The key to a successfully executed event is great project management. I like to refer to project management as the glue between the events team and the stakeholders – the glue that holds everything together. Project management for an event is crucial to ensure risk is properly managed and mitigated, what is being delivered to stakeholders is accurate, and the event leads adhere to our project timeline and roadmap.
Creating a detailed project plan at the onset of a program is essential to helping the team stay on track to meet deadlines. Every week, we review each workstream (e.g. General Session, F&B, Breakouts, etc.) as a team to review the progress we have made since our last meeting and identify any potential risk. It’s always exciting to see the “complete” percentage in our project plan go up every week (see image below for reference)!
At the very start of the project, we scheduled monthly stakeholder meetings and bi-weekly core committee meetings to ensure we kept all key players informed throughout the process. No one likes surprises, so we always remain transparent with all parties involved. Every call is followed up with a recap, highlighting all decisions made and our next steps.
- MANAGE POTENTIAL RISKS
Risks can jeopardize your entire project if you don’t identify and mitigate them ahead of time. Whether it’s cost, schedule, or performance, start by identifying the risk and how it might impact the outcome of the project, and then decide what you can do to reduce the potential impact.
- IDENTIFY TOOLS THAT WORK FOR YOU
There’s a jungle of project management and file storage tools out there, find tools that work for YOU and your team!
- CONCENTRATE ON THE BIG PICTURE
It’s easy to get involved and focus on every little detail of every workstream, but that’s what you have the individual workstream leads for! Focus on the big picture to ensure the project is moving along and meeting each important deadline.
- DID I MENTION COMMUNICATION?!
Over-communicating is better than under-communicating. About 90% of my time is spent communicating to stakeholders, core committee, my leaders, and workstream leads – this is why I call project management the glue. It’s the glue that holds all parties together and ensures alignment.