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The Event Planner's Guide to Eating the Frog

The Event Planner’s Guide to Eating the Frog

March 2020

Frog on lilypad

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If you haven’t read the book, you might be wondering what we mean by ‘Eat the Frog’. It’s a fantastic book about cutting procrastination and becoming more productive in order to achieve your goals.  


Essentially, if you ‘eat the frog’ by tackling the tasks you dislike, or find most difficult first, you set yourself up for success. This is certainly true when it comes to event planning.  Which is why we thought it was time to share with you our top three tips for eating the event planning frog. 


Plan, plan and plan some more 
We’ve all heard the adage ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and it couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to planning a successful event. Your plan needs to be a living document that you refer to and are prepared to amend frequently during your event lifecycle.

  
If you’re wondering why you need to update the plan, it’s because there is one thing you can be sure of. You will face challenges along the way and some of them will force you to rethink your next steps. Even the best SWOT analysis in the world won’t prevent you from getting the odd curveball (or frog!). 


Those frogs don’t mean your plan wasn’t good enough or that you won’t still achieve your end goal – as long as you deal with them quickly and effectively when they crop up. Flexibility and agility are important factors in any planning activity.  
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius 


Define your budget 
Whether it’s a large or small event, paid or free-to-attend, it’s important to have an idea of your budget from the start – this is your frog. It doesn’t matter if you are willing to spend a few hundred or a few thousand pounds, what matters is that you start with a maximum figure in mind.  


We understand that sometimes you may not know what a ‘realistic’ budget is until you start gathering cost information. We are more than happy to help guide you towards suitable options and help you understand what you should expect to achieve for your budget.  


Once you have a clear budget set, keep an eye on it. Don’t let it become another frog! 


Allocate each aspect of your event its own cut of the overall budget; venue hire costs, catering, speakers, IT, travel, and so on. Don’t allow yourself to get carried away with little extras here and there. They can add up to a big hole in your bottom line! 


As with your event plan, you need to review your budget regularly and make sure you are still on track, or if you need to economise in some areas.  


Enlist the right people 
Experienced and professional event organisers may make it look effortless, but the truth can be rather different.  
Will your team know what to do if the registration process goes wrong?  
What if the AV equipment fails or the internet lets you down? 
How will you manage lunches and refreshments? 
What if…… the list goes on.  


We highly recommend that you don’t leave this to chance – after all, nobody want to see their hosts running around like a headless chicken if there’s a crisis. 


The best way to ensure the success of your event is to have a great team on board. You need your team to be in place early in the planning process so that you can draw on different skillsets and areas of expertise. 

 
Manage your team carefully and work systematically through the plan to ensure nobody is leaving any frogs to cause bigger problems later.  


 Don’t let the Army take control! 
Fear not, we haven’t completely lost the plot – a group of frogs is known as an army. The point here is, if you allow small tasks to be left undone, you are effectively inviting an army of frogs into your project. They will, left unchecked, grow into far bigger problems than they need to be.  


When it comes to planning your event, there is simply no room for procrastination. Tackle the jobs that need doing as soon as you practicably can.  


Alternatively, speak to one of the team at Compleat Conference and find out how we can help.  

You can call us on 01489 668333 or email info@compleatconference.co.uk