Since working on my first conference in the early 1980s, a lot has changed. Back then there were no laptops or mobile phones and the internet was still at the research stage. However, when it comes to organising a business conference or other related event, some things remain the same.
The most enjoyable aspect when organising an event is being onsite as all your planning comes to fruition. In truth though, that is likely to be less than 2% of the time you have actually spent on the project. As you can see from the graphic a further 3% of your time may be taken up with client meetings. Does that seem low?
Well the client is paying for you to organise the event on their behalf and you want to release them as much as possible to carry on their own day to day activities. You need to give them the confidence the finer details are in hand, however they do need to be able to see the bigger picture is coming together. A further 2% may be spent organising the various suppliers required for the event –AV, set design, catering, awards, gifts, photographers, designers, printers, etc.
Venue sourcing, contracting and liaison is a key component of any successful event and, depending on the nature of the event, can take up more than the previous 3 activities here put together. However, even with a wealth of experience, it is likely that it will take up 5% of your project time in total as you need to form a strong partnership with the venue team to make sure things go smoothly.
Which leaves a mighty 88% of time spent in the office, most likely at your laptop, on your mobile phone and developing and searching for content on the internet. We had to rely on pen and paper back in the day!
Between delegate registrations, speaker requirements, branding, marketing social media posts and more, an event organiser can expect to be regularly using text documents, spreadsheets, databases, content management systems and social media platforms in support of an event.
Event organisation is not rocket science. However, strong inter-personal skills, attention to detail, having a breadth of contacts to call upon and general knowledge around the events industry is necessary for any successful organiser.
All the hard work in the lead up to an event can only help make the 2% of your time spent there more enjoyable and stress free.