Your Event Planning Career: Tips for Managing MULTIPLE Events at Once!
Want to be able to organize multiple events at the same time throughout your event planning career? QC Event School’s Student Ambassador, Jenny Alperin, is here to tell you how to do this!
Jenny Alperin is a graduate of QC’s Corporate Event Planning Course and a student of the Promotional Event Planning Course. Her company, RosePOP Parties, specializes in weddings, holiday parties, corporate team-building events, and more. A master of handmade bespoke party favors, her business also provides custom gift boxes called POPBoxes.
Managing Multiple Events Throughout Your Event Planning Career
Full-time event planners often work on multiple events at the same time. An event can take anywhere from several months to a couple of years to pull together. Obviously, it would be very unlikely that one client could pay enough to have their planner solely focused on their event – and their event alone – during that entire time.
So, what’s a planner to do? They still need to make an income! As such, industry experts must be prepared to plan, manage, and/or coordinate a least a handful of events at one given time. Here’s a personal example: today, I am in the middle of planning 6 events AND managing 8 other events. All of these events will take place in the next 18 months. On top of that, I’m also preparing for 2 events that will be occurring this upcoming weekend.
I know, it sounds like a lot! But I assure you, it is possible. Learning your personal bandwidth and organization is key!
Throughout your event planning career, the events you’ll work on will be staggered by nature. Unless there are associate planners working with you, you’ll likely have one event per day – and approximately 1-4 events per week. This means you’ll be in different stages of the planning process with each client. Each stage of planning requires different amounts of work. So, ideally, you can arrange your event dates accordingly. The heavy workload periods for each event can also be spaced out as necessary from week to week.
Of course, this requires a LOT of foresight and organization!
Photo by VISIONE Lens.
A planner working on multiple events at once might run into some challenges. Certain challenges will be in your control. Of course, some of them won’t be, too. Challenges that are in your control include things like how the week-to-week planning timeline is organized, as well as how the large, time-consuming tasks and small, finer detail tasks are broken up. Challenges that are not in your control are mainly related to clients.
The client might have a specific date for their event that coincides with other clients’ requests. For example, I live in Austin, Texas. Here, the Fall months are when most couples want to get married (typically, because of the weather). As a result, there’s often an influx of weddings and events during that time. This is completely out of the planner’s control!
Other challenges lie within the clients’ response time for confirmations. This is to be expected. After all, they have other, full-time commitments. For this reason, it may take longer for them to make a decision about an event component – a component that is ideal for the planner.
My Top 4 Tips to Help YOU In Your Event Planning Career
While there are a multitude of tricks you’ll need to have in your wheelhouse, here are 4 of my TOP tips if you’re struggling to manage multiple events at one time…
Photo by Matthew Magbee.
Tip #1: Provide Different Types of Packages
A planner provides event planning services, yes, but there are different ways a client can hire you to help them. It is a good idea for you, as the event planner, to sell a variety of services with different levels of workload to suit your bandwidth.
- Full-Service Planning: This is when the planner will do everything needed to throw the event. This would include larger tasks (i.e. booking venue and vendors), down to thinking through the fine details and executing the big day. In my own business, here is how I sell this package: “I will plan the event from start to finish like it is my own, but with the client’s preferences.” Full-service is a BIG time commitment. As such, a planner will likely limit their Full-Service events to 10 or less in any given year.
- Event Management: This is when the clients have access to your expertise, but they do all the “heavy lifting” in terms of planning. You are there to guide them and lend advice so that no detail is missed or incorrectly planned. Each planner can create their own Management package and tailor it accordingly. My own Event Management package includes:
- Customized week-to-week planning timeline from the date they book until their event;
- Budget tracking spreadsheet creation;
- Unlimited access to me via email only;
- Monthly check-in meetings to help keep the clients on track;
- And, of course, event day facilitation.
- Event Coordination: This package includes final confirmations and event day facilitation only. Usually, a planner begins work on an event 4-6 weeks in advance. This will allow them to get up to speed on the details of the event and create a day-of timeline. This package includes very minimal work prior to the event.
Photo by Jeff Janko.
Tip #2: Organize Your Tasks on a Weekly Basis
This is a simple tip, but it’s completely changed my effectiveness at managing multiple events at once. Once a week, make a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish that week, for all the events you manage. I tend to create this list on Mondays. It makes it easy to see everything you need to work on during the week, all in one place. It’s a much better alternative than having to switch back and forth between each individual event’s planning timeline.
Tip #3: Set Expectations Upon Booking
Don’t wait until a few months into working with a client to set expectations. As early on as possible, it should not only be made clear what you expect of them – but what they can expect from you, too. This may seem obvious but sometimes, during the consultation process, you might get along really well with a client and think you’re on the same page (without explicitly stating so).
Don’t fall into this trap! In your first kick-off meeting with a client, set the expectations of what you’ll need from them. This will help make sure the planning process continues to move forward. Plus, you’ll set the boundaries and your client will have a clear idea of when they can expect to hear from you.
Tip #4: Launch Your Event Planning Career By Getting Professional Training
Professional training provides you with the skills you need to be successful in event planning! Plain and simple. Rather than learning through years of trial and error, professional training will teach you practices that are tried and true.
One thing that I’ve found incredibly useful in my training was the organization spreadsheets and templates that QC Event School shared. To this day, I still use them to manage multiple events at once! Having these resources has saved me so much time, because I didn’t have to create something from scratch.
To summarize, knowing how to manage multiple events at one time will be imperative to your event planning career. Doing so will allow you to work more events, reach more clients, and have financial stability. In my career, managing multiple events at one time has brought me great success. I’ve been able to start my own business and begin receiving referrals from other event vendors and previous clients – all within my first year of being open!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article today. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. You can also connect with me directly in QC Event School’s Virtual Classroom on Facebook!