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    How to Rock Meeting and Event Planning from Home

    Warning! If you are an event professional, right about now, you may be starting to feel like you are in an episode of the Twilight Zone. Daily news about a global pandemic...kids out of school and desperate for structure and stimulation...cats walking across your desk...babies crying and dogs barking while you are on a conference call…all while you struggle to do your job, run a household, and keep from going insane.

     

    Sound familiar? If this is you (or some version of you), read on because we are going to share some tips from industry professionals and work-from-home veterans on how to stay healthy while successfully managing event planning, work, life, and family, all while staying at home. 

    Start Early and Mentally Prepare 

    Without the daily stress of commuting to the office, it may be tempting to sleep in or even work in your pajamas. Coming from a work at home veteran, this is a huge mistake. The two Mentally prepare to plan events from home.most important things you can do every day to be productive while working from home are to start early and be mentally prepared for your day. This means setting an early alarm, showering, getting dressed in real clothes, eating a healthy breakfast, and starting work even earlier than you would at the office. 

     

    There a few reasons why you should do this, including:

     

    • You’ll get a lot accomplished before the rest of your household gets up and the disruptions begin.

    • If you start early, you can finish earlier and give kids, family members, and pets your full attention that they need and deserve.

     

    If you have school-age kids, try pre-making them a healthy breakfast that they can easily help themselves to while you are working.

     

    Twitter quotes from real event profs: 

    "I have decided my office chair is not meant for a 5 day a week home gig. I also started my car yesterday since it hasn’t run in over two weeks."
     @richviii

     

    Set Strict Work Hours and Take Breaks

    A real danger of working from home is that you can lose track of time, sit too long, and work Set Strict Work Hoursmore lengthy hours than you would at the office. This may be particularly true if you no longer need to pick-up kids from school or childcare and take them to various activities.

     

    To avoid this, set strict work hours and stick to them. Try to get up for a brief stretch or walk around for at least 10 minutes every hour. This will keep your circulation going and sharpen your brain. 

     

    If you have an island in your kitchen or bar-height counter, you may also want to experiment with intervals of standing while working, rather than sitting.

     

    Twitter quotes from real event profs:

    “I wake up at the same time every morning, get a shower, and put on my biz casual clothes just like I would going to the office. I'd be completely distracted otherwise.”
    @medoane

     

    Before COVID-19, it took a lot of communication with spouse and child, setting boundaries, being present when needed in some cases no matter what - now it's all of those times a million.” 
    @TSNN_Rachel

     

    Stay Organized Amid Chaos

    Working from home for the first time can be a big adjustment for most people, even without Working from home. Stay organized the stress of COVID-19. Here are some things you’ll need to do differently in order to stay organized and productive in a home office setting. 

     

    Find a quiet work space

    We’ll admit, this is challenging for many of us, thanks to COVID-19. But instead of sharing a workspace with your spouse and kids, try your best to carve out your own area in order to avoid constant distractions.

    Check, and if necessary, upgrade your internet

    While this may seem like a no-brainer, there is nothing more frustrating than slow internet while you are on a web conference or trying to upload and download files.

     

    Store ALL your files in the cloud

    This is one thing most people who work in an office setting take for granted. Remember! When event planning from home, your critical files are no longer being backed up to a server. You don’t want to risk losing essential work by saving it locally. Instead, save every file in the cloud using tools like Google Drive or Dropbox.

     

    Keep lists of important contacts handy

    For event planners, this is particularly essential. Create a list of important clients and vendors and have it within each reach, in case you need to get in touch with someone quickly.

     

    Take digital notes

    As event planners, we love our sticky notes but those notes are not safe at home! Replace those sticky notes with digital notes using tools like Apple notes, OneNote, or Evernote. Or, use your tablet to replace normal papers. Most tablets offer free or low cost note-taking apps that can be converted to Google Docs or sent straight to the cloud. 

     

    Leverage project management tools

    Most event planners already use project management software to keep important meeting and event projects moving forward. Since you can no longer meet face-to-face, taking advantage of these collaboration tools while working from home is more important than ever! Teamwork or Asana are good examples of project management software, plus, they have a lot of integrations. 

     

    Twitter quotes from real event profs: 

     

    “Some folks I know have struggled without their regular desk set up... So, this might help: you can use a big screen TV as an extra monitor, if you have an HDMI cord to connect to your computer.”

    @Robyn_WINH

     

    Strategies for Effective Team Communication 

    The reality of working from home? It’s more flexible, but lonely. But fear not!

    Strategies for effective remote team communicationStaying in touch with your colleagues and accomplishing awesome teamwork while working from home isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here are some strategies to consider:


    Start with the right collaboration tools

    Matching the right collaboration tool for your communication needs is critical. For more formal meetings or client-facing meetings, you’ll need an on-line meeting tool like GoTo Meeting or join.me. For informal meetings, conversations, and file sharing, Slack, Hangouts Chat, and Chanty work well because they sync across all devices. 


    Need a platform to host engaging virtual events or high-profile meetings? Click here

    One word of advice...when participating in web meetings or conference calls, try using headphones so that you can hear your colleagues over background noise in your household.

     

    Need assistance planning virtual events from home?

     

    Rock the video

    Yes, we know what you’re thinking. Most of us avoid being on camera like the plague. So hear us out…remember that human element that most of us crave? It works so much better when you can see and hear people. So, don’t be afraid to rock the video and use this as an opportunity to reconnect with your colleagues! 

     

    Reach out just to say hi

    Since you are no longer privy to water cooler conversations in the office hallway, go ahead and reach out, even if it’s just to say hi. In this challenging environment with COVID-19, you won’t believe how much your colleagues will appreciate it and it will improve team morale. Do this with your vendors too! Consider hosting a virtual happy hour with your team (BYOD, of course!). 

     

    Keep regularly scheduled meetings

    Working from home is the new normal for everyone. So it’s important to keep things as normal as possible. Hold regularly scheduled meetings with colleagues, vendors, and clients so you can stay on-track. 

     

    Before important meetings, give your household a heads-up so that they know not to disturb you during that time. 

     

    Twitter quotes from real event profs: 

     

    “With everyone working on different devices, there's always at least one person experiencing technical difficulties. (But my favorite "bloopers" are when my teammates' kids and/or pets make surprise appearances).”

    @csgcreative

     

    Have Patience, Courage, and Empathy!

    Remember, event professionals, we are all in this together. While we all adjust to new work and life routines, stay positive and give each other plenty of patience, empathy and grace. If we can do that, when all of this is over, we’ll come out stronger. 

     

    CTA Learn More About Virtual Event Engagement Platforms

     

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