Five thoughts on event planning and collaboration
Public relations is definitely not a profession meant to operate in a silo (hence the word “public,” right?). And when event planning comes into play, the process requires meetings and working with others – often from other departments and professions.
As an example, I recently began helping plan this year’s SCPRSA Professional Development Conference. The event is nearly a year away, but I am quickly learning the importance of collaboration and communication.
Here are a few thoughts:
- Start early. Whether the project is a month or a year down the road, start planning as soon as you become involved. You don’t want to look back and feel you wasted opportunities to get ahead in the process.
- Make connections. As soon as you start planning, open communication with other project leaders. Has someone else worked on the same event previously? Consult them for feedback and find out what they would do differently.
- Recruit a strong team. Once your leadership is in place, recruit a committee or group of helpers. Keep in mind that too many people can be detrimental and muddle communication.
- Set priorities. Chances are your event will have many moving pieces, both large and small. It may seem daunting at first, but separate your high-level logistics from your minute details and work from the top down (i.e. set the date and location before choosing a caterer).
- Keep an organized timeline. Once you set your priorities, keep them organized in a central location. Make sure each member of your team may access and make updates to the timeline (I recommend using a program like Google Docs). This will help streamline communication, especially if you are working with a large team that doesn’t meet in person.
These are high-level ideas on collaboration, and I would like to hear feedback from more experienced event planners. What details have I missed? What tips would you add to the list?