Be Prepared

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A key part of being a great event planner is being prepared. Event planners work for days to ensure that four hours of one day runs perfectly. It is impossible for planners to predict and they have to be ready for everything, but there are still precautions one can take to cover the common challenges.

This week I’m starting with the bare basics – documents.

Visit the Institute Special Events & Protocol Toolbox

The Special Events Toolbox houses all of the essential documents an event planner should be working with throughout the event; planners should have multiple copies of these documents with them on event day. This site provides a blank template and a completed sample of each document. These versions are intended to be a guide, as many departments and planners already have their own version of these items. I find the Budget Template and Event Management Checklist the best resources before the event and the Run of Show and Final Event Plan the most useful day-of documents to keep on me.

Learn the Campus Safety Procedures

The easiest to overlook could be the most important information you view for an event. An emergency never announces itself. As the event planner, people will look for you to be a calm leader during an evacuation.  Be prepared by brushing up on Safety Procedures prior to the event and knowing the Georgia Tech Emergency Plans. You may also want to contact the building manager to learn the emergency exits and procedures for that specific event space.

Keep backups of your backups

Most people today have access to the Internet during their event either through their phone, a tablet, or a laptop. Keep print copies of all your documents and important phone numbers with you, but do not neglect to load them on your devices. Popular applications and websites for this include Evernote, Dropbox, SugarSync, and Google Docs