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Topics: Consulting, Organizational Project Management, Teams
What are the Project Management approaches to events planning?
Network:28



An events management and planning agency has asked me to help their teams in effectively planning and managing events for their clients.

I would like to know what are the best practices in events planning from a project management point of view, and any available templates, tools and techniques I could use to effectively plan and manage events. In addition any issues I should take into consideration and the aspects in events management since I lack some experience in that area.
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I would try to narrow down your scope. I've done large program review events and training deployment, and each would be different from something like a festival, or awards banquet.

Many templates can be found online, and what I always do is examine many and then put together my own with the relevant material. I try to build it to include the most complex events, and then scale it back to the specific job.

You wind up managing 2 detailed plans. The first is the hour by hour plan of the event itself so that everything runs smoothly and the contingency plans for problems. The second is all the pre-work required over the weeks or even months of planning, leading up to the event.

During the event, in some cases the PM acts like a master of ceremonies very visibly coordinating the proceedings. In others, the PM is working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.

They can be very stressful during the preparation phase because things must come together by the event date, and then again once it begins because you must just deal with problems as they arise despite all your risk mitigation planning. It can be very rewarding however, as it very much resembles being the director of a theatrical performance on opening night.
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1 reply by Handirove Taruvinga
Oct 25, 2019 4:28 AM
Handirove Taruvinga
...
Thanks Keith

Your approach of narrowing down the scope will definitely make life easier. I had not realized that one would end up managing the two detailed plans like you highlighted, that has just made realize how the planing can be done more effectively than just dealing with one plan for everything to do with the event.
Network:2971



Hi,
Depending on your needs, budget, and event size, you might find which tool can fulfill the requirements.
There are many tools available for event management .
1- Trello ,
2- Basecamp
3-Reserve Event Management
4- Social Tables
5- Eventbrite …
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1 reply by Handirove Taruvinga
Oct 25, 2019 4:32 AM
Handirove Taruvinga
...
Thanks Shadav

I will definately look in to the tools your recommended. Its always good to leverage on the PM tools for best delivery.
Network:28



Oct 24, 2019 10:58 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
I would try to narrow down your scope. I've done large program review events and training deployment, and each would be different from something like a festival, or awards banquet.

Many templates can be found online, and what I always do is examine many and then put together my own with the relevant material. I try to build it to include the most complex events, and then scale it back to the specific job.

You wind up managing 2 detailed plans. The first is the hour by hour plan of the event itself so that everything runs smoothly and the contingency plans for problems. The second is all the pre-work required over the weeks or even months of planning, leading up to the event.

During the event, in some cases the PM acts like a master of ceremonies very visibly coordinating the proceedings. In others, the PM is working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.

They can be very stressful during the preparation phase because things must come together by the event date, and then again once it begins because you must just deal with problems as they arise despite all your risk mitigation planning. It can be very rewarding however, as it very much resembles being the director of a theatrical performance on opening night.
Thanks Keith

Your approach of narrowing down the scope will definitely make life easier. I had not realized that one would end up managing the two detailed plans like you highlighted, that has just made realize how the planing can be done more effectively than just dealing with one plan for everything to do with the event.
Network:28



Oct 24, 2019 11:44 PM
Replying to SHADAV MOHAMMAD ANSARI
...
Hi,
Depending on your needs, budget, and event size, you might find which tool can fulfill the requirements.
There are many tools available for event management .
1- Trello ,
2- Basecamp
3-Reserve Event Management
4- Social Tables
5- Eventbrite …
Thanks Shadav

I will definately look in to the tools your recommended. Its always good to leverage on the PM tools for best delivery.
Network:1921



When I teached project management in tha past I have a course called "project management for all". The case to solve is to plan a wedding. No matter that I have teached project management to people that belongs to event planning (all type of events) organizations. Prorject management is the tool that helps a lot in this type of environments.
Network:2525



There are many approaches.

For example the Olympic Games are certainly an event, but planning and preparing them is a multiple years program. Typically they overrun the budget and involve thousands of volunteers and team members.

Or look at a PMI chapter running a conference. They are mostly run by volunteers, some use subcontractors, duration may be a year, most come out on budget and make profits.

Or, yes look at weddings (there are specialized companies) or just a birthday party.

There is no general template. But many examples.
Network:106497



I agree that existing templates may not work. For example, when I helped with a Toastmasters conference, I found both the planning activities and artefacts to be too specific to be useful for general use. The good news is that your agency specializes in event planning. They probably have all the organization process assets for you to start with. Even if they don't, you should be able to tap into their experience to formulate your own templates.

As Kevin pointed out, you will have to plan for different orders of magnitude. The event itself has to be very granular. You will need a lot of behind-the-scene volunteers. Make sure to engage the venue staff early and continuously.

Unless your event is small, I don't recommend that the event (aka, project) manager double up as MC. It's not just about the skillset required, it's also about dividing and conquering the work.
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Oct 25, 2019 10:50 AM
Keith Novak
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In larger events, I think the format makes a big difference in the role of the PM during the event itself. In large project reviews, everyone is in the same auditorium and the PM may play a role in moderating the discussion to keep things on track. They would certainly have lots of help such as a scribe, someone running the main computer, and there is a lot of hidden communication going on to coordinate actions with the support team.

When events involve multiple things going on simultaneously in different locations, the PM couldn't be everywhere at once so that wouldn't even be feasible. They might give an introductory speech to kick things off, and then disappear from view to direct.
Network:354



Oct 25, 2019 8:21 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I agree that existing templates may not work. For example, when I helped with a Toastmasters conference, I found both the planning activities and artefacts to be too specific to be useful for general use. The good news is that your agency specializes in event planning. They probably have all the organization process assets for you to start with. Even if they don't, you should be able to tap into their experience to formulate your own templates.

As Kevin pointed out, you will have to plan for different orders of magnitude. The event itself has to be very granular. You will need a lot of behind-the-scene volunteers. Make sure to engage the venue staff early and continuously.

Unless your event is small, I don't recommend that the event (aka, project) manager double up as MC. It's not just about the skillset required, it's also about dividing and conquering the work.
In larger events, I think the format makes a big difference in the role of the PM during the event itself. In large project reviews, everyone is in the same auditorium and the PM may play a role in moderating the discussion to keep things on track. They would certainly have lots of help such as a scribe, someone running the main computer, and there is a lot of hidden communication going on to coordinate actions with the support team.

When events involve multiple things going on simultaneously in different locations, the PM couldn't be everywhere at once so that wouldn't even be feasible. They might give an introductory speech to kick things off, and then disappear from view to direct.
Network:28



All your contributions have really widened my scope in regard to managing and planning events. I have come to understand the mechanics behind planning the pre-work activities leading to the events and planning the hour-by-hour activities for the events itself.

I'v currently started two case studies (exercises), one of planning for a wedding , and another of planning for corporate conference. I'll be putting in practice what I have learnt from your all recommendations and contributions...
Network:2172



Dear Handirove
Interesting your question
Thank you for formulating it
Can it be an event considered a project with defined deliverables?
If so, you may use the most suitable PMBOK Guide processes, techniques and tools.
I can only agree with Sergio
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