This is a guest post by Sanchi and was originally published on the Airmeet blog.
Do you know how to get the most out of your virtual events? Here are some quick hacks that will definitely help. Read here to know more.
Planning a virtual event is far more challenging than it would be in an offline setting. A successful virtual event starts with the personal productivity of the team members. Try these productivity hacks to sharpen your skills, stay focused, and save time around the process to give it that dynamic push!
Table of Contents
Spend some time organizing everything that needs to be done before you begin working on your next event. Once you have a list of tasks and responsibility levels, it will be much easier for everyone to know what needs attention. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress.
The key to optimum productivity is creating an organized daily plan. This should include details such as:
- What active projects need attention
- The respective digital workers assigned for individual tasks
- Deadlines for completion (and how much progress has already been made)
- Any other relevant information (i.e., SMART Goal, meeting times, platform, audience, budget, etc.)
Therefore, you must plan and prepare a checklist or SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of what shouldn’t be missed.
Create a checklist for your staff to reference when planning their daily goals, and integrate it into your planning routine. Outline the tasks within specific periods of time frame. So that you plan, execute, and complete the deliverables accordingly and appropriately.
Deadlines are what make your brain work its hardest and get stuff done fast. It sees a finish line up ahead, so it can’t stop working until the race is over or before that imaginary clock’s time limit runs out.
Once that is done, start accomplishing and ticking off against each task from the to-do list for the day.
Systemize your workflow
Once the checklist is done, create a sequence or workflow. Identify the tasks and requirements to make an order in the flow. It costs you minimal time, attention, and energy.
Successful people believe that the first rule in planning an event is prioritizing tasks based on importance. A good way to do this is by looking at how each task fits your overarching vision for the event. This is then followed by judging them based on that parameter.
If you take care to tackle all those items one by one, then in no time, you will have done away with the most critical task. All while still reserving enough energy for other things which need attention just as much.
Alongside priorities comes managing your available time. It is not about rating some events-related tasks unimportant; rather, it means doing what needs to be done when necessary. So, everything can happen according to plan without any delays or worries along the way.
To help organizations and businesses work things out, David Allen wrote a methodology called GTD (Getting Things Done). It is a management system that systemizes the workflow and assists corporates by giving them more clarity and staying focused while planning the event.
It follows these five important steps:
- Capture the tasks in your head and jot them down in a list
- Clarify and process each item and start the task delegation
- Organize, categorize, and prioritize the series of actionable tasks into essential projects
- Reflect on the results and rapid succession of the workflow
- Engage with the items and counter check them with the SMART goal
Once you have broken down your to-do list and set your workflow system, focus on one project at a time. No matter how many projects are in front of us, it is important to channel your energy into one thing. So that the task can be completed efficiently and successfully rather than constantly switching gears without finishing anything.
Contrary to popular belief, studies have proven that multitasking is expensive and can cost you up to a 40% loss of optimum productivity. Multitasking is tempting, especially when you have 1-3 big tasks ahead of you. However, when your mind switches from one study to another, the result is insufficient attention and lower productivity.
To combat this, it’s worth figuring out which of your regular responsibilities are more complicated. These should be treated differently from other mundane tasks because they require greater focus and attention.
The problem with task switching is that you pay substantial productivity costs for little to no gain. When there are instant changes in the context of your difficult tasks, it has a terrible effect on your attention span.
A solution to this is clustering related and similar tasks together. It helps cut down on the context switches between wildly different contexts and swinging back-and-forth continuously when trying to complete even one task at a time.
Another effective hack is getting into a laser-like mindset to save yourself time and brainpower. Any productivity machine and project management software will help you estimate how long certain tasks take.
Turn off distractions
A new study reveals that the average person is distracted every three minutes because of notifications. It comes in many forms of desktop notifications on your laptop or even mobile notifications from social media.
This can cause stress to people who feel like they have to keep up with their personal life and a professional one.
The constant fear of an alert can have two main consequences. It can either bring a low level of productivity since you are constantly worried about the next ding or notification. Or sometimes, it can lead to distraction when you receive one because suddenly all focus is gone.
The key to getting work done and feeling refreshed at the end of each day is having a solid routine. It may seem like something you can get away with on occasion. But your productivity will suffer in the long run if you don’t schedule working time into your days.
This means switching off all distractions such as social media notifications or text messages when they start coming through. It’s easy for them to eat for hours without realizing it.
