At first glance, you might think an Apple Keynote is a very different event compared to say, my last birthday party. Yes, WWDC might be on a slightly higher budget, but there are many similarities as well. Both events have attendees, who in turn have to go through some sort of registration or invitation process. Best wordpress seo experts party is a bit more exclusive, by the way.
Both have some sort of promotional materials to let people know about the event, and those materials need to be distributed through various channels. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a charismatic, good-looking, and very tastefully dressed host. All right, jokes aside. Although the scale of those two events are extremely different, the cool thing about event management is that the structure you use and the process you follow more or less stays the same.
I’m a Product Marketing Manager at a large technology company, and in the past five years, I’ve planned and executed hundreds of offline and online events. These events include both small-scale C-level roundtables that take place in a single afternoon and 1,000 people webinar series that go on for several months.
Free Event Management 101 Course
Now event management is an extremely broad topic that cannot be covered in a single YouTube blog, so I created a free Event Management 101 course over at Skillshare and included some of the key highlights in this blog as well. Basically, I walk you through step-by-step the entire event planning process on Google Sheets, share how I structure the spreadsheet for cross team collaboration, and talk about the purpose of each tab.
If you just wanna be a bit less amateur when it comes to planning the next happy hour or team offsite, the concepts I’ll go through in this blog is more than enough. If you’re a professional who comes into regular contact with events at work or even an aspiring marketer, then I highly recommend you go through that course, because that’s what I wish I could have had when I joined the marketing team. Without further ado, let’s dive in. Right off the bat, you’ll notice I’ve split this Google sheet into six different sections.
Key information, pre-event, during event, post-event, and raw data, using these empty tabs as section headers, and these are all color coded as well, right. And do this for two reasons. Number one, you’re gonna receive a lot of questions about the event from different stakeholders, and you need to find that information as quickly as possible. And number two, because there’s so many teams involved in event planning, you want the spreadsheet to be as self-explanatory as possible.
The idea of the overview tab is very simple. Imagine someone with zero background of the event comes across this spreadsheet. After they look through the information on this tab, they should have a general understanding of what the event is about without having to ask you directly. Key information tabs include RSVP snapshot, agenda, promotion channels, and comms timeline. And the way to think about these four tabs is also very simple, just imagine if someone very senior, like your manager or another team’s director, message you about the event, what would they be asking about? 99% of the time, the answer can be found in one of these four tabs.
They might ask about how many people have signed up so far, RSVP snapshot. How the content is coming along, agenda tab. Which promotion channel is driving the most sign-ups, promo channels. And when we’re sending the next confirmation or reminder email out, comms timeline. For us, the project managers, every single one of these tabs within the spreadsheet is important, right.
But trust me when I tell you, very few senior managers will care about all the specific details and will only want like the high level information that you have so thoughtfully already consolidated in the key information section here.
This is where the pre, during, and post method comes in. Broadly speaking, this part just helps you organize all the things you need to plan before the event actually takes place, hence, pre-event. During event tabs, list out the things you need to take care of during the event, and you guessed it, post here means post office. No, post event tabs help you organize the things you need to do after the event is complete. Quick note, these yellow, purple, and green tabs are by no means an exhaustive list of tabs you need for each like, section, but this provides a very good start.
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After The Event
As long as you think about it in this way, like before, during, and after the event, we decrease the chances of missing something important. Raw data tabs, this is exactly like it sounds. This is where you keep all the raw data you collect throughout the event planning and execution process, like registration data, attendee data, engagement data, post event survey data. They’re all kept here, and I like to mark these in gray.
Over The Next Few Lessons
I’m gonna deep dive into each one of these tabs and explain that tab’s purpose, go over the formatting and formulas within, and make adjustments based on real life situations. Okay, let’s dive. All right, and we’re back. I hope you enjoyed that snippet of the Event Management 101 course. There are a total of 11 lessons over at Skillshare, and it covers the exact structure I use when I plan and manage events at work as a product marketing manager. If that was at all interesting, you can use a link down below to sign up to a two month free trial of Skillshare.
They’re not sponsoring this blog by the way. Also down below is the exact event management template I go through, so you can make a copy of that as well. It might be slightly confusing without the accompanying explanations and the real time adjustments I make within the course, but I didn’t wanna hold back any resources from you guys because I’m an angel.