When you set the date for a wedding, baby shower, holiday party, or company retreat, the event may seem far into the future. It’s never too soon, though, to create a timeline for your event planning and incorporate time management tips that streamline the planning process so you can focus on enjoying the actual event. Here are tips that can help!
Create Deadlines for Big Picture Items
Although specifics may vary for your event, answer these questions sooner rather than later:
- What date and time can we get our event venue of choice? Venue rentals can fill up fast during wedding season and holidays, so be especially proactive then.
- By when does the caterer need to know our menu choices?
- By when does the caterer need to know a final attendance count?
- How much advance notice does the band/orchestra/musician of choice need a contract signed? What does the conference center or other facility have on hand for lighting and sound?
- When should we issue invitations?
- When should RSVPs be due?
Although this isn’t a comprehensive list of big-picture items, if you get them plotted on on a timeline, you can then break tasks down appropriately to meet your deadlines.
Be Realistic As You Prioritize
As you’re identifying the biggest items and putting them on your calendar, what you’re really doing is prioritizing what must happen when. At this stage, it’s important to be realistic about what you can accomplish on what timeframe, given whatever other responsibilities you’re currently juggling. If, no matter how hard you try to rework the schedule, it is by necessity tight, then this indicates you’ll probably need to recruit help in the planning.
Schedule To-Do Items By Day—in Minutes
Let’s say that you’re at the planning stage where you need to choose a band, and you’ve got three choices that you’d like to consider. You know, because of your timeline, by when you need this resolved. So, a week or two before that date, schedule blocks of time to talk to each of the bands about what they’ll perform, for how long, and for how much money.
Maybe you’ll need 45 minutes to consider each choice, so block off your calendar on a Tuesday, say, for one band, Thursday for another, and Friday for another. Block off the 45 minutes you’ll need for discussing possibilities, along with travel time, if applicable. And, whenever possible, try to leave wiggle room in your schedule for each task, just in case something unexpected happens, schedule-wise.
If you end up with extra time, see what smaller task you can fit into your “found” time—perhaps making a quick call to your planning partner to see if she’s gotten the information you needed about, say, the options for a cake.
Protect Your Planning Time
When life gets extra-busy, try to guard your planning time so you’re not in a serious time crunch near the end, which can spoil the enjoyment of the event for the planners. Nearly every planning process has some crunch time items, so you’ll want to leave room for those to reduce stress.
Our Event Planning Staff Can Help
Our dedicated and experienced staff is ready to discuss what you need for your special event, including a tour of our facilities. Contact us today for information on all of our flexible event venue options and affordable five-star service!