The workflow is a living document where organizers define actions and tasks, and keep track of them. It can be thought of as a combination of a User Experience Journey Map and a To-Do List based on said Map. To deliver a smooth-running event, it’s important to make sure all factors are considered and everybody in the team stays on the same page. A workflow serves as a concrete form that everybody in the event planning team can all review, discuss, and agree on. It also can be used to communicate to a range of audiences, including clients, advisors and other stakeholders. For ChairJam Pittsburgh 2019, we developed our workflow through a user-centered approach.
4.1 External: Guest’s Journey Map
Guest or customer journey maps are a tool commonly used by UX designers to deepen their understanding of a problem space. It gives a holistic view of the connection between customer (participant) and service provider (organizer). A typical customer journey map usually includes actions, touchpoints, pain points, feelings, and opportunities. As event organizers, we mainly focus on the first three.
Below is an example of journey map we made for pre-event phase.
The journey map allows the team to determine what are your guests’ expectations and how should they be taken care of behind the scene (i.e. internal task).
4.2 Internal: Task Checklist
Creating the Journey Map allows you to more easily define tasks and manage preparatory work in a Task Checklist. In a task checklist, tasks are organized into stages/phases. Each individual task should clearly state what needs to be done, by when, and by whom. This list is a good place to make clear divisions of responsibilities amongst the organizers. Exactly how these responsibilities are divided depends upon the makeup and preferences of your team, but we recommend having at least one or two people in charge of communicating with participants, someone managing hardware and technical preparation, and making explicit who will be preparing workshops. The Task Checklist should act as a working document that keeps the whole team up to date. There are a bunch of collaboration platforms/tools that allow you to create and update the task checklist, such as Google Sheets, Trello, and Todoist. We used Google Sheets. It worked well for our team because it is a simple and widely available platform that was easy to share and collaborate with on our small team. We recommend reviewing these platforms and others like them to find the one that best fits your team’s organizational structure and preferences.
At The Event
Once you have worked through the previous sections in order to set up the ChairJam itself, there is still a considerable number of things left to consider. While you should try to keep your schedule relatively simple, that doesn’t mean that setting it all up will be simple.
This is the basic front-facing schedule we used for ChairJam Pittsburgh 2019. As you can see, there are still a handful of topics as yet uncovered by this document. We will spend the next few sections going over these Jam specifics, like the workshops or materials necessary.