There are many moving parts when it comes to assembling an event and as an event planner, it’s crucial you understand how to keep them all synchronized. One of the most crucial parts where it is very easy to have mishaps is staying on schedule. Depending on the venue you’re working with, this may be a major issue and incur a lot of unwanted extra expenses, not to mention your attendees won’t be too happy either! That is never a fun situation for you, the venue and your attendees. Today we are going to share 5 steps to keep your event from going over time so that this never happens to you! Be Specific But Not Too Specific With Your Schedule When it comes to creating a schedule for an event, it can sometimes be easy to overlook how you affect the attendees behavior by how you structure that schedule. For example, if you show a specific time slot for every speaker or performer, this may cause some attendees to come late since they want to hear a specific speaker, this can also be an issue if a speaker doesn’t show up. In order to maintain flexibility with your schedule and expectations, it’s important to mark key times on the schedule such as the event starting time, event ending time, breaks, intermissions and more. Make sure you consider how clear your schedule is while also ensuring there is enough flexibility to account for unexpected changes. Add Buffer Time Just Incase As we mentioned, being flexible with your schedule is crucial when it comes to staying adaptable to unforeseen issues or events. One of the best ways to get this done is by creating buffer time. Buffer time protects your schedule from going over by adding extra time into each presentation or performance just in case they go over. This is huge because, in a situation where someone goes over on their performance or presentation, their time can ease into the buffer without digging into someone else’s time. In a situation where there is either not enough buffer time or no buffer time you may end up with just one performer or presenter going over that then cuts into everyone else’s time and causes the show to be rushed or finished late which can incur fees, anger presenters/performers and upset your audience. Buffer times protect your event, make sure to carefully incorporate them into your schedule. Use a Timer One of the most effective ways to keep everything in order is by using a timer. The key is to strategically use and place the timer in such a way that it keeps everyone on track, especially the performers/presenters. One of the best ways to set up a timer to be highly effective is by using a stage timer. Stage timers are great because they can be set up in a way where the presenter or performer clearly sees it, you can set it up to flash when they’re time is coming near an end and you can have someone remotely operate it. These can be purchased or even rented for as little as $100. Another great way to track time is by placing a timer downstage at the edge where a dedicated person can keep track of the time, give notices to performers/presenters to start wrapping up before their timeslot is done and overall just making sure everything is orderly. Whether you use a stage timer or regular timer, you will want to have someone keeping track of everything which leads to our next step. Hiring someone to manage the stage. Have Someone Managing The Stage A stage manager is one of the most important elements of making all this work. There are so many moving pieces when it comes to keeping events running smoothly, stage managers operate like the conductor of an orchestra that aligns everything and creates beautiful music your audience enjoys. A stage manager’s core focus is to ensure everything goes smoothly on stage. That means presenters/performers are properly set up, go up on time, get off on time and any potential issues that come up are resolved quickly without the attendees noticing thanks to the diligence and work of the stage manager. They will also make sure your presenters and performers are properly microphoned with a sound tech or production team. If you need a production team, we’re also happy to help with that. If you use different props or items on the stage that are changed out, the stage manager oversees this process as well. They are the master of running the stage during your event and are extremely helpful, if you really want your event to be great, hire one and make sure they are solid. By doing this, you will set yourself up for success. Consider Having an MC An MC or master of ceremonies can also be an awesome addition to your team to keep the event on track. Their primary purpose is to host, announce presenters/performers, and keep the audience engaged but they can also be great for keeping everyone on time. MCs can adjust how they host and announce to accommodate the schedule when needed and even help with notifying presenters or performers that their time is almost up or is completely up by getting on stage, unlike a stage manager. Since they are public-facing, this wouldn’t be considered odd and can be very useful when presenters or performers don’t notice they are going over their time. An MC gives your event energy, life and they can be a huge help for your stage manager. Carefully consider if hiring an MC may be the right choice for your event and make sure that they are on the same page as the stage manager to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you successfully follow these 5 steps to keep your event from going overtime, you will set yourself up for a successful and smooth event. Without taking these steps, you set your event up for potential failure because going overtime alone can ruin an event. From the extra incurred costs, having to rush, upset performers/presenters who may have to be cut or have their time cut into and frustrated attendees there is a lot on the line when it comes to staying on time. By following these 5 steps, you will be set up to never face those issues and create a great experience with your event. We hope you found this article helpful, if you did, please comment below and share with anyone else who may find it useful. Thank you! P.S To learn more about the AV packages we offer for events, be sure to check out our packages page or call 1-844-852-2299 to learn more about our services and rates.