All projects share similar properties like: Start Date, Budget, List of tasks and Dependencies, End Date, etc. Once the project is approved, the team begins to execute the various tasks and the Project Manager continuously updates the project plan. Most projects tend to operate like this:
- Execute & Adjust, Execute & Adjust, Execute & Adjust…
- Cross the Finish Line
However, events are a special type of project, and they have their own unique complexities. Anyone who has ever had to plan and deliver an event understands it is harder than it looks. Events take on a flow more like this:
- Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan…
- Execute and Done
Yes, there is much work in preparing for the event. Yes, there are hundreds of small tasks within the event that can be practiced ahead of time. But the majority of the work of the Event Planner (Project Manager) is to think through every detail ahead of time and organize the participants around an event flow. Adjusting during the event can lead to a catastrophe. This becomes more and more true as the size of the event grows:
- Gatherings like birthday parties, cookouts, and family reunions
- Church services (worship services, weddings, funerals)
- Service projects (Compassion-in-action, Feed the Kids, others)
- Sporting events (weekend soccer tournaments, city-wide marathons, or the Superbowl)
Maybe events are not as complicated as building a space shuttle…but they are unique in that there is very little “testing” that can take place. NASA can launch unmanned test flights, but we can’t have a test run of a city-wide marathon with 10,000 people.
I plan to share some more thoughts about Event Management in upcoming posts.
Thanks for listening.