How to Create an Event Budget

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Producing an event, whether virtual, in-person or hybrid, is hard enough. Having to make an event budget adds another layer of stress. But it doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you follow a few simple steps to creating an event budget.

Successful events should be fun and informative. If you’re struggling with the event budget it can negatively impact the whole event. If your event budget is wrong, that’s even worse; you might not be able to pay vendors or speakers. We’ll help you avoid those pitfalls.

What Is an Event Budget?

An event budget is the estimated costs associated with putting on an event. It’s based on a number of variables from research, expert guidance and planning the event. All events, big and small, need a budget to cover expenses.

The event budget has to forecast all costs, such as site rental, any equipment that’s needed such as chairs, tables, etc., and securing speakers or participants in a panel discussion. There are more costs, of course, but they’re dependent on the type of event being produced.

Planning and budgeting an event is the first step you in delivering a successful event. Even if you’ve produced dozens of events prior to the one you’re budgeting now, there will always be differences. Prices for things change and there’s an inherent risk in putting together an event that can impact your budget.

Creating and managing a budget is one of the most important parts of delivering a successful event. ProjectManager is online software that helps you track resources and costs in real time. Plan your budget on our Gantt chart, including all your resources and costs, and set a baseline to capture that budget. Now you can compare your planned costs against your actual costs in real time. Monitoring costs in real time helps you stay on budget. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s Gantt chart helps you plan and manage event budgets in real time. Learn more.

Types of Events

There are many different types of events. From a holiday party to a business conference, they run the gamut from intimate to large. All events can be broken down into four major subsets. Each has similar budgetary requirements, though there will be slight to major differences between them, too.

Private

A private event could be one that you throw for your partner’s birthday or an anniversary. But it could also be a corporate event or some other business function. These diverse events are usually invitation-only, which means that only those invited can attend.

Corporate

Corporate events are ones that a company sponsors. They tend to focus on the company’s employees or its clients. Corporate events can be used to train staff or educate the public on the brand or a product, celebrate company milestones, usher in changes in the company and provide networking opportunities or team-building exercises.

In-Person

An in-person event is one where the participants and the event staff are all physically present in the same space. This is how nearly all events occurred until recently. But even years ago, events could be conducted over the phone, such as a corporate earnings call for investors and reporters.

Online

An online event also referred to as a virtual event, is one that takes place on the internet. It can be live-streamed or recorded, but the only want to attend is by accessing it online. Technology has improved and it’s possible for attendees and event producers and vendors to interact in real time. This type of event has become so popular because it can attract a larger audience. It’s also becoming common to find hybrid events that offer a physical site and a virtual platform.

How to Create an Event Budget

As mentioned, every type of event requires a budget. It could be simple or complex depending on the type and size of the event. But taking the time to forecast an accurate budget is one way to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

Below we break down the basic steps to creating an event budget. This is a broad view that can be applied to any type of event. Naturally, there will be extra steps depending on what type of event you’re producing, but this gives you the gist.

1. Create an Event Plan

The first thing you need to do is identify your event strategy. That means determining what kind of event you’re producing and a ballpark figure of what you’re willing to pay. This leads to a high-level plan where you lay out the scope of the project. The scope is the event goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadline. You’re going to have to determine the venue, speakers, staffing, branding, food, marketing, equipment and more. Once you do this, make sure your stakeholders are in agreement.

Related: Free Project Scope Template for Word

2. Estimate Fixed & Variable Costs

Now that you have a plan, the next step is to forecast the costs. This means understanding the difference between fixed and variable costs and making accurate estimates for them. Fixed costs are also called indirect or overhead costs; those that can’t be changed. For example, rent, utility bills and payroll are fixed costs. Variable costs are expenses that change from event to event including labor costs, materials needed for the event and event utility bills. The latter is also a fixed cost, but the utility bill can be influenced by your event, which is why it lives in both categories. Knowing these costs helps you come up with a more accurate event budget.

3. Create an Event Budget

Now that you have the details you can start to assemble an event budget. You need to know which vendors you’ll be using, the venue for the event and other service providers to assemble your event budget. Creating the event budget helps you track those costs and make sure you’re staying in the green. To do that you need to monitor your actual costs and compare them with the planned costs for the event. Your event is more likely to stay on budget if you can gather data in real time.

What Costs Should You Include in an Event Budget?

We’ve already touched on some costs to include in your event budget. Below is a list of common ones, but it’s not exhaustive. When you’re making an event budget, try to include everything. The more costs you can cover, the more accurate your event budget will be.

Event Marketing

In order for the event to be a success, your audience must know what, where and when it is. These things and more are covered in your marketing costs, which can be emailing your staff, creating a website or doing online ads. Whether you do traditional or digital advertising, those costs must be defined.

Staffing Costs

You’ll need to recruit and hire staff for the event. Instead of going through dozens of job interviews, you can contract with a temporary staffing agency that delivers staffing and other related services, such as catering.

Venue

If your event is in person or online, you’ll still need a venue. That venue depends if the event is physical or virtual. For example, an in-person event needs a space large enough to hold all attendees, vendors and either breakout rooms or a stage for panel discussions and keynote speakers. An online event needs a physical place to record and broadcast from, which means lighting, camera, microphones, etc.

Food & Beverage

Most events have some type of refreshment. The venue might provide this or even a temporary staffing agency or caterer. If not, you’ll have to figure out what you want and the costs associated with buying, storing and delivering the food and drink.

Equipment

Equipment is often part of the price of renting the venue, but that’s not always the case. If the venue doesn’t provide equipment or only a partial list of what you need, you’ll have to seek other places to rent speakers, generators, live-streaming tools, etc.

Travel & Accommodation

Depending on where the event is, transportation and accommodations will be required. That can mean anything from a stretch limo to a taxi. That’s a wide range of costs. If people are coming from out of town are you flying them in or just putting them up? All variables need to be nailed down so you can add costs correctly.

