Our tips on how to organise a great event in a short timescale

With so much uncertainty surrounding us, events with really short lead times are becoming the way we may have to work for some time to come.

I remember returning from maternity leave and being faced with an event for over 1,000 in less than two weeks.  It was a great way of focussing the mind and just getting on with it and actually it was a great success.

Ok, its not ideal, but with a good plan you can still create a successful event.

Create a plan

Spend time creating a plan.  If you are doing something in a short time scale, having a plan is even more important.  In fact, it’s probably more likely to be adhered to, deadlines will be less flexible, and decisions will need to be made by fixed dates, so this will all shape your plan. 

Get a team behind you

Events take a long time to plan and organise, if you are turning something around really quickly, you will need help. If you don’t have internal people who can help, then outsource as much as possible to an event production company.

Be clear on who is doing what, there is nothing worse than duplicating effort.  Make your team aware of key deadlines, if possible, make people responsible for a whole section of the project, rather than just dishing out tasks.

Use planning tools like Trello. This is a great way of keeping a project and team on track and spotting any issues or challenges before they become a problem.  You will also be able to see things getting done and track progress, which is really reassuring.

Access to decision makers

This is often one of the event organisers’ biggest challenges.  They are organising an event for someone else, who has clear goals and ambitions, but is so busy with their day jobs they can’t get involved with the event detail.  There is no easy fix, but short, regular, and focussed update meetings make all the difference.

Keep presentations focussed and simple

Simple content often has the most impact. Attendees want to hear what a speaker has to say, not read it all on a slide. Keeping it simple will not only save time, but your presentations may also actually be a lot better for it.

Using apps like Sli.do for Q&A or to record workshop ideas is a quick, easy and impactful way to make sessions more interactive.

Onsite planning meeting

Having a meeting at the venue is great way of getting everything nailed quickly.  You can walk through the event hour by hour and get all your questions answered whilst also getting details confirmed. You’ll spot things you missed, but it will be a beneficial planning session making you feel very much organised and in control.

Rehearse

Don’t underestimate the rehearsal.  Hold meetings and rehearsals in advance, this is so important and even more so for quick lead time events.  Long and painful sessions, debating content and making changes can be expected, but its far better to do this before being onsite when it will be too late, costly and very stressful.

There are some positives

Yes, organising an event in a matter of weeks has its challenges, but it’s not all bad.  A short lead times focuses the mind, decisions are forced and often events come together in the last couple of weeks anyway – as long as you have a great approach.  So it is still possible to organise a great event even if you do only have a few weeks, however, longer deadlines are also very welcome of course!

Please get in touch if you want to know how we can help you with your next event. 
Let’s chat at hello@mediamaker.co.uk or call on 07968 307175.