It’s almost expected these days that there will be times when meeting and event planners are remote. Whether on-site, working remote full-time or some mix, it can take a while to adapt to not being in an office every day. Plus, you have deadlines. A LOT of them, and chances are you need to keep lines of communication open to succeed at your job. Luckily, remote planners can get more done than ever with the help of technology and clear processes. We’ve rounded up six tips for remote planners that will make working remotely a breeze.
Use technology to automate processes and manual tasks. Don’t try to do everything by hand – it’s not scalable.
Post-its and excel sheets used to be staples in the daily life of an event planner. Consider moving to more efficient processes. Use event planning software to take care of manual tasks. It can also decrease time deduping data. When you aren’t in the office as much, your time is precious. Make the most of what you have.
Keep up with email daily – if you don’t keep your inbox under control, you’ll end up losing track of small details.
Create a system that works for you. Consider keeping a message as unread until you respond to it. You could sort your emails into folders. Set an alert to remind you to follow up on emails. However you do it, take the time to answer your emails every day. It can be hard to manage the deluge of information, but the longer you wait, the harder it is to work your way out of it.
Create an internal communication plan that has a cadence stakeholders can count on.
The best strategy is an offensive one. Don’t wait to be asked if a task is completed or where you stand. Create a weekly, or daily update email to stakeholders to give them insight into the status of tasks. By creating a cadence, stakeholders will be less likely to ping you demanding an answer when you are in the middle of an important task. It might take more time and effort on your part to set up internal communication, but it will help in the long run. Also, it decreases the risk of tasks being completed by different people. Take out the extra work and communicate.
Delegate tasks according to your team’s strengths.
You know what your team can do. Is someone a whiz at data, while another seems able to key into the attendee experience? Delegate. Not everyone needs to be doing everything. While your team should understand how to do any task you could throw at them, give them what they’re best at. During slower events, consider assigning tasks to individuals that haven’t done that task before to be sure, in case something happens, you know everyone on your team understands how to do everything.
Leave a voicemail and follow-up with email when trying to get in touch with a contact.
A voicemail is great, but it has a major drawback. There’s no record of it. Yes, your phone will show that you placed a call and whoever you called will have the recording of your voice. But, you will not have a clear paper trail showing that you did reach out and did or did not get an answer. Organization is key, and when your brain begins to forget things as you get busier, you’ll know you can rely on written messages and notes to yourself. Build that paper trail!
Don’t let your event host directly contact your vendors. Run all communication through yourself or someone on your team.
You need to be in control of all the information pertaining to your event. When the process falls apart, so does the event. Don’t let communication run away from you. Make it clear that you must be on all communication about the event. You may not need to respond, but at least you’ll have it as a reference.
Set Yourself Up For Success
The best way to succeed is to stay organized, on top of your to-do list, and on top of your team. If you’re ever confused about your task list, ask. It may seem like a silly question or make you look foolish, but at least you’ll have an answer. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks. Working remotely can be a challenge, but with proper planning and processes, you can excel.
For more on career development, read 4 Salary Factors for Event Planners.