A bi-monthly newsletter for event organizers
in the tech industry
January 9, 2019
Where did 2018 go? I think I say this every year, but 2018 truly did fly by with so much travel in my agenda, as well as three months of chasing down documents for my Belgian visa. The last two weeks of the year were truly a much needed and welcomed relaxing period, but of course full of holiday activities. As January 1st came and went, I found myself stuck in holiday mode with the Christmas decorations in full force. I normally take them down the first or second week (yes, I procrastinate every year because I love the festive, cozy feel), but this year, I just couldn’t get out of said holiday mode. So down the decorations came and organizing went into full force! With that came the usual beginning of year routine: clean the desk, update the calendar, refresh social media, and more. It’s a time to start anew, press the restart button and promise that this year will be bigger and better. And it will! I’ve decided resolutions are a thing of the past. I set goals throughout the year and the goals set for 2019 will be evaluated at the end of each quarter. Start small, I say! Make them reachable. With that, I leave you to jump right into this weeks newsletter, the first of 2019: Getting Organized!
Warm Wishes & Happy Planning!
THIS WEEK: GETTING ORGANIZED
SIMPLE, BUT EFFECTIVE TIPS TO START THE YEAR
* First and foremost: take care of yourself above and beyond all else. I often get very busy and can work straight through lunch, so I decided to add lunch to my calendar and set several reminders. That goes for breaks as well. Keep a bottle of water on your desk, as well as snacks for those times that a late lunch is inevitable. Keep your immune system strong and healthy in preparation for those long event days coming up.
* Declutter. This is both in and around your desk and also online. Sort through the lingering emails that have been sitting in your inbox, delete old unneeded emails, throw away pens that no longer work, create clean space on your desk. You get the point.
* Set small goals. Keep it simple and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Keeping your goals small makes them manageable, so you won’t get overwhelmed. If you have a larger goal, break it down into smaller tasks and celebrate as you cross them off your list.
* Make sure everything around you has a place. Clutter in your office or on your desk results in clutter in your mind. Making sure everything is well placed helps you find them easier and quicker when needed. Even those things that you are unsure of - have a “to file” or “to sort” bin that you go through regularly.
* Organize your calendar and make sure all devices are synced. This is the time to remove any calendar reminders or recurring events that are lingering. Syncing your devices is important to makes sure appointments and meetings are not missed.
* Have your “to-do” list handy: whether it’s a whiteboard, written list, a list on the computer, be sure to collect your items in one place. We have so much going on in our minds and don’t want to miss a thing.
* Create a daily, weekly and monthly list of what you’d like to accomplish. And remember, keep it simple and attainable. It’s ok to reach a bit, but nothing is more disappointing than not making a goal you’ve set for yourself. And honestly, we are our own worst critics, right?
* Schedule “quiet” times on your calendar where nothing else is scheduled. Start this from the get go and make every effort to not deviate from it. Determine when your optimum work time is and schedule your meetings accordingly. I find 2pm each day to be my sleepy time, so I often will take a quick nap (if possible, or even closing my eyes for a bit) or even go for a walk to clear my head.
* Plan how you will celebrate your successes ahead of time and which successes will be celebrated. Having a reward is often quite motivating. For example, scheduling a vacation after a particularly large conference gives something to look forward to and is, of course, a well deserved reward once the event is complete. It’s like a little secret you have with yourself when things get a bit hectic - “Just one more week…”
* Do you have a whiteboard, cork board or other board that you can write key reminders on? It’s always nice to have an at-a-glance list. Just be sure to keep it updated and keep it in your line of sight with information you use often. It’s also a good place to write daily motivational messages to yourself.
* Do some social media housecleaning: update profiles, linkedIn, twitter, etc. It’s important to keep them fresh.
* Find some new technology that will make your job easier. Maybe it’s time to look into an event management platform or a project management tool (see the article below).
BLOG SPOTLIGHT: 2019 Event Trends
Will Curran wrote an interesting blog article about event trends that will rule 2019. Take a look!
" The year 2019 is almost upon us. How will the events industry fare this year, and what trends will rule the roost when it comes to event planners’ priorities? Let’s take a look at these trends and how you can ride their waves successfully. " - Will Curran, Endless Events
EVENT TECH: Trello
As the year gets started and projects are finding their way to your desk, there’s no better way to keep track of it all than with project management software. Trello is an amazing tool for getting and staying organized.
If you don’t already use project management software, you may want to have a look at it. I’ve been surprised at how many event organizers don’t use one. I actually use Trello for my personal projects, events, and even life events (like moving) so I don’t lose track of anything.
The platform allows you to visually collaborate with your teams to track and assign tasks, assign deadlines, upload documents and photos, upload emails and more. The bottom line is that everything is kept in one place and any member of your team can reference the board for the information they need, timeline, documents and more. It's the ultimate in getting and staying organized and I can't imagine being without it.
There is so much that can be done, so rather than going into any significant detail, I’ll let Trello show you themselves with their Trello Training, done directly in a Trello board. The content is so complete and they even provide good and bad examples to guide you in setting up your own boards.
Do you use Trello for a unique project or in a unique way? We’d love to hear about it.
We asked a few event organizers to share their advice for getting organized in 2019.
" My top tip would be to swap your physical planner with a digital one. Iphone has a great calendar function categorizing your tasks by the types of calendars (work, shared, personal, etc) and it’s always on hand so you can create tasks and add invitees quickly. You can also synchronize it with your laptop, so you have a full overview of your days all day every day. This will help you to become more aware of your days ahead. "
Business Development Manager
" My advice would be to use Trello to keep track of your tasks. It’s a free task
management tool that allows you to create task lists that can be shared and assigned to team members. It’s a really good way to keep track of the bigger picture, get an overview of who is working on what and spot any luring deadlines. Every event I organise starts with the creation of a Trello list – I couldn’t live without it. "
Communications & Creative Director
"Create and always have a backup plan. Be sure to set things up so that someone can pick up should anything go wrong. "
Coder, Tech Event Organiser, Diversity in Tech Advocate
Coding Grace, 404
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter! If you have any questions or
feedback, please feel free to reach out to us. We are so happy to have you as part of our growing community! Please feel free to share our newsletter with other event professionals. Until next time...Happy Planning!
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