Would you like less event-day stress? A creative, like-minded team who can help you serve, trouble-shoot and mold your next event towards greatness? Who wouldn’t? A team like this won’t just fall into your lap, it takes planning, leadership and intentionality. Here’s how to get your very own “Team Awesome”.
Start early. A year out is not too early to make your dream-team list and ask them if they’d be willing to work with you. People’s schedules fill up, don’t they? Be as specific as you can about what you are asking them to do, and what type of time commitment they will be making. How many times will you meet together? Are they able to be at the event?
Brainstorm. Creatives LOVE to brainstorm, and they come up with fantastic ideas! But be prepared to guide your team brainstorming time. Be as specific as possible about what you are asking them to do: “We need breakout session topics for our theme that will be relevant to our audience of fifty year old men.” or “What could we do that would enforce our theme in unexpected places?” Write ideas on a large sheet of paper so it can be rolled up and saved for later reference.
Delegate Well. In her book: “The Complete Leader’s Guide to Christian Retreats” Rachel Gilmore suggests you only delegate tasks to people that they are comfortable with. Ask your team what their strengths are, what they love to do, and delegate accordingly. Yes, sometimes people end up with assignments that are challenging or just plain unappealing, but try to match tasks with skill/interest when you can.
Step It Up. Organizing an event usually involves initial brainstorming, planning and delegation, a flurry of reservations and invitations and then a lull before the pace picks up again one or two months before the event. You may not need to meet monthly- an email or phone call check in may be enough after the venue, caterer, and speakers are booked, invites go out, registration is opened and the quiet months arrive. But be sure your team is ready to step it up when you are eight to ten weeks out.
Setting expectations and appropriate guidelines for your team will help them thrive. Remember, you set the tone– they’ll be watching your attitude, commitment to the event, level of professionalism, and degree of organization. Involve them in the planning process and their level of personal investment will increase. Tell them what you expect them to do, train them well, and hold them accountable. Be a great leader- and you’ll enjoy the benefits of serving with your very own “Team Awesome!”