Choppy Waters vs Plain Sailing: Delegation and Event Planning

1 July 2016

From initial spitballing to roll out on the day, event planning is a hugely involved process. It demands expertise, an understanding of wider business objectives, knowledge of the events marketplace and the requirements of delegates, and – above all else – time. The early stages of event planning can feel disarmingly simple – venue and entertainment research can be enjoyable, even negotiating budget internally can be relatively stress-free if you’ve built a robust, ROI-focused business case to present to directors and procurement heads. But once finance is signed off and the initial research is over things can get complicated and time-consuming. With the increase in collaborative working, mobile connectivity and an unprecedented number of comms channels, delegation and working with staff across your organisation – even across global geographies – has never been easier.

And collaboration and delegation is what’s required to create a successful event.

With the majority of organisations lacking a dedicated in-house events team, the position is often filled by sales or marketing leaders, executive assistants or managers. Sometimes the drive to work alone is a strategic one – the vision might be of being the sole creator of a game-changing, results-shaking event delivered on time and on budget. For others it’s an ideological or practical decision – people are afraid or unwilling to ask for help, think they shouldn’t need it, or enjoy having an excuse to step away from their primary job role for a while.

Event planning can be a time sink, particularly for those with little day-to-day experience. So to succeed, to deliver an event that represents real value to your organisation and your attendees, you’re going to need to delegate.

Here are just a few ways that delegating during event planning can help calm the waters...

You won't lose focus on your primary job role

The event-planning bubble can be disconcerting. With so many time and budget-pressured decisions to make, it’s easy to spend weeks staggering from one whirlwind day to the next, fire-fighting and hoping that all comes good on event day. But the event will come, and all of a sudden it will be over. It will feel like waking up, and you can easily find yourself realising that your head-down, event-centric attitude means that your primary job role has suffered and you’ve got a mountain to climb back at your desk.

Inclusion is great for morale

We talk sometimes on this blog about the importance of morale - that elusive, hard-to-define concept that keeps chins up, sees your team smashing numbers and keeps them happily engaged with their work. One of the things that most undermines team morale is a disconnect between leadership and front-line staff, the classic 'glass tower' scenario in which staff feel excluded and sidelined from important or relevant decisions. Delegating tasks to team members can lighten your load, make them feel included and provide valuable experience beyond their day-to-day role. Ensure that you are delegating tasks based on individual’s strengths, skill sets and availability. Ensure that communication channels are open and transparent to avoid the feeling of a disconnect.

You'll have time to focus on value added

Delegating some of the day-to-day logistics of planning your event will free up your time to concentrate on the more important - and more interesting - elements of event planning. These include the ‘value-added’ elements, including event management and registration software, delegate comms, finding valuable ways of leveraging events tech, and securing and strengthening partnerships with sponsors and vendors.

Remember that technologies and relationships should both be open, accessible and scalable. You’ll need ways of measuring and reporting the efficacy of both to generate ROI reports and justify your event budget.

Your event will be better for it

Great events come from great teams. Trust us, we've seen it time after time. Events work best when people have the man hours and breathing room to excel at specific given tasks. No one can be all things to all men, and however appealing the idea of creating a legendary event for your organisation on your own may be, it’s simply not a reality. Delegate, and delegate well. Assign specific tasks with specific goals, desired outcomes and timeframes. Ensure that you keep a firm handle on who is doing what at all times to avoid tasks slipping through the cracks. Delegation doesn't mean relinquishing control, it means maintaining control while sharing the heavy lifting. Your team, your directors and your event attendees will see the benefit if you do.

To talk to us about delegating elements of your event planning to an experienced, imaginative team with substantial buying power and an in-depth understanding of the industry, contact us now using the contact page. We can't wait to talk to you.