Project Management: The Key to Event Success

A successful event doesn’t start with the speakers, exhibitors, or even the venue. It starts with a roadmap. A project plan is a roadmap that outlines a targeted result, with a support process to achieve an end goal and drive you toward success. It provides tasks and accountability, highlighting milestones along the way to gauge progress and optimize actions. It’s a critical component to set expectations and ensure accountability among everyone involved.

Our planners excel in project management. Here are a few steps of how we approach project management with our clients:

Timelines

An accomplished lead planner creates a list of major milestones (i.e. registration launch, signage deadlines, floor plan submissions, and more) and assigns deadline dates to create a timeline map of the full program. I take things a step further by also categorizing milestones into project areas (i.e. Production, Food & Beverage, Registration, Attendee Engagement, etc.) and assign  specific tasks under each deadline to break things into more manageable, smaller bites. By creating timelines, you create a visual path with…

Team Roles & Responsibilities

Before the project begins, we will define who your team members are and what they are responsible for. Because Meeting Expectations values transparency and collaboration with our clients, we provide team members names, contact information, and assign tasks and areas of responsibility within the project plan for everyone to access. During the project kick-off meetings, we introduce our teams along with their responsibilities to streamline communications throughout the planning process.

Pro Tip: Every line/task/deadline has an owner. While he or she might not be solely responsible for the task, an owner leads the charge to make sure the deadline is met.

Team Meeting Agendas and Action Items

Having a defined agenda before every team meeting, make meetings productive by keeping everyone on topic and on task. The most time sensitive topics should be covered first. Prior to every call, I also like to provide a link for team members to submit their own agenda items so they have the opportunity to discuss anything that is important to a task or responsibility that they own.

Tracking Progress

A project plan should not be a static product – to ensure event success, it should be monitored and updated regularly. Personally, I set a reminder to review and update my project plan a few times a week. With a collaborative, shared project plan, our clients have 24/7 access to look at updated completed items, any new action items, or any date adjustments that were covered in meetings.  I also find it helpful to keep a “notes” column to reflect any reasons why something changed. Tracking also provides the trigger to check in with anyone who wasn’t present in a meeting or who might have additional explanations for their updates.

Accessibility

One of our core values is to earn trust, and transparency is a key component of that. So, we make sure that project plans are accessible to everyone on the team – both internally at Meeting Expectations, and our designated client team. This also encourages everyone to provide input and edits, and foster buy-in across the board.

Experienced project management ensures the success of the team and the event.  For our planners, this attention to detail results in a world of flexibility, less time crunch, more accountability; and the ability to look to the future while reflecting on the past.

At Meeting Expectations our planners are trained and ready to lead. Let us keep your projects and teams on task to accomplish your goals and advance your story. Contact us today.

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