Take photographs of everything before, during, and after your event to help you mimic the good and correct the mistakes from year to year.
Create an event briefing that has all your event information in one location. Update the document as you plan and provide copies to other staff members who may assist in the event planning.
Organize Your Volunteers
Having successful volunteers means giving them the tools they need and making it easy for guests to find them.
Make sure all of your volunteers are easily identifiable.
Equip all of your volunteers with event collateral (maps, note pads, phone numbers).
After the event, reward your team with promotional items as a note of thanks.
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.
Important Planning Documents
The Templates and Forms page includes 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.
The page 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.
The Budget Template and Event Management Checklist is the best resources before an event, and the Run of Show and Final Event Plan are the most useful day-of documents to keep on you.
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 reading the Safety and Emergency Preparedness information 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.
If you have an event scheduled for a date but the city gets closed down by snow, what will you do? How will you communicate your changes, and who gets to make the decision to alter your event?
Don’t wait for these things to happen – create your mental checklist now to be prepared.
Have a Backup of Your Materials
The weather has gone to hell and you know you need to make changes. The problem is you don’t have your caterer’s phone number. Avoid this common scenario by making backup copies of your important event information that you and your co-workers can access in multiple ways. Make it a habit to:
Store files on hard drives and cloud servers.
Program important phone numbers in your cell during the planning stages, not the day before the event.
Email yourself copies of files to access on any computer.
Print out your essential planning documents.
Know Your Key Decision Makers
If you do need to cancel or change event plans, who are the people you absolutely need to check with? Determining these folks early can save you precious time later when you need a decision quickly.
You can help these decision makers by checking with your stakeholders (vendors, venue, and any guests of honor) before approaching them. Prior to asking your decision makers if they want to cancel, you should be able to tell them:
Alternative venue dates and times.
Catering and floral cost losses, if any.
Weather report for the next three days.
What’s at stake when you hold or cancel the event.
The last point can be subjective, but it’s your job as an event planner to help paint the picture when it comes to guest attendance and reception of the event.
All the planning in the world will not help you if you cannot be flexible. The best option is a combination of solutions, so be willing to think differently and go with the flow. Being flexible is what being an event planner is all about.