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How can you manage your time more effectively?

“TIME is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent,  be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” Carl Landburg

In the events industry, time is our greatest enemy. There never enough time to do anything and everything. So, how can we manage our time better to get stuff done and not run out of time??


Here are five tips to help you feel more in control of your time:


Tip One

Create a daily planner.

Before you log off in the evening, create a ‘to do list’ or a ‘planner’ for the next day.

You can list and prioritise your tasks for that day.

You will log off, knowing that the next day is prepared and ready for you.


Tip Two

Understanding the timelines required for the delivering the event

Using your calendar or a project management tool to populate these key dates (and set reminders)

Share these key dates with the client


Tip Three

Block out distractions.

Block out time in your calendar to focus on your task at hand.

Accept only essential meetings.

Ask if the meeting is required, or whether a phone call would help

Turn email, teams, WhatsApp off 


Tip Four

Establish a work routine.

You know when you work best, where possible, make sure you are working at the times that suit you best. Some of us are early birds, some of us are night owls. 

Pick your rhythm!


Tip Five

Take a break.

You are not a machine, you cannot work 24/7!

Schedule breaks in the you day (and take them), schedule days off (and take them).

You will feel so much better knowing that you have days off planned

Everyone needs a refresh and a recharge!










 

(photo courtesy of Matt Glover)


I was lucky enough to work at the International Convention Centre for four years. This was a high-pressured role delivering events, dealing with clients, internal stakeholders, vendors and building relationships with peers. All great fun!  The types of roles I worked on varied from Boardroom Meetings for 10 up for Full Site lets for 10,000 people (and everything in between).


One of the key things I learnt here was how to manage your diary.

  • Blocking out (in advance) you Lieu Days and Holidays

  • Looking at meeting requests and making sure you do not overload your diary i.e leaving at least a 30 min gap between meetings, only having one planning meeting a day.

  • Setting reminders for meetings and tasks

  • Using your calendar as a prompt for client actions


Another thing which I found extremely helpful was to ‘buddy up’ on an event.  Working with a colleague to deliver the event on site means that we can split the shifts, you are not working long hours, and the client gets the benefit of two experienced managers.


Time management is one of those topics that I’m convinced everyone struggles with at times – whether it’s work suddenly going crazy, the pressures of family or a busy social life. 


I personally am terrible at Tip number 5. When I start a project I jump straight in with both feet, including making sure I’m accessible to my team. At The Scouts I’m working in a position where I spend lots of evenings and weekends with volunteers, which means I accrue a lot of TOIL. But I struggle to take it back. 


But it’s important to recognise that this means you’re not putting yourself first. And if can’t look after yourself, how will the project fare! Yes, there are times when you have to work longer hours, but take that hour or two to yourself for a longer walk at lunch, or finish early on a Friday to recharge and give your mind a rest from the constant demands of a busy workplace. 


I now track my TOIL and make sure I get it in my calendar as soon as possible. It’s also really handy to be able to show my boss how much overtime I’m working so we can evaluate the needs of each project. I’m also trying to start my year with some diary blocking – dedicating each day or morning/afternoon ‘chunk’ to a project, to be able to focus on that projects needs and ignore those pesky emails that seem to fly in continuously. 


None of us are perfect at managing our time, we are after all human and get distracted by phone calls, emails, coffee shop trips and social media.  We hope these tips and our real life experiences will encourage you to start new habit.


Good Luck! And Happy New Year!

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  • Writer's pictureKaren Edwards


I am a relative newbie to the world of podcasting.


I generally listen to them rather than talk on one!


But when Jack Saward asked me to join him on The Events Insight Podcast… I had to say yes!

I mean, I like talking, I like people, I love the events industry and I get on with Jack… so there was nothing to lose.


I had no real idea what was involved in putting a podcast together. I do now!

  1. You need one or two hosts who are willing to chat to guest about the events industry!

  2. You need a website to promote your podcast, guests and the band of volunteers who make the podcast possible - https://www.theeventsinsight.com/

  3. You need a creative genius who manages and develops the website https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathaniel-brown15/

  4. You need a platform the record the podcast on. We use Squadcast. It records the audio individually, so it makes it easier for our producer to edit down the recording (or normally me!!)