ProjectManager Helps With Event Budgeting

That’s a lot of things to keep track of, which is why project management software was developed. ProjectManager is online software that helps you plan and track your event budget in real time. Planning on Gantt charts helps you organize tasks and link dependencies to avoid costly delays. You can also monitor variance in real time to help you stay on budget. But that’s only the beginning of how we help with event budgets.

Use Online Timesheets to Track Time & Costs

Because our software is online, you get real-time data updates to help you track time and costs. That keeps your event on schedule and helps avoid overspending. One tool that tracks time and costs is our secure timesheets. You can see how long everyone is working on their tasks and what the costs related to that are because the pay rate is in the tool, too. Not only do we streamline payroll, but we help you keep your event on track.

Timesheet view in ProjectManagerTimesheet view in ProjectManager
Use Project Calendars to Schedule Events

Producing an event requires coordinating a lot of different people. Our software gives you tools to facilitate that process while letting everyone use the tools they’re comfortable with. Plan on a Gantt, but your caterer can view their tasks on the list view. The project calendar takes the plan from Gantt and automatically transfers it to a calendar format to see the schedule and deadlines.

ProjectManager's calendar viewProjectManager's calendar view

When you’re dealing with vendors and contractors outside of your company, you need to keep everyone connected. Our real-time collaborative platform allows everyone to share files, comment on tasks and tag others to keep them looped in. Our unlimited file storage means you also have a centralized hub for all your documents and plans whenever anyone needs them.

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you plan, schedule and track events. Our flexible software is able to adjust to how you want to work, giving you the features you need to manage tasks, risks, resources and more. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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How to Write a Creative Brief

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Similar to a journey, projects have a beginning and an end. Just like a trip, most projects wouldn’t set off without first having an itinerary. In project management, the equivalent of an itinerary is a creative brief.

But not all projects use a creative brief; they’re found only in specific disciplines. When we define the term, we’ll explore which projects use one. Then we’ll break down the creative brief into its essential parts and show you how to write one to deliver project success.

What Is a Creative Brief?

A creative brief is a short document that’s used in marketing, advertising and design projects. It outlines the project’s mission, goals and challenges. But it goes further, defining the demographics, messaging and other important aspects of the project.

The author of a creative brief is usually the creative project manager, but in many cases, an outside consultant is hired to do the job. Whoever is responsible for making the creative brief, the end result is the same: stakeholder alignment.

A creative brief is just that, a brief, and often projects are initiated without a full creative brief. But starting a project with no creative brief is a mistake. Marketing campaigns are often complicated, with volumes of collateral and many fronts. A creative brief helps you deliver the campaign more effectively and efficiently.

The creative brief is the outline of what will become the project plan. ProjectManager is online project management software that can help you turn your creative brief into a working project plan. Use our interactive Gantt charts to organize your activities, link dependencies to avoid delays and even filter for the critical path to see what’s essential. Then you can set a baseline to track project variance in real time and stay on schedule. Get started with ProjectManage today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s Gantt charts turn your creative brief into a project plan. Learn more

Key Components of a Creative Brief

A creative brief outlines the strategy of the project. To do this, it’s broken up into sections to help you describe the project thoroughly and have a well-thought-out idea of what you’ll be doing without getting bogged down by the details.

As noted, the creative brief gets buy-in from stakeholders, but it’s also a means of communicating what the project is to the creative team, agency or designers that’ll be executing the project. Here are the key components of a creative brief.

Add Company Description

First, explain what your company is and offer some background for those who’ll be working with you to execute the project. Briefly show what you do and the services or products you offer. You can include a link to your website or other materials that can further flesh out your company.

Explain the Project

Next, you need to summarize the project, such as explaining what it is and why it’s needed. This provides context that’s always helpful whether you’re building a website or refreshing your social media presence.

List the Objectives

The project objectives are key to delivering success. No project should begin until the strategy and objectives have been well thought out. This section should answer why you’re doing the project, what its goals are and whether there’s a problem that you’re trying to solve or a niche you want to exploit. You’ll also want to detail the metrics you’ll use to measure success.

Define the Target Audience

You need to know who you’re selling your product or service to in order to connect with them. This involves research, demographic information and behavioral insights that show who the campaign is directed towards.

List Deliverables

Every project has deliverables. List all the deliverables in your project, but especially the final deliverable, whether it’s an eBook, web ad, logo, etc. Detail those deliverables, such as format, size, amount, etc.

Note Your Competition

Most likely, you’re not the only fish in the sea. If you don’t want to be eaten by your competition, you better have a clear picture of who your competitors are. This includes understanding the marketplace, trends and anything else that might impact the success of your project. Look at how you compare and contrast to the competition to differentiate yourself.

Detail Your Message

You might not have an idea of what that message will be at this point, but you should understand the tone and style that’ll be the most effective. Whatever style and tone you choose, make sure it’s consistent across your marketing efforts. The messaging must align with your objectives and strategy in order to attract the customers you want.

Include a Timeline

Projects are delivered over a specific period. If you know the schedule, you’ll want to include the timing of your marketing campaign in the creative brief. This doesn’t have to be as detailed as your plan, but even having a deadline helps the creative team, and stakeholders will want to know this information as well.

Related: Free Project Timeline Template for Excel

Show Your Budget

The budget might already be set for the project. Either way, it should be addressed in the creative brief. You’ll want to meet with your designer to make sure that the budget aligns with the projected project costs. The budget should be agreed upon and meet realistic expectations.

Record Stakeholders

All key stakeholders and their contact information should be included. It’s helpful if you define each stakeholder’s impact on the project. Then you’ll want to include how and when they want project updates.

Types of Creative Briefs

While creative briefs are mostly used in marketing, advertising and design projects, there are a few types of creative briefs. The three most common types of creative briefs are projects, business objectives and value propositions.

There are indeed such briefs that focus on one of these topics, but more often you’ll find creative briefs that follow the format we described above. These are creative briefs that incorporate all three types of creative briefs in one document.

