If you have ever been on an event committee you may have experienced a meeting or 2 (or 6) that seem to be wildly unorganized, endlessly frustrating and an unsettling waste of your time. If you have ever LED an event committee and you feel the same way, here are a few easy ways to take BACK the control you lost over your event.
Know your event better than anyone else in the room –If you are leading a committee to execute an event, you should be the most privy to the overall goal, vision, theme and purpose of the event. It is your job to communicate all of these things to your committee so they understand the context of the event and you’re all on the same page. Being as specific as possible will help ensure there are no miscommunications. It will also be your job to challenge ideas that do not make sense within the parameters of your event–so make sure you are crystal clear on that vision.
Have an agenda and keep it tight! Your job is to lead productive conversations regarding the overall vision rather than getting side-tracked by arbitrary “committee noise.” Start by drawing up a very specific agenda and stressing the importance of adhering to said agenda. If committee members start hijacking your meeting and taking it on a detour down a rabbit hole, politely stop them and ensure you will cover the topic when it comes up on the agenda. After one meeting (and a couple public embarrassments), your team will learn to follow the agenda. Professional courtesy: start on time and end on time.
Don’t be afraid to assert your power Committees are made up of all types. Usually there are a few loud ones. Loud people can be intimidating and make a happy environment into one where no one else wants to speak. These are often the same people that inadvertently lead the whole team down a rabbit hole. Don’t be afraid to stop conversations that are straying outside of the topic at hand. A polite, “let’s pause this conversation for now and come back to it when its….x” Whatever the excuse might be, make it kind. When you are kind, everyone will like you and then they will want to do what you need them to do.
Hold everyone accountable The best committee members are those who participate outside of your face-to-face meetings. Assign people tasks in the meeting and then follow up assignments in writing. Make regular check-ins on progress to ensure things aren’t falling through the cracks. Be sure to praise your team often so they feel appreciated. Happy committee members are the best committee members.
As always, happy to answer any questions or solve any event problems that might arise.