  5. You need a patient and creative producer to pull the content together. Without the guys at https://www.linkedin.com/company/wavecast/ we would be stuck! Tommy you are a genius! Thank you for editing down mine and Jacks chatter to 40 mins are intelligent content for our listeners!

  6. You need a band of volunteers who give up their time to promote and support the podcast. Thank you Thank you Thank you. We couldn’t do it without you. (all our lovely volunteers, past and present, can be found on the website) - https://www.theeventsinsight.com/

  7. Then, we need willing events industry guests. We in a very lucky position that people approach us and ask to be on the podcast… everyone has an interesting story to tell. The challenge that we have in working with everyone’s diaries to find a suitable date and time to record. This is normally in the evening over a glass of wine!!

  8. We also need sponsorship. We are eternally grateful to each and every sponsor who has contributed to the podcast. Thank you for letting our voices fill the airwaves!!!

  9. And finally… without out band of loyal listeners, we would have given up ages ago. We have over 3,500 followers across our channels and have released over 80 episodes with downloads now coming from 72 different countries!!

The greatest thing about being a part of the podcast is seeing firsthand how wonderful the events industry is; how willing people are to give up their time to talk about their journey, their experiences and also how much industry professionals want to reach out and help each other.


It is a privilege to talk to people from this industry.




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  • Writer's pictureKaren Edwards


From my social posts, you may have noticed that I have recently been working out in Orlando, Florida.


Two weeks in the glorious Florida sunshine, working with a fabulous team, on possibly the hardest event of my life. Physically demanding because of the sheer size of the campus, and mentally demanding because of the jet lag, client expectations and the fact I had never been to the site before… so was working blind!!


The event was a big. No, huge!!


This campus wide event covered 3 Disney properties, 4 temporary structures (each a minimum of 2 football pitches long), 1 outdoor causeway and various patios and covered walkways!


I was part of a 50 strong project team all drafted in to make this large-scale event happen.

I was part of the Logistics Team with my primary role being to liaise with the US based furniture vendors to provide presentations and costings for the client to ensure that each space had the look and feel they needed for the event. And managing the delivery schedules, set up and striking of the items across the campus.


Is this role straightforward?


Yes (for a logistics brain)


Is this demanding?


Yes, very.


I am based in the UK and the vendors I was managing were based in the US (East Coast, West Coast and Mid). So the first challenge was finding a balance with home life, work life and time difference, to ensure I was available when I needed to be.


I have never worked on this event before, so had no concept of the event, the venue, the scale and the historical event delivery. Getting to know the team and the event was a priority. Looking at as much information, videos, photos from previous events would help me understand my role (and the event).


One of my skills as a planner is people; I enjoy working with and understanding the people (the team), the stakeholders and the client. This role was very much about people. Finding out what X wants, seeing if Y can provide it, putting a presentation together for X based on Y’s information, then amending, updating the presentation, and presenting new options when required. I was the link between the vendors, the team and the client – and trying to manage, please and deliver what everyone wants when they want was the biggest challenge.

Another challenge was the delivery schedule – understanding the on-site process, the timings, the venue, working with the other vendors who needed access to set up, understanding client expectations. As a team, one mammoth document was created for delivery, set up and striking.


Did I enjoy the event?


Yes. With any event that you take on as a freelancer, there is always an element of the unknown, that is what makes freelancing so exciting! You never know quite what you are going to work, who you will meet and what skills you will need to bring to the project!


Roll on 2024!


Some fun facts for you:

  • The maximum capacity of Hollywood Studios is 50,000 people.

  • My daily step count over 2 weeks was…. 30,000!!!

  • Which means I walked approx. 180 miles!!

  • Average cost of a coffee was $7.00.

  • I managed the planning, delivery, set up and striking of almost 4,000 individual pieces of furniture.

  • I worked with some of THE LOVELIEST people. When you are working so hard on an event, friendships blossom – you need to find your gang who support you when the going gets tough and your feet, legs and calves are burning!!

  • Cinderella, Belle, Pocahontas and Jasmine, I can’t thank you enough. Thanks for the LOLS!



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This website was created in collaboration with:

Yellow Glove Productions (Videography)

Matt Glover Photography (Photography) 

Tick Business Support Ltd (Web Design)

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