Graduation party is a big challange

I say it again – big events need big planning

Our youngest daughter has just graduated from High School. With graduation comes a big party. Everybody in our acquaintances is affected from this. Either they also have a daughter or son graduating or they are invited to 5 + graduation parties during one week.  Crazy isn’t it? I know many executive leaders having a hard time getting through this week. It is short before the holiday period and always a lot to do. How to manage and still stay on your feet?

If you are in the easier of the above two situations – just having to go to festivities – it is more a matter of just planning these evenings and to prioritize how long you want to stay at each place. And of course plan them in a geographical efficient route. Basic to most people.

The hard part comes when you are having a party for your own daughter/son. In Sweden you invite a large number of friends – the ones that have some kind of relation to your daughter/son and the object also invite all their friends. It usually ends up with very many guests. On top of that it is not polite to force people leaving note in advance whether they come or not.

We planned for about 100 guests and in the end we counted to 116 people coming and going during the evening. We served tons of food in a buffet and everybody was happy with lots of laughter in the party tent in the garden.

As I have written before a big party like this need planning as do all big events in the business world. I again want to share my way of doing things when it gets a little bit too much to do. I personally like planning for big events. This one was a private party so everything had to be done alongside of the ordinary job as consultant for stressed executive leaders.

Was this a mission impossible? Absolutely not! With good planning you can do a lot and still end up in good shape. I have been to many big events during my working carrier and also to many big private parties. I have seen hosts that can enjoy their own event/party and I have seen breakdowns.

Once again – here is how I do it when I am in charge for the whole picture in a big event:

  1. When I know I have a big task ahead of me I find it extra important to take care of my physical health to be maximum fit. You know – eat, sleep and do workout/walks regularly. That will make me have enough physical energy during the whole process.
  2. The mental energy I get from the planning in itself – I enjoy it and I try to always focus on solutions – not the problems.
  3. I make a list of everything I can think of that matter in the event. I brain-storm with myself.
  4. I put the list in front of me and then I go through the whole event in my mind, step by step, counting minutes for time-consuming tasks, counting other things that are involved to get a realistic picture of what is coming. I add in the list as I go along.
  5. I have the long list of things to do and I make a time schedule starting from the end of the event counting backwards. Writing down what/who/where things are to be done. When everything on your list is in your plan you see when you have to start working.
  6. Now it is time to look at the whole picture. Do I need to delegate? What services shall I outsource? And so on…..

I use this process for ALL events – private and professional that I am part of. If you do a good grounding job the event will go smoothly and everybody will be happy. The bigger event the more planning you need. Real big events might take a couple of days just to the basic pre-planning.

You might say that you outsource the entire job to someone else – BUT I INSIST – even then you need to do the first steps in the planning to know what you are going to outsource and to get the best deal. Because if you are the host you want to offer only the best, right? And in the end this means you will feel less stressed, you will enjoy the event and it will be good for your health in the long run.

And like @AdamUrbansky , whom I follow on Twitter, says : “The better you plan in advance the easier it is to set up implementation process and delegate.” Great to know I am in good company!

I also just read a good aticle on delegation “Learning to delegate” in – found it thanks to a tweet from Debora McLaughlin, whom I also follow on Twitter.

How do you manage when you are in charge of big events? When you are in charge of the whole process contra when you outsource? Please leave a comment and share.

Keep smiling!