ever get the feeling....what was it i needed to do?
You know that feeling you get when suddenly you stop in your tracks and think……what was that thing I needed to do?
Gift bags? Yep.
Pop up banners? Got them.
Send the registration emails? Done that.
Suddenly, you realize that you haven’t yet confirmed the badge design and get onto the supplier immediately to check the status and make sure timings are still ok!
Even the most experienced event organizers can get so wrapped up reacting to impending issues that crucial details can easily get missed creating headaches later on for themselves.
You can easily prevent this from happening by creating a master planning list up front and checking it off only when finally completed. Sounds simple, but sometimes you can even forget to do that too or be disciplined enough to keep it up to date.
are these on your planning list?
1. Pre-test Wi-Fi stability/bandwidth and have plenty of charging stations
The Wi-Fi at event venues can often become unstable because of a sudden overflow of people. Make sure you test and try out the connectivity during busy days at the venue in advance. Also, verify that your event app can allow offline access to your event agenda. It’s a must-have for attendees who come to your event from other countries, hence an essential item in the planning checklist for your event! Charge points are essential to allow delegates to keep fully functional and up to date with things on mobiles….and also post to your socials!
2. Create buzz on social media
Posting on social media is a good way to promote your event and increase awareness about your event. It’s a good idea to post your event updates and registration link regularly. Use readily-made social media images to include with your event information. If you have sponsors, don’t forget to mention them too. Keep updating your socials throughout the event, with live feeds and interesting photos to showcase the event. If you have created event #hashtags, remember to keep track of what guests have posted too.All these photos/videos will be invaluable post-event to download and have ready to showcase how great the event was both to your current or future sponsors.
3. Designate one person responsible for lost & found
Your attendees may lose a phone, a sought-after gift bag, or even their mate! Having one person in charge to keep track of the lost and found items and widely communicating how to contact this person (via whatsapp/online board/actual desk) can really speed up the whole process and reassure your guests.
4. Have an emergency kit and keep it with you
You might be surprised at how much a lack of scissors, tape or safety pin can raise stress levels. Packing an event emergency kit will help keep those stress levels down. Every event will be different but here’s some ideas for what to include….scissors, pens, tape, post-its, first aid kit, ibuprofen, camera, batteries. Know where the nearest chemist, printing shop, supermarket, hospital is located and have a parked car nearby to get there quickly if you need to. Prepare yourself for any urgent situation in advance so that you will be able to stay calm.
5. Prepare for overcrowded sessions
While some sessions with popular speakers or interesting topics may attract way too many attendees and raise safety concerns, dozens of empty seats in a big auditorium can embarrass a speaker. If you want to be well prepared, check if your management platform enables you to set a capacity for each session, verify per-session tickets, and register attendees quickly and easily. See how a management tool can help you execute a stress-free, well-organized event.
6. Think about packing away as you are setting up
Have a strategy for clearing down your event and remember to clearly communicate the pack up requirements needed - just before setting up! Do you need to re-use the same packing lists/manifests, crates, or pallets at the end of the event? Your set up crew need to be told to keep them in good order and put them away safely in a designated area. Your crew may also stay late or skip lunch due to busy schedules, so keep water and food available during the sessions. With drinks and snacks, they feel taken care of and will stay focused on the job and motivated. Before your team leaves the venue, double-check to make sure that equipment isn’t left behind, like printers, cameras, laptops, charge cables, and expense receipts
7. Keep the schedule on your event website up-to-date
In the days leading up to the event, small aspects of the event might change, such as a speaker or a session title. As the date of the event gets closer, you should make sure to update the event website at least once a day to avoid any confusion or complaints from attendees.
8. Remind your speakers
How embarrassing would it be if your keynote speaker didn’t show up in time, or even worse— believed the speech was on a different date? Hard to believe but it happens! You don’t want to be handling this nightmare of a full venue waiting for somebody who isn’t arriving. Avoid this by reminding each of your speakers the date and time of their talk several weeks before the event and confirming their flights or travel arrangements. Offer to help transport them to the venue if necessary so you know it will happen!
9. Print a master sheet
This master sheet will have all and any essential information, such as contact information for all the vendors, key speakers, Wi-Fi passwords, and the event checklist etc. Make sure you have a back up copy on a memory stick and a hard copy to hand somewhere.
10. Fast name badges for last minute or onsite registrants
You really don’t want long lines of attendees waiting for their name badges to be printed creating a negative experience for your guests. Make sure you have a quick and easy in-house tool to print off professional looking name badges for your attendees.
And a very important bonus one……
11. Send thank you notes to speakers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees
After the event, spend some time sending a thank you note to your speakers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees. Be sure to mention their contribution and your event’s success. If possible, attach some nice photos so that they can keep them as a memory! Everyone will appreciate it and that certainly helps bring them back next year.