You’ve spent months preparing for the day of the event. You have a team in place, a plan in place and everything should go off without a hitch. Except – it never does. Part of preparing for the day of your event means ensuring that last minute details aren’t forgotten, little tasks are finished and you know how to handle an emergency situation.
Checklist for Preparing for the Day of the Event
The easiest way to make sure you don’t miss a single important detail is to create a checklist. Below is a sample checklist, but you may have specific things for your event that you need to add to it, such as meeting with any press for coverage of the event or ensuring your PR person has an up-to-date list.
- Touch base with your volunteers the morning of the event to make sure everyone knows where to be and when to arrive. You should have already assigned a head team member to serve as a point of contact for any last minute questions they have. If that leader has been doing a good job, you can simply phone her and ask her to touch base with the volunteers the morning of. Follow up and make sure she has the staff/volunteers she needs to get the job done.
- Make sure you’ve printed a list of emergency contacts at the venue as well as any outside vendors you are dealing with. You should have prepared this list well before the day of the event, but make sure you take the list with you the day of. This list will be your lifeline when the caterer fails to show or the people setting up the candy buffet are running late.
- Walk through the venue before attendees arrive and make sure each room has the project, extensions and any other aids needed by each workshop speaker. Again, you should have a master list that shows who is speaking in that room, what they need to set up and that those items are there. If they are not, contact the conference planner/point of contact at the venue.
- Take a walk through the entire venue and make sure signs are placed where they should be and that they make sense. Try to look at the signs as someone coming up to them the first time. Is it clear where attendees go to register? Are rooms marked clearly for those attending workshops and breakout sessions? What can you do to make the signs stand out more and flow seamlessly from one event to the next.
- Make sure you understand where emergency services are in the venue and how to contact them. If someone goes insane, do you know how to get security there quickly? If someone grows ill, who should you call and where is the nearest hospital? Be prepared for anything.
Right Hand Man
When it comes to organizing everything the day of the event, it is extremely helpful to have someone walk beside you who understands crisis management and also has a master copy of your checklist.
Imagine that the caterer fails to show at the same time you realize none of the signs you mailed to the venue have been put out and the venue staff has no idea where they’ve disappeared to. It is during these times of multiple crisis that your right hand man is invaluable.
Your helper can work on looking for the signs and getting them in place while you deal with figuring out where the caterer is and if you need to quickly order some sub sandwiches for 3,000 people until she can get there with your food.
If you’re prepared for any contingency, situations that could have been catastrophic will quickly turn into moments that impress your attendees and those you’re working with. The event will go off with barely a glitch and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief as you realize that your planning for any emergency situation paid off in a successful launch.
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