Organising an event is no easy task.

Industry experts agree that effective project management is required to successfully plan and execute several aspects of in-person or online events.

You also need to prepare for any setbacks and must adapt quickly to come up with solutions on the spot.

Project management for events can be extremely valuable for the event managers, especially in planning and execution.

Project Management for Events

With in person events rising in popularity once again, there’s been a sharp increase in the requirement for capable individuals with project management experience.

Event management and Project management are similar because:

  1. Both need to track goals/milestones to stay on deadlines
  2. Both need to make extensive lists/plans or a plan of action to ensure goals are met
  3. Both need to see the big picture to ensure a successful delivery
  4. Both events and projects involve coordinating with different teams and mobilising resources
  5. Both need to work with different stakeholders to ensure each department knows their roles and responsibilities.

While it may seem like specialising in project management for events is unnecessary – large events like concerts, trade shows, exhibitions, and more require a lot of planning (project management) skills to ensure success.

5 Ways Project Management Helps Event Planners

Project management is a crucial skill for event managers, from initiation to closure.

This involves breaking down the project into practical tasks and creating an execution plan.

There are many best practices and principles event planners can utilise from the study of project management:

1. Reduce wasteful spending

Budgeting is one of the biggest challenges in event management.

Event managers need optimal spending to ensure the event doesn’t go over budget and become unprofitable.

At the same time, they shouldn’t underspend and risk reducing the quality of the overall event.

2. Optimally Deploy resources

Apart from money, resources like manpower allocation are also crucial decisions organisers must  make.

Events need the right number of staff and understaffing or overstaffing can have a negative impact on the event.

3. Contingency plans

Project Management involves looking at the different scenarios and coming up with contingency plans to deal with any changes.  

It’s always best to have a few backup options if you need them.

4. Clear Communication

Events like projects involve communication with stakeholders and other external parties.

Project management helps establish clear mediums of communication to ensure there is no miscommunication among stakeholders.

5. Progress Tracking

Tracking each event in the project is a crucial role of a project manager. Event managers can also adopt similar systems to keep track of every department’s role and progress.

Project Management Tips For Event Managers

Event management focuses on successfully planning and executing events, which are similar to projects.

The principles and techniques of project management can be applied to event management as well.

Here are some components of project planning that event managers can use:

1. Establishing goals and objectives

This is the first step in event project management.

Setting event goals and objectives can help you plan the other aspects of the project and will give you clear direction, giving you clarity in decision making.

2. Scheduling

During this phase you will list the different activities and their sequence, along with their duration and resource requirements.

Doing this will help you get an overview of the project where you can schedule and manage activities more effectively.

3. Budgeting

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of any event for measuring the project’s success and profitability.

Before starting on the details you need to know the budget for the entire project.

Budgeting involves developing an estimate on the different components for the event.

Once your budget is set you can distribute it accordingly.

4. Personnel

Depending on the size and scope of the event, event managers need to deploy the optimal number of people for the different activities.

You need to determine how many people are required, how you are going to recruit them, what the selection process will be, and how you’ll provide necessary  training so they all know their roles and responsibilities.

5. Monitor and control

Each activity in the event should have a system for monitoring progress.

You could set KPIs/deliverables for each activity along with the timeline, and then monitor its progress.

Each activity requires a control system during all the phases of the event, to give you a complete picture of the event’s progress.

6. Risk Management

No matter how much you plan, there will always be unforeseen scenarios that can hamper your progress.

There might be a vendor who is facing problems or a team that can’t deliver on time.

There should be contingency plans in place for activities that are crucial to the success of the event.

7. Post Event Assessment

At the end of the event, performance goals for each activity must be measured to know if they were successfully met.

The data and outcomes can be saved to aid in planning for future events.

Is Learning Project Management Beneficial for Event Planners?

With all the advantages studying project management brings to event planning, it’s no secret that people with knowledge of project management are in high demand in the event industry.

If you’re looking to train your employees for effective project management, then check out our ILM Certified Project Management Course.

This course will teach you the fundamentals of project management so that you can apply it when managing your next event.

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