Many things and anything can happen while preparing for an event as well as come event day. A small overlook can cause a lot of trouble and damage to an event that was demanding to plan and execute, which can be difficult to recover from. With the amount of things to look after, it also means that there is a variety of factors and the possibilities are endless that can negatively impact the event.
We have listed here the crucial ones – a checklist of those to make sure of, whatever the event is, and however big or small it may be. Avoid them or at the very least, make sure you are in best possible position possible to handle those situations should they arise.
How can you minimize this or prevent it from happening?
1. Lack of clear communication and coordination
Keep your communication clear, concise and effective with your team as well as your client. This is critical. Leave no space for assumptions, making sure that everyone understands fully the scope of the event and that they each know their role and responsibility and in detail. Nothing should be a surprise come event day. It is important to layout the expectations and be on the same page from day one, especially should any issues arise, to know how they will be handled and by who.
Do schedule for a walkthrough with your client and onsite if possible. This will be an opportunity to go through all the minute details with all spreadsheets, emails and event orders together with the itinerary, setup details, traffic flow and how everything will look on event day.
2. Having not enough…
Not enough time to setup… Sure, there is never enough time or resources to get it done but there is a starting time to your event and guests are expected. It is therefore important to make sure that everything is all set at least 15 minutes prior to the opening of the doors.
Not enough manpower on event day… Not enough supplies…
Something small can easily escalate into something bigger. Try avoiding a logistical nightmare by working together with your team and suppliers to cover all grounds while staying within the agreed event budget. And should there be a need for more resources, you need to anticipate well in advance to make way for negotiation or re-negotiation of the budget or the costs of manpower and of supplies. If you are running the event, you can’t expect to do everything yourself.
Make a packing list. This is useful to monitor all that is needed at the event venue as you move in to set up and upon leaving the venue, ensuring that nothing is left behind going in and going out. You will avoid having to spend extra dollars getting things again that you already have but you had forgotten or losing things during the shifting and transportation of supplies.
You can use the help of event management system such as Cvent, Bizzabo, etouches or EventPro. They can be mobile and flexible, allowing information and instructions to be easily disseminated to the right people, among many other features and functions.
3. No proper confirmation with Suppliers
You may have spent weeks or months liaising and negotiating and finally coming to a comfortable decision with the suppliers but do not forget to confirm with them. And while you can get a verbal or email confirmation from your vendors, it is important to check on them 48 hours prior to setup time to avoid delays and to make sure they have not forgotten or mixed up the orders. It is also recommended that you document the orders, agreed costs, delivery instructions, delivery time and duration. This can come handy should any issue arise.
4. Competing events – consult the calendars
It is great that you and your client have identified the perfect date for the event. Do not however overlook competing events in the same event venue or area. You have to consult the relevant calendars and find out what is happening to avoid any conflicting clash that could result in a traffic jam, not enough parking spaces, not enough restrooms available, sharing of common areas or unsolicited noise from the neighboring events or establishments. Typically, the venue should be in a good position to provide you with this information but a due diligence from your part is also recommended.
Should there be a potential challenge, it needs to be discussed with the venue management and the client, to make any informed decision or find out if there is a way to manage the smooth running of the events from either side.
5. Not having a contingency plan
Consider the worst-case scenario. Is there a wet-weather plan or is it a rain or shine event in the case of your event being outdoors? Although the closing of a venue is highly unlikely, especially with the liabilities involved from the venue’s side, but what if it does happen, have you considered an alternative? Things can go wrong or may not totally; something is bound to happen in the last minute that will require your utmost attention. You may not have a plan B for everything but a contingency plan and budget can allow you to mitigate the damages and still manage to pull through the event. While the contingency budget must be included from the very beginning, a contingency strategy can be plotted out at least 14 days to a month in advance for good measure, depending on the scale of your event.
6. Being last-minute – plan ahead
The small things can easily become a pain so it is better to lay out your plan well in advance and in details as much as possible. This is again another critical point. Nothing can be too small and can wait. Every items and tasks need to be articulated and assigned where needed with the respective timeline. Of course, there are priorities if some things can be completed ahead of time; it is better to get them done. Closer to the big day, you will have people and expectations to manage while overseeing the whole setup, and you will need time to address any unexpected situations – so, if you can get the small stuffs out of the way or are able to delegate them to a team member, do it.