning service that will serve to boost your reputation and drive your career forward. Being organized doesn’t mean you have to become a neat freak overnight but endeavouring to keep yourself and the environment around you to some degree of tidiness, will also help you to think clearly.
Ensure that all files relating to the event are kept updated and are clearly labelled so they are easy to find. Make to-do lists but ensure you keep to them as much as possible. Creating a computer-based spreadsheet to keep track of what has and hasn’t been completed is also useful. This could even be a shared file that others can update if you are working in a team. It pays to be efficient and organized and there are plenty of file folders, clips, document holders and a range of other useful items out there – use them!
Aim to keep the size of your email inbox to the length of your computer screen. Getting into a routine of filing emails as you read them will help you address anything that still requires attention or follow up in a timely manner. There is nothing worse than being the only one late to a meeting or even missing a meeting because your email inbox is in email overload and you failed to even see the memo. Creating as many folders as you need to file your emails as well as keeping all emails pertaining to one event in the same place, will serve in having easy-to-reference information as and when you need it. Do not, however, take this to mean that you should keep EVERYTHING…this will only succeed in blocking your inbox, using up too much space on the server and aggravating the guys over in IT. By all means keep what may prove useful further down the line but regularly sort through your emails to delete what you don’t need.
Do as much work as you can on the computer and store it in clearly labelled folders. Link your laptop, iPod touch or iPad to your computer where possible so you do not need to worry about the embarrassment and unprofessional dog-eared documents when arriving at your next meeting or event. Try to avoid printing whenever possible; not only does this represent your contribution to the environment but the less paperwork around, the less likely you are to loose something or throw it away.
Be proud to be punctual
As cheesy as it may sound, being punctual is professional. Wasted time is wasted business and will only succeed in upsetting the client, boss or dampening your reputation. If there is a good reason why an appointment can’t be kept, phone with as much notice as possible. While this may seem obvious, the lack of professional etiquette that is encountered is somewhat disturbing.