How to Write a Creative Brief in 11 Steps

Now that you understand what a creative brief is and the parts that make it up, let’s take a look at how to make one. Writing a creative brief isn’t hard, but compiling the data takes time. Consider that before you start. When you’re ready, here are the steps to take for a complete creative brief.

1. Name the Project

First, name the project. It introduces your team to the product or service you’re marketing. The creative team must understand that message inside and out, and the project name is the initial step to accomplishing that goal.

2. Share Your Brand and Provide Background

Whether you’re developing the marketing campaign in-house or contracting it out, having a clear picture of the company, its history and its brand goes a long way in executing the marketing plan. A few sentences about the development of the company and its brand help sharpen the final delivery.

3. Detail the Project Objective

Now, let’s get more specific. Briefly explain the why of the project and its purpose. This includes the timeline, such as deadlines, and the audience you’ll be targeting. Again, you don’t want to be verbose. Keep it short and simple so everyone knows the project’s expectations.

4. Describe the Target Audience

Now you want to really describe the market segment you’re targeting. There’ll be more details in this section, such as simple demographics, buying behaviors, trends and other customer histories to understand the customer’s motivation and psychographics, which discern how the audience thinks and feels. Finally, geographics help your target markets and determine the pricing in each.

5. Know the Competition

Who else is vying for the same customers with similar products? You must know who you’ll be competing against to differentiate yourself. List the competitors and outline your commonalities and how you differ.

6. Create the Key Message

The key message needs stakeholder buy-in so it requires a bit of finesse. As you craft one, be sure to include the pain points of your customers and touch on their experience, then note how your product or service resolves those issues and enhances their experience. Remember, this must be a customer-centric message to succeed.

7. Note the Key Customer Benefit

You addressed pain points previously, now what features are going to benefit your target audience? If you try to deliver a message on many features, though, you’ll dilute your message and most likely not hook the target audience. It’s best to discern the key customer benefit and focus on that. That’ll always be the best feature.

8. Choose the Right Tone

It’s important that your marketing or advertising understands its audience because that informs the tone and voice used when speaking to them. If they’re young that will demand a certain attitude, while older audiences will need a different one. Identify the right attitude and make sure you’re consistent in your voice throughout the marketing campaign.

9. Know the Right Call to Action

You’re not just trying to get the audience’s attention, you want them to have a call to action (CTA). That’s a link they’ll click or even something as difficult to measure as a change in perception about your brand, product or service. The CTA should drive the project’s objective.

10. Have a Distribution Plan

All the work you’ve put into the right message and assets will go to waste if you don’t have a method of getting it to your target audience. Note the channels or platforms on which you’ll be announcing or advertising your product or service. That can be billboards or newspapers or social media, depending on the demographic research you did above.

11. Get Approval From Stakeholders

You’re not done with the creative brief until you get stakeholder buy-in. You’ll also need to share it with the creative team as they’re responsible for executing the plan. The approved creative brief puts everyone on the same page, which is essential to delivering a successful project.

Free Creative Brief Template

That’s a lot to take into consideration. To make the process easier, use our free creative brief template for Word. It’s laid out for you and can be printed as many times as needed. Our free creative brief template not only streamlines the process but creates consistency for your creative briefs throughout projects to help when you’re researching historic data. ProjectManager has dozens of free downloadable project management templates for Excel and Word that help you through every phase of a project.

ProjectManager's free creative brief template for WordProjectManager's free creative brief template for Word
ProjectManager’s free creative brief template for Word.

ProjectManager & Creative Briefs

ProjectManager is online project management software that helps you turn your creative brief into a successful project. Our tool has features that can help you plan and monitor progress in real time to keep you on track. There are risk management features that help you identify and resolve issues, task management and resource management tools to boost productivity and much more.

Give Creative Teams the Tools They Want

Managers like to plan on Gantt charts, which is understandable—they offer a lot of control. But creative teams don’t need all that data. That’s why we have multiple project views that share the same real-time data so everyone can work how they want. Teams can knock off their tasks on the list view or, if they prefer a more agile environment, there are kanban boards. Now they can manage their backlog, plan sprints and managers get visibility into their process so they can reallocate resources to keep them free of bottlenecks.

ProjectManager's kanban boardProjectManager's kanban board
Use Real-Time Dashboards to Track Projects

No matter how good your creative brief is, if you’re not monitoring your progress and performance, things could go awry. You can get a high-level view of the project whenever you want with our real-time dashboard that captures and calculates live data that’s displayed on easy-to-read graphs and charts. Track six project metrics, from costs to workload. Best of all? There’s no setup required as in lightweight tools.

dashboard showing project metrics in real-timedashboard showing project metrics in real-time

Creative projects require creative solutions. Once you have a creative brief, our software helps you connect teams across departments. They can share files, comment and tag others to bring them into the conversation. Plus, our customizable reports give you more data to make better decisions and can be easily shared to update your stakeholders and manage their expectations.

ProjectManager is online project management software that helps you plan, schedule and track projects in real time. Our flexible software works with waterfall, agile or hybrid methodologies. We connect people anywhere and at any time to help them work better together. Join the teams at NASA, Siemens and Nestle who have used our software to deliver success. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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Resource Forecasting in Project Management: A Quick Guide

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Before you engage with a new project, there are certain things you have to know. Is the cost worth the return? Can you get it done properly by the deadline? Do you have the resources? Resource forecasting is how you can answer that last question.

Resources are anything you need to execute the project plan. From your team to the tools they need, materials, equipment, software, office space and so on. Want to know why resource forecasting is so important? Keep reading.

What Is Resource Forecasting in Project Management?

Resource forecasting is a way to estimate the number of necessary resources to deliver your project successfully. It’s a tool used by project managers and their teams to see if they have the resources they need to complete the assigned tasks in a project.

As noted, resources can mean many things. The most valuable resource in any project, however, is the people who make that project happen. When talking about resource forecasting, most project managers are looking at how to allocate their team by looking at their capacity, workload and utilization levels.

That means having the ability to see who is tasked with what assignments and whether the team is sharing that workload fairly. If you have only a few resources carrying the weight for the team, these people will likely get burned out and their morale will erode. This isn’t the way to retain your workforce or get your project done on time.

