Tips for project management from 10 international event experts

Project management is an art. Luckily this art can be learned – and the valuable tips from our international event experts will help you with this.

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If you had to name one aspect that is crucial for successful project management, what would it be? This is the question that we asked event experts from Salzburg and the world. There is a lot to learn from the answers that we received in the process.

Bearing in mind for whom you are designing the event

Ruud Janssen is one of the co-founders of Event Design Collective. “Stakeholder alignment and a solid event design with a clear story” are the key components of successful project management, in his opinion. For this purpose, Event Design Collective has developed tools based on the method of design thinking, tools that let the various stakeholders of an event, as well as their needs, take centre stage.

Stefan Heissel, Managing Director of the Salzburg-based agency Inspiria, also believes that “by trying to see every planning stage from the participant's point of view, you can check if you are headed in the right direction at every stage of the project.”, The agency organises approx. 50 events for clients such as Allianz, BASF, McDonald’s or Skoda annually, and it has arranged more than 1,000 events in the 20 years since its foundation.

Every step in your project has to planned from the delegates perspective

Stefan Heissel, inspiria event service
Stefan Heissel event agency Inspiria

Check that all project partners are singing from the same song sheet and follow one goal

"The most important ingredient for successful project and event management is to have regular and effective check-ins with your teams. I’s crucial that everyone is aware of the big picture and keeps moving forward towards that goal”, Miguel Neves believes. Miguel worked as a digital content and community manager in a team at the IMEX trade fair, and he is now Congress Marketing Manager at ESOT European Society for Organ Transplantation.

"My preferred approach is to schedule short meetings regularly, to  address key questions about the project and to hold every stakeholder accountable for their agreed-upon part of the project. Often, these updates significantly improve team morale and support for each other”, the expert says. He is an active member of the board of directors of the event planners’ association MPI Meeting Professionals International.

Katrin Taepke, an event manager and event blogger from Bayreuth, shares a similar view. “Start with the goal! Most people do not think about the goal. We organise events because this is on the agenda every year. However, those who know what the goal is, will choose the correct formats, choose the correct way to address their target group, even know their target group”, the specialist for event technology believes.

Partnerships work with a clear communication between client and supplier

"Our top tip for any project and event is detailed and comprehensive planning. Good cooperation as well as communication between the organiser and the location team are key in this”, says Nina Gerharter, Cluster Sales Manager at Wyndham Grand Conference Center in Salzburg.

Natascha Ringerthaler, Projekt Manager at our Salzburg Convention Bureau Team agrees. “The right choice of service providers for location, technology, supporting programme, and logistics is of utmost importance. On the one hand the skills and qualifications required are key, and on the other hand the “chemistry” must be right. A huge part of our work at the Salzburg Convention Bureau is making these matches,” explains Natascha, describing the support provided by the Salzburg Convention Bureau.

Get in touch with your event expert in Salzburg

Sales & Marketing Manager
Natascha Ringerthaler

Meet and exceed your clients expectations

For Gregor Gritzky, Head of Marketing, Business Development and Sales at Exhibition & Congress Center (Messezentrum) her ein the city of Salzburg sees timing and coordination as decisive factors for any association or corporate meeting. “An event will be a success when everyone involved works together perfectly and towards achieving the shared goal. In this context it is crucial that you think about which information you will require from the very beginning in order to be able to complete your tasks – and to ensure that the schedule is adhered to in the best possible way. After all, one thing is for certain in event management: At the latest,  everything must be ready on event day!” notes the marketing and trade fair expert.

Efficient communication between the client and the service providers is also crucial for Julia Weber, Director of Sales at Imlauer Hotel Pitter in Salzburg and Vienna. “This is why our clients have ONE contact (from the offer stage to drawing up the “function sheet” and invoicing). Our event management team makes extra sure that all the important aspects have been clarified beforehand, to make sure that the client's expectations are met during the event or, at best, even exceeded.”

“Listen carefully to your client / your guest and offer different and above all individually adaptable versions”, Thomas Baliamis, General Manager of Hotel Gut Brandlhof in Saalfelden advises. “Take the client's feedback, look for the perfect location, and implement what you have planned with lots of attention to detail. Whatever you do, it is crucial that you plan enough time in order to keep the personal touch of each project”, he suggests as the key to success.

Team culture is the factor for success

Michael Heipel has gained his experience as an event planner both with the association and large trade fair organisers. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – This quote by Austrian-born Peter Drucker can also be applied to project management,” he believes.

"Team culture is the most important contributing factor to the success of a project. When everyone stands up for each other, a project is looked at holistically instead of each person feeling responsible for their tasks alone, that is when project management can work well. In this endeavour having a team leadership that is as diverse as possible is key in order to integrate various positions and points of view”, the Frankfurt-based event specialist continues.

Conclusion: Communication is most important


In almost all of the tips for project management that we received in response to our question communication takes centre stage. What’s your take on it? What makes the difference for you when it comes to event project management? Let us know. We are looking forward to receiving your insights.

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