This month, watch for our three-part blog series on Event Planning from start to finish! Do Good Events’ President, Kalsey Beach, originally posted this as a guest blog for the Minnesota Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association.
De-stressing the week-of: It’s the week of your event, a time that can be stressful, especially if you haven’t planned ahead. Lists are crucial during this phase to make sure nothing is missed. Following a list allows you to feel in control of the chaos.
One Week Before The Event:
- Finalize signage needs – Hopefully you’ve ordered any large print needs (ie, banners) but what about smaller directional signage? Will guests know where to go once they enter the space? Should you set up a sandwich board in the parking lot? Approach the venue space as if it were your first time and plan your directional signage accordingly.
- Record dietary needs – Review your guest list for any dietary needs like vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose free, kosher, etc. Ensure these guests will be taken care of throughout the event and alert your catering vendors.
- Confirm with vendors – Call every one of your vendors and confirm load-in, load-out and timeline details as well as headcount and anything else pertinent to their role. Never assume someone knows what time they need to be there or where they should park.
- Create vendor contact list – While on the phone with vendors, confirm day-of event contact information and create a spreadsheet for yourself.
- Confirm volunteer/staff schedules – Connect with anyone working the event and ensure they know what time to arrive, what to wear, where to park, if they will receive a meal, etc.
- Create seating chart – Distribute the seating chart to key players, upon approval, print place cards.
- Finalize timeline – Think through the full day(s). Note when vendors, key players, staff and guests will arrive.
- Finalize script – Distribute the script to key players and VIPs so they may practice and provide feedback in a timely manner.
One Day Before The Event:
- Take care of the planning team – Make sure you are providing the planning team extra encouragement, meals, flexibility, etc. The team needs to arrive at the event energized, so paying attention to personal needs is crucial.
- Send final attendee reminder – Email guests one last reminder about the day, including details about the event timeline, where to park and what to wear.
- Pack an event bin – Include everything you think you may need! Our bins include pens, scissors, zip ties, paper clips, stapler, notebooks, clipboards, tape of every kind, flashlight, corkscrew, blank name tags, scripts, extra guest lists, kleenex, etc! For a more detailed list, check out this guest blog Kalsey wrote on Jabber Logic!
- Pack your bag – Consider what you need to wear for set-up, during the event, and takedown. Pack multiple pairs of shoes!
- Walk through the event – Visualize the day and confirm you have thought of each moment!
Day Of The Event:
- Check the venue – Confirm the layout is what was discussed and that microphones, signage, centerpieces, etc. are all in place. Make sure you agree with the temperature and cleanliness.
- Confirm AV set up – At least one hour before the start of the event, check all microphones and presentation materials.
- Greet vendors – Check-in with your vendors upon their arrival and make a phone call if a vendor is more than 10 minutes late.
- Set up speaker needs – Place water at the podium, ensure dressing rooms are ready, make sure the speaker has a reserved seat in the audience, etc.
- Check in with VIPs – Make sure VIPs are feeling comfortable and knowledgeable about the script and timeline.
- Record Day-of Guests’ Information – When unconfirmed guests arrive, keep track of their registration information (ie, name, phone, email, payment)
- Feedback – Take notes throughout the event about what is going well, could be improved or comments you are hearing. Ask staff and volunteer to contribute as well.
These crucial days will contribute to the success of the event- remember Do Good Events can help!