I know every event planner must have their own way of managing a project. I never really thought about mine until I was training someone new to event planning. I thought it was interesting that the procedure had become so 2nd nature to me that I no longer thought about individual steps and how to achieve the end result.
The words “salami-slice” came to my mind immediately. A phrase my father would say to me when I first started my career with him in the hospitality industry. By “salami-slicing” a project, you’re taking the thinnest piece possible away from a challenge. You examine piece by piece and segment by segment until you have dealt with all of the concerns while creating a strategy.
He would utter these words at any appropriate opportunity (ok, and maybe some inappropriate moments too). Even though I found it annoying, I tried it and sure enough it worked for me…and yes, I hated to admit that he was right!
The beauty of salami-slicing is that it can help you look at a project 2 different ways – a macro and a micro view. For the macro, you have to really understand the event, know what needs to happen, and have a clear vision for the overall project (this is the big picture). For the micro you have to look into each slice (segment) of the event and create a plan on how that segment would be executed and make sure it has a support system, to avoid any mistakes (this of course is the more detailed-oriented part). This process has helped me so much by identifying potential issues and anticipating what could go wrong, which is a big key to successful event planning.
Decades later, I find myself teaching others the same way he taught me and I’m sure they find my little quotes just as annoying as I found my Dad’s but I know at least I had a great teacher!
I am curious to know how other planners start and manage their process. How do you start and manage your process?