Guest post from Anton Villatoro, RaceHQ President and Co-Founder
Anyone that has planned an event can certainly relate to the overwhelming feeling of drowning in sticky notes, answering emails in the middle of the night, and getting into arguments over things like porto-potty locations. Event directors are the ultimate multi-taskers and it’s awful to feel the loss of control as your to-dos pile up faster than you can knock things off your list.
Ensuring nothing slips through the cracks not only becomes critical to the success of the event, but for the positive and safe experience of the participants as well.
If you sometimes feel like your job is driving you mad, here are three tips to regain control of your event and quite possibly your sanity:
1. Stop the madness
I mean it. Stop giving yourself and your team brain damage. I can’t tell you how often I see (and experience!) organizations spinning themselves into a complete whirlwind between back-and-forth emails on a particular topic (I think I was once on an email string of 200+ emails on how we were going to ship potato chips from the sponsor), chasing unneeded to-do’s, or calling meetings that are a complete waste of time. Someone needs to call a ‘Time Out!’ and reestablish parameters for how the organization is going to communicate and make decisions going forward.
2. Focus on the important stuff
Many grand plans crumble under the weight of reality. Given your limited resources (i.e. time, money, etc.) and potential challenges from outside factors such as city permits or sponsors, there are a lot of things that can reshape your original vision. And that’s ok. Having vision is important, just be careful not to put yourself, your team, and your event at risk by forgetting what’s really important. Your most basic need is to make sure your participants can navigate your course safely without getting lost. Period. The registration process, the course itself, timing & results, your medical program (and any other emergency/contingency plans)would come next. The beer garden, the live music, and the t-shirt design are all important, but not absolutely critical. A helpful exercise can be to rank each of your tasks from critical (lives at stake) on down to nonessential.
3. Make a plan
Do you know who’s doing what, and when? Are your role assignments clear? If not, it’s time to make a work plan. This is your recipe, your timeline, and your owner’s manual to pull off your event. Now it’s about execution and not a guessing game. The goal is to get to the point where every week you are conducting rapid-fire team meetings going through the plan and addressing anything that might fall behind schedule.
This is all easier said than done, but that’s why we’re here. RaceHQ is part of your team and we will help you save time while keeping you organized and on track. Our templates and milestones get you started, and our unlimited support is there every step of the way. Let us know how we can help. We would love to talk through your plan with you or conduct remote implementation meetings with your team. It’s time to get control of your event and your sanity once and for all.
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Prior to launching RaceHQ, Anton Villatoro was Vice President of Operations for Competitor Group, Inc. and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, Muddy Buddy Ride & Run series, and TriRock Triathlon series. He also owned and operated the Denver Marathon (later to become a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon event) and served as Commissioner of the Pro Cycling Tour.
Besides having a strong event management background, Anton is a 1996 Olympian and former professional cyclist on the U.S. Postal Service team.