Planning and Preparation

By Christine Pitts

As President of my honor society I have the opportunity to plan and execute our induction ceremony and a few other events over the past year. I am very lucky that I have a wonderful peer as Vice President. We began planning the ceremony in January. I found that planning and preparation is key to running a smooth event.  Here are some tips on planning and preparation that I have found useful:

  1. Team: First and foremost it is important to have a solid team working with you on event planning. Dependable and reliable people are vital to getting the job done. Chose people you can count on. If you don’t have the opportunity to choose your team, learn everyone’s strengths and weakness in order to distribute the work in a workable way.
  2. Start early: Planning should start months in advance. I have found this to be true no matter how big or small the event. You just never know what can happen it is best to begin early to give your team and yourself enough time to make changes or adjustments as needed.
  3. Make a timeline: I personally use a planner to mark my time span. I write due dates for tasks that need to be completed. I also utilize Google docs to share my timeline with my team.
  4. Sharing systems: Like mentioned above I utilize Google docs to share spreadsheets, assignments, and calendar with due dates with my team. I found this system to be the easiest, since the team can edit and adjust things as needed and everyone can see these changes. It also serves as a place where we can communicate together in one space.
  5. Communication: Communication with my team is critical. Making sure everyone is on task with his or her assignments is important. I understand that we are all in graduate school and thus have a lot going on. If they are overwhelmed I need to know so I can make adjust to workload and the schedule. The best work happens when everyone has a clear head.
  6. Self-care: I read a quote recently that said “self-care is not selfish” and I completely agree. While it is important to be mindful of how your team is doing it is just as important to think about how you are doing. If you are overwhelmed is important to notify the point person below you, or the person within your team you are most comfortable with. Being the leader you play a valuable role and if mentally you are struggling it can be harmful to yourself and even your team.
  7. Have fun: Planning events is a lot of work, but overall it should be a fun and enjoyable experience for you and your team.

Have you planned and event recently? How did it go? I would love to hear about your experiences! Feel free to leave a comment in the box below or tweet me @cpitts_ 

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