What is a Critical Path?
A Critical Path
is essentially a to-do list for before, during and after the event. It lists
all activities that need to be completed in order to ensure a successful
project. A critical path is as the name states – critical. It is very important
to follow a critical path and constantly update it when preparing for an event.
Critical paths can be presented in many different ways, but the most important
items to have are tasks with timelines associated (start, duration and due
date), importance and dependence of task, and individual responsible for said
Let’s look at a simple example of a critical path for
hanging a new picture on the wall.
Choose a picture
Buy the screws
Choose the place on the wall
Drill a hole
Screw in the screws
Hang the picture
variations and possible orders of tasks that are determined by the dependency
of other tasks.
flexibility on certain tasks
WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW
New to Event Planning? Then making a critical path may
sound like a lot of work and you also may not know where to start. Each event
is different and has different requirements, so it is very unlikely that you
will ever use the same critical path twice – but you will use many elements of
a critical path over and over again.
Let’s go over some areas that are significant items to
include in a critical path and some questions to think about while creating
your critical path:
goals and objectives
What is the purpose of this event?
What do you hope to achieve?
this event been executed before? Are there debriefing notes?
is your budget?
paperwork need to be processed to receive your budget?
in charge of the budget?
up a budget template
happening at your event?
are the food and beverage requirements for the venue?
or external catering?
there permits or licenses that need to be obtained?
are the menu options?
food and beverage
are the tables being set?
wants and needs of the audience
who or what
a connection with entertainment/guest speaker
rider or special requests
copy of agenda
A/V and Lighting
are the requirements?
or external hiring
there internal security? Is external security required?
staff with walk through/map of venue
copy of agenda
of any special circumstances
standards and protocols
Internal or external staffing?
reach out to Volunteers
Develop intake documents
requirements of events and tasks associated
volunteers/staff with schedule
staff/volunteers with agenda
floor plan with venue
set up time with venue
plan and timeline of delivery of items to venue
the venue require décor?
need for décor
type of registration
for attendees and vendors?
Is the platform safe?
Will attendees use it?
Is the platform user friendly?
Is the service free?
Do you have registration software?
vendors with details and agenda
requests or requirements?