There are project management software solutions that address resource forecasting. ProjectManager is online project management software that captures capacity in real time to help you make better decisions on how to allocate your resources. Our workload chart is color-coded so you can see at a glance who is overallocated and then balance the workload from that view to keep teams productive. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's workload chartProjectManager's workload chart
ProjectManager’s workload chart is part of its robust resource management features. Learn more

Resource Forecasting vs. Resource Planning

Resource forecasting is used in resource planning. You can’t plan your resources if you don’t know what resources you have. These two aspects of project planning are connected and inform one another.

Resource planning is how one organizes the resources that a project needs to reach completion. As we’ve mentioned, resources are broad and cover many categories. The resource forecast identifies these resources and whether they can fulfill the needs of the project over a specific timeframe.

The resource plan outlines exactly what you need in terms of resources. It does this first by splitting resources into storable resources, as in cash to non-storable resources, which include your team, equipment, etc. The project schedule and its budget will greatly influence resource forecasting.

Resource Forecasting vs. Resource Management

Resource management is where resource forecasting and resource planning reside. Resource management is the larger practice of planning, scheduling and allocating resources for a project, program or portfolio. The purpose of resource management is to get the most value out of your resources by having the right resource available at the right time for the right job.

Resource forecasting is an important aspect of resource management as it factors in resource planning. One way to look at these integrated practices is as a Russian doll where one is inside the other. Resource management needs resource forecasting to understand what resources are available and if they’re going to be enough to fulfill the project activities.

Without resource forecasting (and resource planning), resource management wouldn’t be able to meet its mandate of optimizing and allocating resources to the right initiatives. This holds true whether applied to one project or a program or a portfolio of projects. Resource management works to reduce waste and duplication to streamline and automate processes to add efficiency.

Benefits of Resource Forecasting

Now that you know how resource management is made up of resource planning and resource forecasting, let’s look at how resource forecasting benefits the project. The most obvious is that it allows project managers to know what they’re working with and how to use those resources effectively to get the project done on time and within budget.

When it comes to your team, resource forecasting allows you to see who you need to complete the project successfully and shows any holes you might have to fill. Resource forecasting tells you what skills you need and makes it easier to zero in on the needed talent to accomplish your goals.

Using resource forecasting helps you balance your supply and demand by making sure you have the resources matching the workload you require. It tells you who you need on your team for upcoming projects. Without resource forecasting, you could overspend or end up going over schedule because you miscalculated the resources necessary to complete the tasks at hand.

In other words, resource forecasting provides greater efficiency, leading to greater profits. That’s because you produce more revenue by knowing what skillsets you require to adapt to future market trends. It also makes resource planning more flexible so you can pivot as demand changes.

Resource Forecasting Tips

We understand what resource forecasting is, how it fits into resource planning and larger resource management, and why it’s beneficial to projects. Let’s explore how to do resource forecasting to take advantage of these benefits.

Start with a complete understanding of what skills will be necessary for the project. This means knowing the project plan and the deliverables. From this, you can create team member profiles you need to fulfill the project’s objectives. This informs you of job listings or, in the case of a program or portfolio, the skills inventory developed by the project management office (PMO).

Related: Free Project Plan Template for Word

Next, go past the skills to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Review their performances on past projects and create a chart that maps their skill level, the quality of their work and how fast they complete tasks. You might have to invest in training to bring them up to the level you need for the project or seek recruits outside your organization. Be sure to reach out to their managers and other project managers for perspective on these potential team members.

Historical data is also helpful when resource forecasting. Old projects should be archived and available for review so you can see how those resources were used and whether they were under or over-utilized. Reviewing lessons from past resource forecasting is a great way to avoid old mistakes.

Keep in mind that you need to match the right resource to the right task. This takes place after you’ve assembled your team and are looking at the whole project. Remember, don’t make assumptions based on job titles and be careful not to underestimate time or resource needs.

Don’t forget about attrition rates. Your company’s performance and hiring trends will impact the resources you attract. Knowing the market gives you an edge when it comes to recruiting talent. Looking at past trends can help you forecast where resources are going in the future.

ProjectManager Helps with Resource Management

ProjectManager is online project management software that plans, manages and tracks resources in real time. Our resource management features allow you to create profiles of your team members, track their progress and performance and balance their workload to keep them productive.

Plan, Manage and Track Resources in Real Time

Gantt charts are great for project planning and organizing tasks, resources and costs on a timeline. Once you set a baseline, that plan is captured and can be used to compare your actual resource use in the project. This information is shared across our tool as projects evolve. Use the real-time dashboard for a high-level view of the project’s progress and performance, including workload and percent complete. There’s no setup required as with inferior products, and it’s ready to go when you are.

dashboard showing project metrics in real-timedashboard showing project metrics in real-time
Track Time Spent on Tasks With Secure Timesheets

From the team page, you can get an overview of your task distribution across your projects and zoom in on a specific team member’s profile. To see how each time member is performing, you can make a customized report on their timesheet and view the time they’ve logged on their tasks. Now you know if you need to reallocate resources to keep to your schedule. Our secure timesheets also streamline payroll and are locked once submitted.

ProjectManager's timesheetProjectManager's timesheet

There are other reports that are fully customizable to give you a full view of the project, allowing you to focus on the details you want to see. Reports can also be easily shared to keep stakeholders updated. You can see the availability for your team, including global holidays, to make it easier to allocate resources for tasks. You can’t predict the future but we help make resource forecasting and management more accurate.

ProjectManager is award-winning software that empowers teams to plan, manage and track their resources in real time. Beyond robust resource management features, there are task and risk management tools that help keep projects productive. Join the teams at Siemens, Nestle and Avis who use our software to deliver success. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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Event Management: A Quick Guide

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Having an event is a like executing a project. It has a plan that’s executed by a team with a deadline with the final deliverable being the event. Just like a project, event management is the way you make sure everything seamlessly comes together for your stakeholders.

