5 Tips So Your Team Can Thrive With a Short Runway to an Event

At Happily we pride ourselves on our ability to hit the ground running, to assemble an A-Team and execute an amazing event with a week (or even days!) notice.

In the events industry short runways are not ideal. The clock is ticking, the pressure is on, and stress levels in the team can rise.

However, having a client come at the 11th hour is a reality, and just part of our job as event professionals. Keeping the team in sync, feeling confident and constantly checking stuff off the to-do-list is always vital, and never more so than in times like these.

Diary with 'make it happen' text

We have some general tips for any team producing an event with literally no time to spare.

1. Begin meetings with some lightheartedness

When there is so much that needs to be done, we know there is a temptation to get ‘straight down to business’. However, whether it is an in-person or Zoom meeting, consciously spending the first couple of minutes with positivity and casual conversation will really boost morale, and strengthen the bond of the team - and having a team that is a ‘united force’ is exactly what you need.

You can check-in with the wellbeing of each of your team members, tell a joke, get them to smile, make some general chit-chat - just whatever feels natural and appropriate.

2. Conclude meetings with some gratitude

When people feel appreciated, and that all their hard work is being seen, they feel good and that confidence will spill over into the project. So, sign off meetings with a sincere ‘thank you’ to the whole team, and with a few words of motivation. It will go a long way, and ignite a sense of pride in their work and the feeling of ‘we are in this together’.

3. Make sure you get the right people for the job

When you have to ‘hit the ground running’ with the pre-production of an event, every hour needs to be spent moving the project forward. You need a seasoned team where each member works with initiative, has strong problem solving skills, and knows exactly what they are doing. Pick each member based on their experience, their ability to get stuff done, and who you know can handle some pressure. Which describes every Happily team we build for a Happily event, actually… ;)

4. Have as many conversations in real time as possible

Emails are important, of course, and so many will be sent and received during these days leading up to an event. However, don’t make that the only form of written communication that the team has with each other. Emails are not always the place for those quick and informal questions, queries or conversations that need to happen when moving swiftly, and with instant replies.

Platforms that we love to use for the team to instantly message are Slack and Discord.

5. Have transparency about each person’s roles

There is no time for confusion about who is doing what in the team. Be as clear and open as possible about each team member's tasks, and their responsibilities for all to know. A basic spreadsheet of this information can be a great source for people to know exactly what is expected of them, and who to go to for what, if they have a question, or need something.