There are a lot of ways to get from Point A to Point B. The way that you choose to do so may say a lot about whether you’re Type A or Type B. If you’re like me, you take the most direct route, set the cruise at 72, and frequently check your watch to be sure that you are “making good time”. Or if you’re like my wife, you don’t know when you left, when you plan to arrive, or which route you are taking.
Similarly, there are a lot of different ways that you can plan your event. The Organizer organizes every single detail with color coded minute-by-minute itineraries. The Over Planner has an agenda bursting at the seams with activities. The Team Planner delegates tasks to team members and watches them take the event in a whole new direction. Then there’s the Under Planner, who waits until the last minute, makes frantic phone calls in the days leading up to the event, and hopes that everything just falls into place.
Under Planners need help.
An Organizer may have every piece of information for every attendee organized in a beautiful spreadsheet that can be sorted by name, age, shirt size, maternal grandmother’s maiden name, etc. In contrast, the typical Under Planner has roughly half of his registration list written on a napkin from Qdoba. The rest of the list isn’t actually a list; it’s just a bunch of yeses and maybes from people who may or may not show up.
This is really the trouble with an Under Planner. Very few things are actually in writing. So, it can be very confusing to know what’s been communicated to the venue or to the attendees. This leads to lots of questions late in the game and can be frustrating for everyone involved.
Similarly, an Under Planner tends to delegate very little. Not because they like to micromanage, but because they aren’t plugged into what things need to be done. Even though there might be team members who are willing to step up and take responsibility to plan pieces of the event, they may become frustrated that they haven’t been empowered to do so.
However, it’s not all gloom and doom for Under Planners.
People who procrastinate can be infuriating to work with, but they also tend to have qualities that can make them successful event planners. Under Planners are more likely to be creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. They focus on making things fun for their attendees and bring fresh ideas to each event. They tend to embrace new technology, which will help keep the event relevant and engaging for younger attendees.
Also, Under Planners typically don’t feel the stress of deadlines like most others do; this is why they tend to procrastinate. However, the silver lining is that Under Planners don’t keep feeding into the stress of the situation. They keep things from reaching a boiling point. This is a good thing because working with Under Planners can be very stressful.
A team is necessary to get Under Planners from Point A to Point B.
As you know, there are a million things to think about when planning an event. And there’s no way that an Under Planner is going to get it all done. So, the successful Under Planners have enough self-awareness to know that they need a team of people, and they are willing to delegate responsibilities to those key team members.
One final piece of advice: If you are one of these infuriatingly loveable Under Planners, please do everyone a favor and write things down. Your team will thank you. The venue will thank you. Your attendees will thank you.