Event management can be anything from a birthday party for your kid to a business convention and everything in between. You can do it in person, virtually or a hybrid of both. However you chose to stage your event, event management will help make it succeed.

What Is Event Management?

Event management is the process of creating an event. It involves every aspect of the event, from the idea to the planning, execution and maintenance of the event. It can even continue after the event has been done if there’s any post-event strategizing involved.

Event management starts with an event manager, a topic we’ll explore in a bit. They initiate the plan, deciding on essentials such as when and where the event will take place. They’ll also develop a theme, if appropriate, and oversee the event to make sure it runs as planned.

The event plan can involve a variety of disciplines such as sourcing designing, regulation checks and on-site management, as well as more details. Everything will be outlined in the plan. It should be thorough and coordinate activities in order for everything to happen correctly.

You could use a spreadsheet to organize your event management but project management software makes the job much easier. ProjectManager is online software that can be easily shared. It’s a great collaborative platform to connect everyone involved from the event planner to vendors. Our online Gantt chart helps you organize tasks, link dependent ones to avoid delays and even sets a baseline. That means you can track planned versus actual effort in real time. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s Gantt charts help you create, share and edit event plans in real time. Learn more

Event Management vs. Event Planning

Before we dive deeper, it’s important to understand that, while similar, event management and event planning aren’t the same. The general difference is that event planners are the ones with the vision for the event. They also work on the preliminary plans.

Event managers, on the other hand, are the ones who oversee the execution. They add details to the plan and make sure it’s being done correctly.

As you can see, there’s overlap. The event manager and an event planner will often work hand-in-glove or sometimes one person will fill both roles depending on the size and type of event being planned.

For example, the event manager is the one who usually makes the reservations, coordinates with vendors, hires and manages the staff and is on-site during the event. The event planner chooses the theme and concept, selects the venue, plans the menu and arranges for any entertainment or speakers.

Types of Events

As we mentioned, event management can be applied to any event. You have to plan for a child’s birthday party or contend with a potential meltdown. The stakes are just as high for professional events.

People who attend events don’t think about the planning and effort that’s gone into creating a great experience. They do, however, voice their objections when something goes wrong. You don’t want that.

Let’s take a moment to define the various professional events because these can have a financial impact on your business, whether you’re producing the event or running it. A positive experience builds brands, helps with networking and can drive sales. A bad one may result in lost customers and a tarnished brand reputation.

1. Corporate Events

A corporate event is done by a company or organization and is put on for the employees or the customers. There can also be trade events that incorporate many companies, employees and customers. Corporate events run the gamut from formal to informal and can be designed for team building, conferences, recruiting, product launches, etc.

2. Private Events

A private event could mean a birthday party or an event for adults. In terms of professional events, a private one could be corporate, too. The difference between this and the corporate event is that only those who are invited to the private event can attend, unlike a public event, such as a class or workshop, which is open to anyone.

3. In-Person

An in-person event takes place in a physical space and the people who attend are there physically. Most events throughout history have been in-person, but, of course, with the advent of the internet and the development of streaming, there are now more options, as we’ll discuss below.

4. Online

Virtual events are becoming more popular as technology makes these events seamless for participants. They can also help avoid expensive travel, hotel and food costs. In terms of event management, the process is basically the same. Most people, though, prefer in-person, especially when doing business. There are hybrid models available, too, which gives everyone the option as to whether they attend in person or online.

Related: Free Event Plan Template for Excel

Event Management Roles

Just as in any project, event management is made up of different people and skill sets to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. We talked briefly about an event manager, but that’s such an important role it deserves more detail.

In addition to the event manager, we’ll look at how an event director fits into the overall event management structure. We’ll look at roles and responsibilities for both and describe some of the skills that each needs in order to succeed at their job.

Event Manager

An event manager does the heavy lifting in event management. As the name says, they’re the people who manage the event. This means they execute the plan and manage the event as it happens to make sure everything is going as expected. As we explained, the event manager and the event planner can be slightly different or share responsibilities. We decided to look at the role of an event manager that would bridge both of those positions.

Role & Responsibilities

Event managers help brainstorm the event concept and implement the event plan. In that capacity, they deal with the budgeting of the event and all related invoicing. That means they also work with vendors and negotiate contracts and sponsorship deals. They handle logistics, keep stakeholders updated, pull needed permits and deal with any post-event reporting.

Skills

An event manager should have a degree in either public relations, communications or hospitality, though project management could also prove useful (and PM experience a must). They need superior communication and marketing skills. An event manager should be a strong leader, organized and able to multitask. Having time management skills and understanding risk management is important as well as knowing how to use a variety of software. Interpersonal skills and conflict resolution are also a plus.

Event Director

An event director is responsible for planning and executing an event, but at a higher level than the event manager, who deals more with day-to-day operations. While the event manager can be involved in the brainstorming and planning, the event director has the final say. They can work for individuals to corporations, nonprofits and government agencies.

Role & Responsibilities

The event director is responsible for making sure that the event staff is trained and understands their responsibilities. They’ll communicate with the event team throughout the planning process to deliver a successful event. That includes making sure that vendors, caterers and other service providers have been hired and are appropriately scheduled. They oversee marketing initiatives and any event promotions to make sure they target the right audience.

Skills

An event director should a degree in hospitality, event management or a related field, such as project management. Classes in hospitality management, event planning, business management, marketing and sales are also helpful. Certifications are good to show they’re knowledgeable and qualified. Beyond that, they need to show leadership, have clear communication skills, be well-organized and understand marketing and budgeting.

ProjectManager Helps With Event Management

ProjectManager is online project management software that has the features you need to help you manage your event. As we mentioned, the Gantt chart can organize your activities, whether it’s a small or big event. But the Gantt chart is only one of our multi-project views.

Plan your Events on Online Calendars

Even if you organize your event on the Gantt, all you have to do is toggle to the calendar view to see your activities in a calendar format. That means you can see start dates and end dates for your work at a glance. Onboard your team and share the plan. They can use the list view or kanban boards if they prefer. Share view-only passes with vendors and they get transparency without being able to change anything important.

