The Consummate Planner’s Secret to Surviving A Big Move


Several months, some strategic planning and a few glasses of wine later, I have completed my much anticipated move from relatively small-town Orangeville to the big city of Toronto. While few moves are 100% stress-free, I was fortunate that I had a major advantage: I eat, sleep and breathe PLANNING, and planning is what it takes to execute a relatively glitch-free move.

Just as I would if I was planning a large scale conference or event for an organization or association, I had to breakdown the moving process into logical steps and execute a realistic, measurable plan of action, complete with deadlines and all.

First, I had to identify the right apartment – a home that fit my budget and was geographically desirable, both close to clients and the beautiful High Park. An array of “next steps” followed.

Importantly, I had to hire movers. Folks regularly attempt to conquer big moves alone or with the help of eager – or less than eager – friends in order to save money. Unfortunately, these “do it yourself” moves often end up costing more than they’re worth. Inexperienced movers can inadvertently cause costly damage to the valuable or delicate items being moved as well as your walls, stairs and flooring. (They can also sustain less-than-pleasant back and knee injuries!)

When you hire a reputable, honest moving company, you reap the benefits of movers who have the skills and equipment necessary to execute your move seamlessly. The same holds true of conference and event planning professionals. Many organizations that, with the hopes of saving money, attempt to plan a conference or large event on their own end up spending far more than they would have on an event planner.

Without the experience necessary to set realistic goals and stick to a restricted budget, and without close relationships with vendors and extensive planning experience, the cost of an event can easily spiral scarily out of control. Hiring an event planner is an investment that will save you in the long term, both financially and a whole lot of unnecessary stress.

Next, I worked to accomplish the tasks that can easily fall through the cracks when you’re tackling a major move. I changed my address and re-routed my mail; switched over to new electricity, cable and phone companies; reserved the moving elevator in my building; picked up my new keys; did a pre-move in inspection; reviewed items which were being kept in storage; decided what to keep vs. what to donate; and … packed (a task which in itself can easily overwhelm even those who have experienced several big moves).

After the move was complete and my new apartment started to resemble a home, I treated myself to a well-earned glass of wine. Motivated by my recent move, the next time you need to organize a large event, remember these move-inspired pointers:

Create a plan with measurable objectives. Where do you want to hold the event? What’s your budget? The more direction you have from the start, the better off the planning process will go.

Hire professionals. My movers got a 7′ x 8′ cabinet into an elevator.  Without their expertise I would have had to carry it up 9 flights of stairs! So too, reputable event planning professionals like the team at SGP Conferences and Events have the years of experience necessary to save you money and unnecessary aggravation as the event approaches and on the big day itself.

Be a stickler for details.  There are details associated with a move that one only becomes intimately familiar with when they have moved several times. Similarly, event planners have “been around the block” and know all the small steps that need to be taken along the way for things to come together professionally. When you have a planner in your corner taking care of the many, many details, your team is free to focus on the big picture.

After the fact.  After my move – as I sipped that perfectly chilled glass of wine – I reflected on things I should keep in mind when executing my next move, and asked myself: What can I do better next time? A strategic event planner does the same. At SGP Conferences and Events, after the guests have gone home and the excitement has quieted, we regroup with our clients for a post-event survey and recap to reflect on what worked best and what should be modified next year.

If you’re ready to “make your move” and are searching for the right planner to organize your upcoming conference or event, contact us today. After your successful event has come to a brilliant finish and the dazzling dust has settled, we’d be honoured to join you in a celebratory toast.

Susan Phillips

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