Event planning with Asana

Many teams use Asana to plan and manage events. Get started by creating a new project specifically for your upcoming event.

Creating an event planning project

There are a few different ways to create your project:

  • Get started quickly by using our free event planning template. You can customize this template to suit your team’s needs. You’ll find more information on Asana-curated templates and where to find them here.
  • If you currently track event planning in a spreadsheet, import that data into an Asana project using the CSV importer. This is a good starting point to build out your project.
  • Manually create a new project in Asana by following the steps outlined here. You might like to convert that project into a template to save you time when planning your next event.

Add stakeholders to your project

Once you’ve created your project, you can start adding stakeholders. Stakeholders include individuals or groups who have an interest in the outcome of a project. They can influence or be influenced by the project, and their involvement is crucial for its success.

Stakeholders may include:

  1. People within your organization that you work with on a regular basis such as teammates, a manager, or IT support.
  2. People who are directly connected with this specific event like an organizer, event host, or attendees.
  3. External people that you are working closely with to ensure that the event is a success. These might include sponsors, suppliers, vendors, or venue owners. This list could also include service providers such as caterers, decorators, security teams, or media personnel.

Invite vendors and contractors to your event project as guests

You might kick off work with vendors via email, but consider adding key vendors or contractors to your project as guests. This makes it easier to keep your project on track as everyone can see deadlines, to-dos, an attachments, ensuring that things get done on time.

Adding your vendors and contractors to your project also helps simplify how you keep track of important files like contracts and invoices, since you can safely keep everything in one place.

Use case example

Assign your contractor a task asking them to send their invoice by a certain date. The contractor simply uploads their invoice to the task as an attachment by the due date, so your team can process payment. You can make a project private to members if tasks shouldn’t be visible to everyone in your organization or team. Private to members projects are only accessible to project members. You can read more about task permissions here .

Tips for managing your event

Once you’ve built your event planning project, you can use the following tips to help you manage your project and track details as work gets underway.

Post regular status updates

As your team brings the event to life, use the overview tab to post status updates and view project activity. You can drag and drop highlights into your status updates to share charts and milestones. Asana will save your status update template if you want to follow the same format every time. You can use even creating a first draft using Asana Intelligence and the Smart Status feature to speed things up.

Map out your event plan in timeline view

Most event plans have critical deadlines and dependencies leading up to the big day. Timeline helps you map these out in your plan before you start to ensure all of the pieces fit together for a seamless event. You can easily adjust dates as things come up by dragging and dropping tasks on the timeline.

How to create your plan with timeline:

  1. Create tasks for all your event to-dos in list view.
  2. Navigate to the Timeline tab at the top of your project.
  3. Schedule tasks by dragging and dropping them onto the timeline. If you spot timing conflicts, move tasks to reschedule them.
  4. Extend the task date ranges so assignees can better budget their time leading up to the deadline.
  5. If tasks need to be completed in a certain order, create dependencies between them by hovering over a task, then dragging the dot to a related task to connect them.

Once work is underway, timeline can also help you quickly address conflicts before they derail your plan. For example, if booking your event venue takes longer than expected, you can easily shift dependent tasks in timeline view. Task assignees automatically get notified that their due dates have been adjusted. This ensures that work can start at the right time and avoids confusion.

Keep track of important emails while spending less time in your inbox

You can invite vendors to your event project as guests as outlined above, but if you or your vendors prefer to communicate via email, then try the Asana for Gmail, Outlook, or other email integrations.

When you receive emails with important documents or actionable work, you can add them to Asana right from your inbox. You can create a task, add the task to your event project, and more. This avoids key planning details and to-dos from getting lost in email threads and reduces the time spent in your email inbox.

Save time planning future events with templates

Every event is different, but typically they share a core checklist. Instead of losing time recreating a project for each new event, or keeping information in a document, disconnected from where your plans are coming to life, you can build and save your event templates in Asana. Turning your current event planning project into a template will not only save time in the future, but will also ensure you don’t forget important steps.

To create a project template for event planning:

  1. Build out your core event checklist in a project. Unless the same person completes the same task every time, there’s no need to assign tasks or add due dates yet.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow beside the project name and choose Save as template.
  3. Prevent other users making edits or changes to the template by changing the project permissions to only allow comments.
  4. For every event afterwards, create a new project from your template by clicking the orange + Create button, selecting Project, then Use a template to take you to your organization’s saved templates. You can search for your template on the left.
  5. As you continue to refine your event checklist, you can update your template to ensure you don’t repeat mistakes or use outdated tactics.

Tips for managing work on the day of your event

Work on the go on and offline with the Asana mobile app

In the days leading up to your event and on the day of, your team will likely be onsite preparing. This makes it hard to access key details quickly and keep track of what’s left to do. Asana’s mobile app keeps your team connected to the event plan (even if you’re offline on iOS or Android) before, during, and after the event.

For example, you could leave feedback on an event photo using the proofing feature before sharing or confirm the event agenda was emailed to all attendees on time. This can all be done on mobile. This strengthens collaboration between event teammates even if they’re in different places.

Keep real time conversations actionable with the Slack integration

Many teams use both Asana and Slack to coordinate and communicate about work, especially when it’s time for an event to begin. Instead of picking one tool or the other, teams can use them together with the Asana for Slack integration.

If a teammate asks for feedback on their keynote presentation, but you’re running another errand for the event, you can create an Asana task right from the Slack conversation so you don’t forget and retain all the original context.

Monitor event progress with portfolios

To understand event progress and gauge team bandwidth, event planners usually piece together information in meetings, emails, or spreadsheets, which can be time consuming and inaccurate. Instead, create a portfolio for all Asana projects relating to your event. A portfolio allows you to organize your most important event planning projects, monitor their health in real-time, and drill down for more information, while keeping your team updated on progress.

Manage staffing across multiple events with workload

Then use the portfolio’s Workload tab to visualize your team’s capacity across events based on tasks that are already assigned to them. Portfolio workload gives you a visual snapshot of team capacity and a closer look into what your team is working on across projects. Pinpoint conflicts so you can address risks and keep projects on track by easily reassigning or rescheduling tasks in the same view. Make sure team members aren’t overwhelmed or underworked and projects and events are properly staffed and can be kept on track.

Workload defaults to task count, but we know that tasks don’t always carry the same weight. You can set up effort custom fields across portfolio projects to get a better sense of the total hours or effort level going into each task. Set custom fields based on priority to get a sense of task weight.

If you need to get a sense of the wider team's capacity coming up to an event (not just project members within your current event portfolio), you can use the universal workload feature. This allows you to view the global capacity of a team by pulling data from tasks and subtasks across all projects into a workload view.

Resources for planning and managing events in Asana

Learn more about planning events in Asana using the resources below:

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