ProjectManager's calendar viewProjectManager's calendar view
Keep Track of Work Hours with Timesheets

Once your team is onboarded, you can set up their availability with our resource management features. This makes it easy to see when they have PTO or holidays when assigning tasks. You can then use our secure timesheets to streamline pay and track the amount of time they’re taking to complete their work in real time. This way, if they’re falling behind, you can reallocate resources and get back on track quickly.

Timesheet view in ProjectManagerTimesheet view in ProjectManager

Real-time data not only helps you make better decisions but also allows your team to collaborate and work better together. They can share files, comment and tag others who aren’t assigned to the task so they can help if needed. Add to that our real-time dashboard that gives you a high-level view of the project and customizable reports that go deeper into the data and help with post-event reporting and you have a powerful ally in event management.

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you plan, schedule and track your work in real time. Our collaborative platform connects teams, vendors and stakeholders so they can all stay updated with one source of truth. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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Event Management: A Quick Guide

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Having an event is a like executing a project. It has a plan that’s executed by a team with a deadline with the final deliverable being the event. Just like a project, event management is the way you make sure everything seamlessly comes together for your stakeholders.

Event management can be anything from a birthday party for your kid to a business convention and everything in between. You can do it in person, virtually or a hybrid of both. However you chose to stage your event, event management will help make it succeed.

What Is Event Management?

Event management is the process of creating an event. It involves every aspect of the event, from the idea to the planning, execution and maintenance of the event. It can even continue after the event has been done if there’s any post-event strategizing involved.

Event management starts with an event manager, a topic we’ll explore in a bit. They initiate the plan, deciding on essentials such as when and where the event will take place. They’ll also develop a theme, if appropriate, and oversee the event to make sure it runs as planned.

The event plan can involve a variety of disciplines such as sourcing designing, regulation checks and on-site management, as well as more details. Everything will be outlined in the plan. It should be thorough and coordinate activities in order for everything to happen correctly.

You could use a spreadsheet to organize your event management but project management software makes the job much easier. ProjectManager is online software that can be easily shared. It’s a great collaborative platform to connect everyone involved from the event planner to vendors. Our online Gantt chart helps you organize tasks, link dependent ones to avoid delays and even sets a baseline. That means you can track planned versus actual effort in real time. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
ProjectManager’s Gantt charts help you create, share and edit event plans in real time. Learn more

Event Management vs. Event Planning

Before we dive deeper, it’s important to understand that, while similar, event management and event planning aren’t the same. The general difference is that event planners are the ones with the vision for the event. They also work on the preliminary plans.

Event managers, on the other hand, are the ones who oversee the execution. They add details to the plan and make sure it’s being done correctly.

As you can see, there’s overlap. The event manager and an event planner will often work hand-in-glove or sometimes one person will fill both roles depending on the size and type of event being planned.

For example, the event manager is the one who usually makes the reservations, coordinates with vendors, hires and manages the staff and is on-site during the event. The event planner chooses the theme and concept, selects the venue, plans the menu and arranges for any entertainment or speakers.

Types of Events

As we mentioned, event management can be applied to any event. You have to plan for a child’s birthday party or contend with a potential meltdown. The stakes are just as high for professional events.

People who attend events don’t think about the planning and effort that’s gone into creating a great experience. They do, however, voice their objections when something goes wrong. You don’t want that.

Let’s take a moment to define the various professional events because these can have a financial impact on your business, whether you’re producing the event or running it. A positive experience builds brands, helps with networking and can drive sales. A bad one may result in lost customers and a tarnished brand reputation.

1. Corporate Events

A corporate event is done by a company or organization and is put on for the employees or the customers. There can also be trade events that incorporate many companies, employees and customers. Corporate events run the gamut from formal to informal and can be designed for team building, conferences, recruiting, product launches, etc.

2. Private Events

A private event could mean a birthday party or an event for adults. In terms of professional events, a private one could be corporate, too. The difference between this and the corporate event is that only those who are invited to the private event can attend, unlike a public event, such as a class or workshop, which is open to anyone.

3. In-Person

An in-person event takes place in a physical space and the people who attend are there physically. Most events throughout history have been in-person, but, of course, with the advent of the internet and the development of streaming, there are now more options, as we’ll discuss below.

4. Online

Virtual events are becoming more popular as technology makes these events seamless for participants. They can also help avoid expensive travel, hotel and food costs. In terms of event management, the process is basically the same. Most people, though, prefer in-person, especially when doing business. There are hybrid models available, too, which gives everyone the option as to whether they attend in person or online.

Related: Free Event Plan Template for Excel

Event Management Roles

Just as in any project, event management is made up of different people and skill sets to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. We talked briefly about an event manager, but that’s such an important role it deserves more detail.

In addition to the event manager, we’ll look at how an event director fits into the overall event management structure. We’ll look at roles and responsibilities for both and describe some of the skills that each needs in order to succeed at their job.

Event Manager

An event manager does the heavy lifting in event management. As the name says, they’re the people who manage the event. This means they execute the plan and manage the event as it happens to make sure everything is going as expected. As we explained, the event manager and the event planner can be slightly different or share responsibilities. We decided to look at the role of an event manager that would bridge both of those positions.

Role & Responsibilities

Event managers help brainstorm the event concept and implement the event plan. In that capacity, they deal with the budgeting of the event and all related invoicing. That means they also work with vendors and negotiate contracts and sponsorship deals. They handle logistics, keep stakeholders updated, pull needed permits and deal with any post-event reporting.

Skills

An event manager should have a degree in either public relations, communications or hospitality, though project management could also prove useful (and PM experience a must). They need superior communication and marketing skills. An event manager should be a strong leader, organized and able to multitask. Having time management skills and understanding risk management is important as well as knowing how to use a variety of software. Interpersonal skills and conflict resolution are also a plus.

