Even if you’re an experience event manager and you’ve planned a thousand events there is a tendency to forget or skip some details. So here are a few event management tips that I thought about after thinking about what we normally forget or tend to skip. I hope you’ll find these helpful.Before the Event:
A month before your event do some pre event planning: double check your agreements for venue, catering, vendors and IT. Pay attention to the date, hours of service and the list of equipment each agreement includes.
If you’re holding the event outside the office visit the venue. Even if you’ve been there a thousand times it’s still a good idea to go for a quick visit to see if anything has changed. This will also help you remember what you hated during your last event but forgot about until now and will leave enough time to fix that annoying detail. If this is a new venue make sure that the venue is easily accessible by public transport, if not then arrange for transportation from the office. Use a venue inspection checklist like this one when you go to visit.
Event promotion: get additional exposure for your event by featuring it in your newsletter with testimonials, previews of what’s going to be happening during the event and a free giveaway that will get people excited for your event.
Use a calendar to schedule deadlines a day before they are actually due, this will save you from having a few gray hairs and will impress your management.
During the Event:
Test and have backups for equipment, presentations, speakers and caterers (yes caterers). Invite a few interesting honorary guests, this way you’ll have backup if your speaker or one of your presenters fails to show, you can beg them to speak for you. If you can’t think of any honorary guests find a related documentary or short film on the topic and have it on hand.
Have realistic expectations, not everything will go as planned but the more preparation you’ll do the easier it will be to deal with changes in direction and bumps in the road. Don’t forget to smile, even when things aren’t going your way. Don’t show anyone that something isn’t going according to plan and no one will notice except you.
After the Event:
Celebrate your successes and to thank all those who contributed by sending thank you notes or a thank you emails and share the results of the event with them. Did the event fulfill its goals and objectives? Do an event feedback session to see why or why not? Identify what worked and what needs fine-tuning. Note to yourself which vendors should be used again. Save all the info and templates that you used so that you can re-use them for a similar event. Here are a few more tips that I found useful