Planning an Event? Master These Five Event Planning Time Stages 

Image of sticky notes on a whiteboard and the phrase, Planning an Event? Master These Time Management IssuesPlanning any event comes with a host of logistical issues and challenges.

From managing people, materials to transportation, there are so many different moving parts to consider!

One key factor is how well you manage your time.

In this post, I identify the five time stages which seem to pop up whenever you are planning a big event, and provide some helpful tips to keep you on track.

Now, on to the post!

The Five Event Planning Time Stages

Stage 1: Event Preparation

This is where you brainstorm ideas, create a budget, and so on. This stage starts several weeks or months in advance of an event.

Stage 2: The Active Work Period

The heart of your planning efforts and where you work on the tasks you identified in Stage 1. This stage can last a few weeks or months.

Stage 3: Counting Down the Days

Within two weeks of your event, things start to shift into high gear. Decisions must be made quickly and swiftly.

Stage 4: Event Day

This stage is unique in that it covers the event day itself. While you’ve been putting in a lot of effort into your planning, you must tend to managing time within the event itself.

Stage 5: Postevent

This stage is where you complete your planning process, from closing out accounts to doing a postevent evaluation. This segment lasts from a couple of days to two weeks postevent.

As you can see, there’s an awful lot of work that must occur at the right stage if you are to pull off a successful event.

One poor decision or mismanaged task can set your progress back days…even weeks!

Here’s a handy guide to help you manage each individual event planning time stage, from specific tasks to complete, to items to watch:

Stage 1: Event Preparation

What to do: Set goals for your event.

What’s your purpose in holding the event? Who do you want to invite, what information do you want to discuss? Once you’ve set goals, it’s time to draw up a schedule and plot out deadlines.

What to look out for: The urge to complete all your work at once.

It’s important to pace yourself and not get too rushed. Work slowly and steadily on your tasks; you’ll deal with the details in due time.

Stage 2: The Active Work Period

What to do: Follow your work schedule.

Review your schedule every couple of days to see where your work stands. You might have to rotate tasks a regular basis to ensure you’ve at least started work on one aspect of your event.

What to look out for: Feeling as if you have all the time in the world.

Succumbing to procrastination at this stage can be horribly detrimental to your planning. Avoid the temptation to put things aside until a later date.


Stage 3: Counting Down the Days

What to do: Finalize project components as best you can.

Don’t wait until the day before the event to complete your work. Your days will soon be occupied with tasks and items you probably never imagined would be an issue! The more you can get done sooner, the better.

What to look out for: The urge to jump ship…or steer it in a different direction.

Now is not the time to start a new routine, be it a new workout schedule or app to help you plan your event. Stick with what works and focus your time on moving the event forward.

Stage 4: Event Day

What to do: Focus on managing time at the event.

Shift your focus and work to prevent time blockages or delays throughout the day. Take into account not only your own schedule or timeline, but the schedule of others and the event itself.

What to look out for: Not starting early enough.

Give yourself the gift of time by getting a good night’s rest and starting your day as early as possible. It’s better to have a buffer of time at your disposal so you can deal with any issues that may come up.

Stage 5: Postevent

What to do: Celebrate and wrap things up.

Congratulate yourself on a job well done. Do an event debrief, close out accounts and files.

What to look out for: Thinking you have all the time in the world to wrap things up.

The longer you wait, the more you risk losing precious information that is still fresh in your mind. Take this opportunity to jot down notes and key learnings from your experience.

How about you? Are you thinking about planning an event in the near future? What time management issue concerns you the most? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Want help planning your party or event? I have an eBook and online course that can help you plan everything, from to start to finish. Click here to learn more! 

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

2 Responses

  1. Jus

    Great Tips. Super helpful.

    • Rashelle

      Thanks! I hope they are of a great help to you in your planning