Event Director

An event director is responsible for planning and executing an event, but at a higher level than the event manager, who deals more with day-to-day operations. While the event manager can be involved in the brainstorming and planning, the event director has the final say. They can work for individuals to corporations, nonprofits and government agencies.

Role & Responsibilities

The event director is responsible for making sure that the event staff is trained and understands their responsibilities. They’ll communicate with the event team throughout the planning process to deliver a successful event. That includes making sure that vendors, caterers and other service providers have been hired and are appropriately scheduled. They oversee marketing initiatives and any event promotions to make sure they target the right audience.

Skills

An event director should a degree in hospitality, event management or a related field, such as project management. Classes in hospitality management, event planning, business management, marketing and sales are also helpful. Certifications are good to show they’re knowledgeable and qualified. Beyond that, they need to show leadership, have clear communication skills, be well-organized and understand marketing and budgeting.

ProjectManager Helps With Event Management

ProjectManager is online project management software that has the features you need to help you manage your event. As we mentioned, the Gantt chart can organize your activities, whether it’s a small or big event. But the Gantt chart is only one of our multi-project views.

Plan your Events on Online Calendars

Even if you organize your event on the Gantt, all you have to do is toggle to the calendar view to see your activities in a calendar format. That means you can see start dates and end dates for your work at a glance. Onboard your team and share the plan. They can use the list view or kanban boards if they prefer. Share view-only passes with vendors and they get transparency without being able to change anything important.

ProjectManager's calendar viewProjectManager's calendar view
Keep Track of Work Hours with Timesheets

Once your team is onboarded, you can set up their availability with our resource management features. This makes it easy to see when they have PTO or holidays when assigning tasks. You can then use our secure timesheets to streamline pay and track the amount of time they’re taking to complete their work in real time. This way, if they’re falling behind, you can reallocate resources and get back on track quickly.

Timesheet view in ProjectManagerTimesheet view in ProjectManager

Real-time data not only helps you make better decisions but also allows your team to collaborate and work better together. They can share files, comment and tag others who aren’t assigned to the task so they can help if needed. Add to that our real-time dashboard that gives you a high-level view of the project and customizable reports that go deeper into the data and help with post-event reporting and you have a powerful ally in event management.

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you plan, schedule and track your work in real time. Our collaborative platform connects teams, vendors and stakeholders so they can all stay updated with one source of truth. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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Best Work Management Software of 2022 for Remote Teams

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Work management software ties together information, business processes and human resources and allows them to work in sync. The little shortcuts add up to big savings, and companies both large and small are looking to adopt them. But which one is right for you?

Let’s look at the best work management tools and see how they operate. We hope this list will help you decide which software is best for you and your remote team!

2022 Best Work Management Software Rankings

Let’s take a look at some of the best work management software available today.

ProjectManager, the best work management software of 2022ProjectManager, the best work management software of 20221. ProjectManager

ProjectManager is the by far the best all-around work management tool that we’ve reviewed. Like every choice on this list, ProjectManager is an online platform, which leads to quicker responses and more insightful decision-making from your remote team.

Powerful Project Planning Features

When it comes to project planning, ProjectManager edges out the competition with a fully-featured and dynamic Gantt chart. With it, you can plan collaboratively, organize tasks, define the critical path and set baselines.

ProjectManager Gantt chartProjectManager Gantt chart

Multiple Ways to Work

Another aspect of ProjectManager that differentiates it from most project management tools is that there are multiple project views so teams can choose the project management tool that’s right for them—whether that’s a Gantt chart, kanban board, a task list, or a calendar view. With so much customization, remote teams can continue to stay productive.

A screenshot of the Kanban board project viewA screenshot of the Kanban board project view

Real-Time Task Management & Tracking

Finally, ProjectManager sticks out from the rest of the options on our list due to its elevated task management and time tracking capabilities. ProjectManager’s dashboard automatically delivers real-time data on time, tasks, costs and more.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a projectProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Given the robust and dynamic planning, collaborating and tracking features that ProjectManager offers, it’s clear why this software tops our list of the best work management software of 2022. There’s no work management software on this list that offers all of these powerful features at such a low price point. Get started today for free.

Pricing

  • Team plan: $13 user/month
  • Business plan: $24 user/month

Q&A

  • Does ProjectManager offer a free trial? Yes, ProjectManager has a 30-day free trial
  • Does ProjectManager have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

asana logo, a work management softwareasana logo, a work management software2. Asana

Asana focuses on team collaboration as a means to deliver greater work efficiency. It’s a flexible and fast project management software with a modern-looking design that appeals to many teams’ aesthetic preferences. Asana offers a free plan, as do most on this list, but Asana’s free version is a bit more robust in terms of features.

While Asana comes with a timeline, it’s not a Gantt chart and it doesn’t have the functionality project managers would expect. It’s a bit high-priced and complicated, though with some work you can clear that second hurdle. What’s less easy to swallow is the lack of reports or any portfolio dashboard.

Pricing

  • Premium plan: $10.99 user/month
  • Business plan: $24.99 user/month

Q&A

  • Does Asana offer a free trial? Yes, Asana has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Asana have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

3. ClickUpClickUp logo, one of the best work management software of 2022ClickUp logo, one of the best work management software of 2022

ClickUp is online project management software that prides itself on work productivity. It can help with process and time management, while not neglecting the importance of team collaboration and reporting features. There’s a dashboard that can show different perspectives on the project.

There are a lot more features than some options on this list, but they’re not elegantly embedded in the software. This can make for some confusion and a steep learning curve. While ClickUp offers a lot of customization, this often impacts the software’s ability to run smoothly.

Pricing

  • Unlimited: $5 user/month
  • Business: $9 user/month
  • Business Pro: $19 user/month

Q&A

  • Does ClickUp offer a free trial? No, ClickUp doesn’t have a free trial
  • Does ClickUp have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

4. SmartsheetSmartsheet, a work management softwareSmartsheet, a work management software

Smartsheet is made for collaborative business management, and it’s similar to a customizable Excel sheet. Unlike some of the other project management software we reviewed, there are more features outside of just the spreadsheet. You can use a Gantt chart, track metrics on dashboards and make reports.

