Do you have a project that you have just started but are feeling overwhelmed with the administrative tasks that you need to complete it? Are you organising an event and having nightmares that your guest speakers lose their voices on the night? Or just beginning a new network and worrying about gathering all client data, updating lists, coordinating dates etc.? If so don’t fear VirtuAli is here!
This September, I felt like my whole life was one long event as I was so heavily involved in organising them. As President of Lagan Valley Toastmasters, we had a fundraising Night at the Races which luckily for us experienced Donal O’Neill from Mulsanne Casinos/Trackskills compered for us. I also helped to launch the ‘Know your Food Series’ of workshops at Donaghcloney Community Garden to try and connect people back to food and to teach how easy it is to grow and cook your own food.
Since June, I’ve been involved in the organisation of the 30yr anniversary event of the founding of Moira Cancer Research Committee and our sold out Strictly event is happening now on 27th October. 400 attendees-you can watch live on our Moira Cancer Research Committee Facebook on the night!
I was the Project Administrator on the construction of the European Investment’s Bank new building from 2005-2008 and the most stressful event I’ve ever been involved in organising was the Inauguration of the building in June 2008 to which the Grand Duke of Luxembourg was invited as well as Jean-Claude Juncker (then Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg). Events can be stressful enough but when you’re not sure the building is going to be ready on time-well that’s a fairly significant factor!
Whether it be building a new building, launching a series of events or implementing a new technical tool or CRM system, there are a number of factors common to the management of all projects:
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
You may think you can but the simple truth is you CAN’T DO everything! You can’t be on top of the marketing, the administration and have the headspace to really plan what it is you want to do. Do the things that you are good at and OUTSOURCE the rest. I learnt this the hard way in September and often by not delegating especially within a work environment or Committee you are denying the opportunity to let other members of staff develop their skills.
Make sure you have some kind of system in place that no matter how many people are involved with the planning of an event that you ALL have ACCESS to the same information so that means not saving important updates to your Desktop! You can share documents in Googledrive or have a shared Dropbox or use or a collaborative tool such as TRELLO, ASANA or SLACK. Regular updates to whomever you are collaborating with are also important so you are all on the same page.
Think of all eventualities! For all you Game of Thrones fans in season 8, you will remember Little Finger telling Sansa, “Fight every battle, everywhere, always, in your mind.” The same is true in making a project become a reality. Have a backup plan especially for events in case your speakers don’t turn up on the night, in case there is an emergency fire drill, in case Winter comes in full force as it did on Monday!
So, if you have a project coming up and that can be everything from launching an event, forming a new network, a coaching programme or even an artists or architecture competition and you know that there will be a lot of admin tasks and coordination needed in the background to make it come to fruition, Let me Take your Admin Pain Away so you can concentrate on what you are good at!