From weddings to corporate conferences, events serve so many business, social, and personal purposes. That means event management comes with a lot of unique details to sort out and put in place — and those details can change drastically for each type of event. Using Gantt charts for event planning provides a consistent approach to defining events and working toward success with your team members — no matter how different each event actually is.
In this article, you’ll learn about some core elements for successful event planning and how a Gantt chart can help you visualize and manage them. We’ll also provide some insight into how monday.com’s powerful Work OS helps with event planning and highlight a few templates you can use on monday.com to get started.
What are the core elements to successful event planning?
Whether you’re looking forward to a product launch or other marketing event or planning a family reunion or volunteer bash, there are some core elements that are critical to success for any type of event planning. When planning an event, you should:
- Understand the audience: Successful events match the needs, desires, and preferences of the audience. To do that, you must know who that audience is. Think about who is invited to the event and who is likely to come. What are their goals in attending? What are the demographics of the audience? What are the income levels, household status, and interests?
- Create a great guest experience: Once you understand the main audience for an event, you can work on coming up with the right experience for them. For example, a corporate event for executives might include webinars and networking time, and while people might bring families along for a vacation after the conference, teams might not worry about planning an event that includes childcare. On the other hand, if you’re launching a product for parents or hosting a mom-blogger conference, it can be a good idea to assume some children might come along and plan ahead for entertaining them.
- Set and follow a budget: Be reasonable about the budget and what the task management for your event might require. Consider using Google Sheets or other shared documents to help clients or stakeholders understand where the budget is going, so you can get approval for spending associated with the event ahead of time — then stick to those amounts!
- Have a clear purpose: Knowing the ultimate goal of an event helps you track progress toward that goal better, ensures you know what items to focus more resources, budget, and time on, and helps you market the event more clearly on social media and other locations.
- Execute details flawlessly: Finally, make sure you have a visual project timeline and all the resources in place to ensure you can execute the event once the big day arrives.
One of the best project schedule resources you can use to set yourself and your team up for success with event planning is a Gantt chart.
What is a Gantt chart?
A Gantt chart is a visual representation of work and tasks required to meet a specific goal.
The Gantt chart is one of the most popular project management tools because you can use it for almost any effort that involves multiple tasks carried out over a set period of time.
While you can customize Gantt chart templates to meet your exact needs, they all have the following elements:
- A horizontal axis that represents time, typically in days or weeks but sometimes in hours, depending on the scale of the work you’re doing
- A vertical axis that lets you list tasks related to the project at hand
- A breakdown of those tasks, which often show up as color-coded blocks or lines on the chart and indicate the exact timelines for each task
Gantt charts can also have numerous other elements, including indications of task dependencies and critical paths to project completion. Find out how to use some of these elements for event planning with the tips below.
Tips for using a Gantt chart for event planning
The great thing about a Gantt chart is that you can use it in a variety of ways that work for you and your team. Here are just a few tips for making Gantt charts work for your event planning needs.
Use it to assign tasks to the right resources
Once you put all the required tasks on the Gantt chart and determine when someone must complete each, you can better align resources with each task. You can even overlay other data, such as when team members or vendors are available, so you can see if that works with your timeline. If not, you can make proactive adjustments before you get started, helping to increase the chances that you’ll be ready for the event when it arrives.
Visual project dependencies for a proactive approach to event planning
Gantt charts let you quickly identify which tasks are dependent on others.Proactive management of task dependencies with a Gantt chart helps you avoid issues, such as bottlenecks, which can put your event at risk.
For example, someone may need to decorate the venue in the hours before the event starts. That task is contingent on:
- Planning for decorations and themes
- Approving decorations
- Ordering decorations
- Receiving decorations on time
A Gantt chart keeps all those tasks in view, so you know if they’re on track and can make decisions about ramping up efforts if needed to get required tasks done to ensure decorations are ready on time.
View the critical path to ensure you complete work on time
You can take a similar approach to your entire event planning project by looking at the critical path. The critical path is the longest line through all required tasks and helps you see how much time your project should take overall. It accounts for simultaneous tasks, which can run at the same time. If tasks B and C can run at the same time but take 2 and 4 weeks, respectively, and task D can’t start until both the other tasks are done, then the critical path in that section of your project takes 4 total weeks.
Keeping up with project timelines, assigning tasks and ensuring they’re done on time, and working collaboratively with teams to implement creative solutions throughout the timeline requires technical tools. monday.com’s robust Work OS offers all the features you need to get the job done.
monday.com event planning software
monday.com’s event planning solutions include customizable Gantt charts that integrate with plenty of other views, including Kanban boards and dashboards, to keep teams on task, on target, and on the same page. You can use our Work OS to plan an event, market it, and manage it when the time comes. Some features you might be interested in include:
- Customizable forms and templates that make event registration easy to oversee
- Cross-team collaboration tools, including workdocs, so team members traveling for events can continue to update documents, participate in event planning discussions, and access the resources required to do their jobs at an event
- Event marketing tools, including an option for monday marketer, our all-inclusive marketing management tool
- Real-time monitoring and automations that keep work flowing, even when your team is in the throes of planning or hosting an event
One of the best places to start when using monday.com for event planning is our template center. We have hundreds of templates you can customize and use for free on monday.com.
Event planning templates
Want to dive right in with event planning templates? Consider one of these:
- Event Management Template: Get started managing your next event with a collaborative template that ties into all of monday.com’s other features.
- Project Communication Plan Template: Keep everyone on the same page as you plan and move forward with implementing an event by starting with a robust communication plan.
Event planning can be complex, and entering this type of project armed with the right knowledge can make a difference. That’s why we’ve provided some additional information in the FAQs.
FAQs about event planning
What are the five stages of event planning?
While each event and process may be slightly different, most planners go through five common stages of event planning:
- Researching and setting goals for the event, which may include discussing the desired outcomes with clients or stakeholders
- Designing the event, which includes choosing a location and building a team
- Branding the event, which might include coming up with taglines and names, logos, colors, and other elements that help publicize the event
- Coordinating and implementing, which includes finalizing all the plans for the event and then making it happen
- Event evaluation, which includes looking at what worked and what could have been better to improve planning for future events
What types of charts are used in event planning?
Seating charts, traffic and food flow charts, and decor placement charts are some types of visuals that are used in event planning. The Gantt chart is also a common tool, as it lets event planning teams see, at a glance, timelines for each task and what work should be done when.
Excel at event planning with monday.com
Whether you want to create a Gantt chart for event planning or bring the entire team together to get it done seamlessly, monday.com has the features you need. Show up as a team online in a cloud environment that supports organization and collaboration, so you can show up with success when it’s time for the event.