What Smartsheet doesn’t have is timesheets or strong budgeting features. While Smartsheet can track time and assist with budgeting and resource management, it can only do so with third-party software for an added expense.

Pricing

  • Pro plan: $7 user/month
  • Business plan: $25 user/month

Q&A

  • Does Smartsheet offer a free trial? Yes, Smartsheet has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Smartsheet have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS.

5. FunctionFoxFunctionFox, one of the best work management software of 2022FunctionFox, one of the best work management software of 2022

FunctionFox is a timesheet and work management software that’s mostly used by smaller creative companies. It creates efficiency by reducing admin time and improving workflow. There are reporting features and a strong interface for team members to monitor multiple tasks at once.

However, FunctionFox might not be the best project management software. First, there’s no view of elapsed time. There are no time tracking reports for clocking in and out. And it’s relatively expensive compared to many of the other options we explored. That’s a lot of deficits for a work management tool that’s also hard to learn.

Pricing

  • Classic: $5 user/month
  • Premier: $10 user/month
  • In-house: $20 user/month

Q&A

  • Does FunctionFox offer a free trial? Yes, FunctionFox has a 14-day free trial
  • Does FunctionFox have a mobile project management app? No, there’s no mobile app

6. Zoho ProjectsZoho projects, an inexpensive work management softwareZoho projects, an inexpensive work management software

Zoho Projects is online work management software that helps with project planning, task tracking and team collaboration. Unlike some of the other tools, this one is relatively easy to set up, navigate and configure. The time-tracking tools, though, are the selling point.

What might stop you from buying is the fact you don’t get multiple project planning views, reports or a portfolio dashboard, which comes in handy if you’re working with multiple projects at the same time. There is a resource management feature, but it’s not very developed.

Pricing

  • Premium: $5 user/month
  • Enterprise: $10 user/month

Q&A

  • Does Zoho Projects offer a free trial? Yes, Zoho Projects has a 10-day free trial
  • Does Zoho Projects have a mobile project management app? Yes, Zoho Projects offers a mobile project management app

7. Monday.comMonday.com, one of the best work management software of 2022Monday.com, one of the best work management software of 2022

Monday.com is a work management software that helps you create workflows how you want to keep your team aligned, working efficiently and speaking to their needs. You can centralize your work, processes, tools and files in one place to keep everyone working on the same page. That’s essential for good work management software.

What’s essential for work management is a tool that tracks project goals well. You have to create a board to manage your goals, either from scratch or a template that then has to be customized. Teamwork is part of work management, but you can’t even assign comments to your team on this tool. Don’t get us started on the lack of task dependencies. That’s going to delay projects.

Pricing

  • Basic: $8 user/month
  • Standard: $10 user/month
  • Pro: $16 user/month

Q&A

  • Does Monday offer a free trial? Yes, Monday.com has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Monday have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

8. WrikeWrike, one of the best work management software of 2022Wrike, one of the best work management software of 2022

Wrike is known as work management software with a pretty layout that people tend to enjoy. There are also the tools that people managing that work need, such as kanban boards and Gantt charts. It doesn’t hurt that it can integrate with apps like Google Drive and Dropbox.

Even with that colorful interface, Wrike’s work management tool still has a steep learning curve. You can get on the app and use it, but for the tool to really be effective you need to put a lot of time in—and that’s for people with project management experience. Onboarding must be done manually, which is going to take time for larger projects. The filtering is poor so you’re often looking at a cluttered space that can slow down your work. You can’t even prioritize tasks properly!

Pricing

  • Professional plan: $9.80 user/month
  • Business plan: $24.80 user/month

Q&A

  • Does Wrike offer a free trial? Yes, Wrike has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Wrike have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

9. TrelloTrello, one of the best work management software for agile teamsTrello, one of the best work management software for agile teams

Trello is work management software that uses kanban boards to visualize the workflow. This is an intuitive tool that is easy to understand and use. There’s also an internal automation system that automates repetitive tasks. Yes, it’s mostly a kanban app, which is a segue into what we didn’t like about it, but one last piece of praise: there are third-party customizations available.

That said, you have to use third-party customizations and, worse, upgrades, to get a more functional work management software. Even these expensive add-ons aren’t going to help you if you’re working on a larger project. The kanban boards aren’t suited for bigger jobs. That’s especially true in terms of storage as the app doesn’t have unlimited storage. Many project managers will balk at the lack of a Gantt chart, too. Add-ons mimic this essential tool but it’s not the same as a real Gantt chart.

Pricing

  • Standard: $5 user/month
  • Premium: $10 user/month
  • Enterprise: $17.50 user/month

Q&A

  • Does Trello offer a free trial? Yes, Trello has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Trello have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

10. Adobe WorkfrontAdobe Workfront logo, one of the best work management software of 2022Adobe Workfront logo, one of the best work management software of 2022

Adobe Workfront is collaborative work management software with reporting features to track budgets and time when you customize the dashboard. It’s often used by IT professionals as it allows for bug tracking, milestone tracking, product road mapping, status tracking, issues management, percent-complete tracking and supports scrum when working in an agile environment.

If you’re not an IT professional, you might find it a difficult work management software. You’ll need training and even IT pros will face challenges. Those new to project management are going to have a difficult time getting up to speed. Adobe Workfront has a lot of features, which can be both good and bad. The app can get complicated fast and the Excel-like interface doesn’t help as it gets cluttered.

Pricing

  • Enterprise, business and pro license types available, pricing upon request

Q&A

  • Does Workfront offer a free trial? No, they don’t offer a free trial
  • Does Workfront have a mobile project management app? Yes, Workfront offers a mobile project planning app for both Android and iOS

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that organizes work to increase efficiency and boost productivity. It streamlines your processes, connects everyone in your organization and monitors and tracks progress and performance as it occurs. From Gantt charts to timesheets, you want it all and ProjectManager delivers. Try ProjectManager for free today.

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