You’re juggling a lot on top of day-to-day responsibilities – planning an event with limited bandwidth and support. It can be stressful. Maybe you’re still getting the hang of it. Here are some tips to help you execute with ease. You’ve got this!
Pre-planning for an event ensures preparation and contributes to event success. However, it’s important to note that event logistics don’t promise an error-free event but enable you to handle any issues that arise outside your event plan.
Event logistics is the management, organization, and planning that contribute to the proper execution of an event. This includes the technical and logistical aspects like the event venue, catering, transportation, technological equipment, swag bags, registration, and more.
When planning anything, it’s essential to understand your goals. Planning logistics for events is no different. To start, map out the mission of your event, and determine the purpose and objectives – including how attendees will benefit.
Be clear on the event theme, target market, and genre. For example, you may be planning a music festival for jazz enthusiasts. Understanding your event nichè and target markets’ needs and interest allows for precise planning.
Once you have determined your event goals, theme, and target market, you can create your event checklist.
So, what should be at the top of your checklist? The event budget, venue, and date will be the holy grail of your event execution. This will tell you how much time you will have in the planning process, what type of event space you can book, and what resources you may need for the venue of your choice.
A checklist allows you to brain-dump and gets your thoughts on paper. It’s also an organized way of creating a to-do list, enabling you to see the tasks needed for a great event experience.
Next, organize your checklist into sections by grouping tasks by priorities. You can then turn each task into actionable steps. For example, contacting the event venue to confirm your booking and the event date should be in your first-priority section. Once you’ve confirmed your venue, you can check it off your list and move on to the following tasks.
It’s important to note that you should always have a backup venue space in the vault if your venue of choice is booked. However, if you’re planning a virtual event for your hybrid or remote team, you can confirm what technology you’ll need for event activities. This will help avoid any pitfalls in the planning process.
Overall, your pre-event checklist should include tasks like:
Details! Details! It’s all in the details! Now that you have your checklist, it’s time to put dates by each duty. Your event timeline allows you to dive deeper and map out additional tasks that need to take place from pre-event planning to the event day. Your other logistic tasks may include event research, meetings with team members, furniture rentals, catering for your in-person or virtual event, and more.
Consider taking the same approach with your event timeline by prioritizing each task. To take it a step further, you can group tasks under sections labeled “pre-event tasks,” “event-day tasks,” and “post-event tasks.” Be sure to invite your team members to the event timeline so that they can edit, update, and add tasks that you may have overlooked.
Use a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for your timeline and to house other vital logistics for your event. For example, both spreadsheets allow you to create one running document for your event, making it easier for team members to navigate. You might consider adding a tab labeled “contact list,” which includes the contact of the event venue, vendors, sponsors, and more. This will allow you and your team to stay updated and note whom you’ve contacted along with other essential details.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day– each step gets you closer to planning the event you envision. And just like Rome required a team, so will your event. Delegating event responsibilities to team members creates structure and better event management. Each team member should understand their responsibilities for the event and the deadline for each duty.
Assigning team members specific tasks can include:
Other team member duties can include guest check-in and directing the guests to appropriate areas, someone who takes care of the event vendors and speakers, and more.
When planning logistics, be sure to have a team training before the event to go over proper protocols and effective customer service should certain issues arise.
Create calendar invites for yourself and your team, and set reminders as needed. Implement time management tools into your planning process, such as automated reminders. It is also helpful to use shareable event planning and diagramming tools.
Develop a plan for communication for the event day. You’ll want a chain of command so each team member knows whom to go to for specific issues. Your communication plan will keep everyone grounded with their event tasks and alleviate chaos.
Communicate your event expectations with your vendors and venue. It’s also essential to understand their event needs. Each vendor will likely have its own logistics schedule for the event, including its setup, breakdown, loading and unloading routine, technology requirements, and more. However, reviewing these key points with your vendors, where they can enter and exit to unload equipment, and other necessary information won’t hurt. You want to ensure that there are no mishaps on the day of the event and that everyone has what they need.
Confirm all necessary logistics with your team member responsible for managing the event vendors for a seamless process.
If you’re hosting a virtual event, shift your focus to providing unique options for your team like a one-of-a-kind food experience.
Once you have a good handle on your event logistics, schedule a time to walk through your venue space. This will give you time to double-confirm your event expectations, ensure that the vendor has the necessary equipment and resources, and more. It may also benefit you to review the venue rules, emergency exits, parking lots, WiFi connection, power sources, and if the venue is accessible for individuals with disabilities.
A virtual event walkthrough with your team lead can include a run-through of the event schedule, activities, and virtual meeting rooms.
Make a checklist for your walkthrough and check each task as you review the space.
An event walkthrough will allow you to see what signage you need and what technology the venue space has on hand. This will help you determine if you need to rent additional equipment.
Create clear signs to direct event attendees to include signs for registration, restrooms, and the main event room. Outdoor signs to lead attendees to the event parking lot and the primary building will also help maintain the natural flow of the event.
It’s the day of the event, and you’ve got a lot going on. Thankfully, you have a logistics plan to weed out the confusion. However, here are some tips to keep the engine running on the big day.
On the event day, make sure you carve out time to do a final walkthrough of your event schedule. Ensure your team members have the tools to perform their duties successfully and that your venue space has the appropriate equipment. Confirm that all event technology works, including audio and visual equipment, sound systems, lighting, and presentations. Don’t be afraid to include participating vendors and speakers in the walkthrough so they are comfortable and clearly understand the event schedule. You’ll also want to review your chain of command so that everyone knows whom to consult on specific issues.
Follow up with team members responsible for registration to confirm that the technology used for check-in is working and ready to go. Finally, make sure the check-in is stocked with any marketing or handouts for attendees.
The event walkthrough is the perfect time to answer final questions so that your event will be in good shape from start to finish.
At the close of your event, conduct a walkthrough of the venue space. You’ll want to make sure the space is clean and clear. Consider having a debrief with team members and business participants to talk about the event’s highs, lows, and areas of improvement. This is an excellent time for everyone to share what worked as they carried out event tasks and any challenges they discovered. Ask your team and collaborators to share their experience via an internal company survey.
Next, you’ll want to create and send an event survey to attendees. Similarly, you can ask guests to share their experiences to gain insight for your next event.
Remember you’ve got this and while everything won’t go according to plan, focus on what you can control and flow with the rest. You’re already on your way to being an expert in logistics for events.
Explore Adá, the only Experiences Marketplace that centers global Black food culture.