But when you are committed to working, it will help you follow through from one task to another.
A few things you could do to avoid the unnecessary distractions are as follows:
- Organizing and unplugging yourself
- Putting your phone on silent or focus mode
- Sitting in a closed-door room
Break into smaller attainable tasks
Sometimes the project planning process can be confusing, and once you find yourself lost, things get overwhelming. To simplify this task for oneself or a team of people, breaking up your large-scale projects into smaller, more attainable tasks is key.
It’s important to work efficiently and purposefully to create a well-organized event. Structuring your days, systemizing your workflow, decluttering the desk space around you can all make a big difference towards an organized day.
Organizers polled said their biggest barrier to productivity was being unable to complete tasks on a certain period of time due to new requests coming up. So, try leaving some free slots open during certain hours or blocks off entire days as buffer space if unforeseen circumstances arise.
After all, by dedicating time to these lists separately, they are much easier to manage in sequence with each other as well. Moreover, it also improves your time management skills, allowing you to have a five-minute break from the extra time you have saved!
Follow your event agenda
Whichever format you choose, always be aware of your agenda to maintain a more productive lifestyle consistent with routine practices. Without regular organization habits, procrastination will lead to unproductivity.
At the same time, meetings go unattended, and deadlines are missed without care for consequences or outcomes due to a lazy attention span on important matters at hand.
When you build an agenda, you plan the high-level flow of the event. Once it is ready, you should utilize it to keep track of tasks and plan your everyday life. When the entire schedule can be seen, you can zoom in, complete one job, and focus on upcoming ones.
Consistency in following the agenda steadily can be a significant player in improving your efficiency and productivity.
Keep a ‘Plan B’ ready
When it comes to orchestrating an event, there are a lot of people involved. It requires extensive event planning to guarantee that everyone is on the same page and understands their role. Set clear expectations for every stakeholder to not introduce any unnecessary changes after deadlines have been established.
The organizer in you would love to keep a list of tasks, but there are so many things that need your attention. And for an online event, the organizer’s mind is always wired to watch the worst-case scenarios and the way-outs.
For every supplier, make sure you have at least one of them prepared. Check the requirements and timing for ordering from them; then call up beforehand with a list of approved suppliers if you need to change anything last minute.
Event organizers should always keep a contingency plan ready for the uncertainties and negative scenarios. It includes your suppliers, your electronic equipment, your internet connection, and pretty much everything because once the event is on, there is no pause.
Improving productivity is the key to a successful event. So to sharpen the skills, stay focused, save time and perfect the process.
Utilize an efficient platform
Choose an event platform that meets your needs and is easy to use. It’s a good idea to get as many functionalities and features as possible because you never know what requirements may arise later.
For instance, Airmeet enables scalability on the go so that you don’t have to lose time figuring out how to allow more attendees than your initial plan.
Select a platform that offers predictive and prescriptive KPIs. The predictive measures provide insight into management’s future trends, challenges, and opportunities to make proactive decisions.
Prescriptive analytics is based on machine learning program predictions to help businesses decide a course of action. It works on making corrections to the predictive analytics scores.
KPI’s assist in effective event planning and anticipating roadblocks ahead of time.
Templatize and standardize
Collate all your event information online so that it is accessible to all related people to stay organized. Request the clients fill out the form available on the website rather than providing information on calls or emails.
Display all event-related information on the website visibly clear and concise so visitors can find useful information right there. You can even create templates for your proposal mails, contract mails, and venue outreach emails to clients. It makes work much faster.
You can leave space to personalize names and any other specific detail for a more refined design and presentation.
Make an agile event plan
The competition is rising higher, and the stakes are getting more intense. To improve productivity, you will have to work harder faster in an innovative way like never before.
- Add some specialists, who act as catalysts in the team.
- Develop a common language amongst collaborators.
- Use digital tools that keep data up to date and help in event planning and communication.
Note: Digital tools will help you continue to work effectively without messing up your workflow with excessive distractions and manual tasks.
Being productive is the way to be!
Two things businesses aspire to be – be productive and, at the same time, be successful.
Achieving goals, completing tasks early, beating deadlines – these are all aspects of productivity that will make you feel like a champ every day. Incorporate the tips in this article when planning a virtual event to take your productivity levels up a notch or two!
If you would like to find out more about Airmeet then check out their site and their excellent blog.
This post was originally written by Sanchi, a contributor to the Airmeet blog. It appears here as a guest post with their permission.