Introduction to Project Management

Effective event planning relies on a number of interconnected project management skills.

What is a project?

By project, we mean a piece of work seeking to make a defined contribution using particular resources and in a particular timeframe. Projects are defined by their:

  • Uniqueness
  • Transience
  • Scope (e.g. time, cost, quality expectations)

(See Project Management, Peter Hobbs, 2009, Darling Kindersley Limited)

All projects also involve managing some form of change and so can offer valuable examples of your change management ability when it comes to interviewing for jobs.

These three defining features help to seperate both one project from another, as well as (crucially) seperating a project from business-as-usual. By Hobbs’ definition, a project must be different to other activity going on, have a clear end-point (even if the exact timing isn’t known), and should be clear in what needs to be achieved. At the end of some business projects, they may become part of an organisation’s normal day-to-day operations, but events by definition will not.

What does event management involve?

Event management calls on a diverse range of skills, which is part of the reason why it’s worth thinking about working with a team. Each event will be different, but most will require some or all of these skills, particularly from the lead planner:

  • Managing a team
  • Managing a budget
  • Development of advertising and communicating with a range of stakeholders
  • Adjusting plans when necessary
  • Setting and evaluating targets