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Master Event Scheduling.

Andy Robertson

Key to successful event planning is building and maintaining accurate schedules for a multitude of factors. The schedules you put together must be dynamic enough to allow for constant changes and modifications to ensure everything happens as and when it should. What steps can you take to ensure your scheduling stays on track? 

How everyone puts together a schedule differs depending on their experience and preferences. Some people use pen and paper, others prefer large calendarised wipe boards but most common are probably spreadsheets and outlook calendars. Just think of the variety of aspects you will need to manage and schedule and it can get a bit daunting:  

  • Meetings. 
    A schedule of meetings with artists, venue owners and vendors etc. to negotiate terms, fix contracts and agree dates and other due date details.
  • Deliveries. A delivery schedule for equipment and construction materials (if required) that may include sound and light equipment but balanced with onsite vendor deliveries.
  • Onsite tasks and schedules. A comprehensive task list and schedule for onsite builds including stage construction and security fencing for example. Who is responsible for completing each task and by when?
  • Staffing. Recruitment of volunteer staff allowing for interviews, staff briefings and a calendarised work roster detailing who needs to be where and when.    
  • Sound checks and Stage Scheduling.
    Soundcheck scheduling dates and times should be notified to engineers, artists and their managers. If your event has many artists make sure you have documented running orders, onstage times, changeover times and dressing room schedules.  

For all these aspects an element of contingency planning needs to be incorporated to allow for late deliveries and no shows so always build in additional buffer times. Of course, all delivery schedules and instructions need to be communicated to the appropriate parties and ensure that confirmation is received. Provide a contact process so that delivery issues can be quickly communicated to the event organisers and changes made to schedules.           

There are automation tools available to help in managing your schedules, just do an online search and you will find a plethora of generic project management software options that usually include some task scheduling and calendar capabilities. The costs vary so there is always something to suit everyone's budget. Many of these software platforms work on a standalone basis and are geared to a single user with few collaboration options. 

Team collaboration is key in organising your event schedules and again there are many collaboration software platforms available in a range of budgets. In searching for the right tools ideally find a good project management tool that allows for team collaboration.

There may not be a single method or software tool that will suit an event teams working style so it may be better to work with a
combination of software, wipe boards and calendars for example. It's about finding the best combination that works for your specific type of event and the team make up.  

When using an event management software solution like FestivalPro you get all the task, calendar, scheduling and collaboration functionality included. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience. The easy to use FestivalPro platform will guide you through every aspect that you are likely to encounter in creating and running your event tasks and schedules.

Andy Robertson
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