If a sudden feeling of dread is overtaking you, you're not alone. You may be in charge or part of team that has to start planning THAT event. You know, the one that keeps you up at night. Whether its a large sales meeting, marketing meeting, or an all-hands off site activity, planning company wide events can be very stressful for all involved.
Here are some tips to utilize and stay sane through the process, as well as a template to help you plan, track, and report on your progress:
1. Assemble a Team & Delegate
Assign roles and responsibilities to team members, keep them accountable with their tasks and deadlines as often times these tasks will depend on each other for completion.
2. Double, Triple, Quadruple, Check
In the weeks approaching your event, check your venues, your food catering, and anything else that could go wrong.
3. Have a Plan B
Always have backups if something falls through like gift giveaways that never show up.
4. Create a Project Plan
This should have dates, sequencing, deadlines, budgets, and it should be organized and easy to follow. Keep it on a Google drive so people on your team can access the live document and add to it. sometimes certain tasks need to be accomplished in a certain order in order for other tasks to then be addressed.
5. Communication Plan
Regular Meetings on the plans to discuss updates, challenges, open items, in order to keep things on track.
6. Be Purposeful with Outcomes
After you spent weeks or months of planning, did you really get what you wanted in terms of communication messaging and behavior change once the event is all over? Understand what's important to the executives at your organization to make sure you're structuring topics and appropriately balancing time segments at the event that effect your message.
7. Session Topics
Depending on the outcomes you want, whether you want your team super fired up about the year, educated about the competitive market out there, know the relevant topics that are directly connected to the executive objectives, and ideally pair it with some sales training.