After each detail is finalized, all vendors confirmed, and every element carefully timed out in the run of show, we move into execution phase where planners go from ‘planning’ to project managing. Everything you have spent months booking and organizing comes together for a few (hopefully) perfect hours! Below, we discuss elements to consider and plan for, insuring a smooth and flawless event.
The number one thing to do onsite is simple, but often times people forget… treat EVERYONE kindly and with respect, regardless of how big or small their role in the event might be; the valet, load-in crew, the bussers, union staff, the kitchen staff. We are all in this together and the event success is dependent on one another so treat each other like teammates, as we all want to succeed!
Onto setup… in order to set yourself up for success, a few reminders we like to keep in mind:
- Be overly detail oriented with a clear plan up front, shared with all involved parties
- Follow up and document vendor notes, times, potential issues (example – loading dock only available 9a-10a, call security at 10a upon arrival)
- Strong load-in plan, understanding any dock and/or venue restrictions
- Check in with all vendors to confirm they have updated documents and know exactly where/what they are to be doing
- Know who your onsite partners are – catering lead, setup and teardown crew, etc.
- Have a pre-meeting with onsite event staff, confirming they know all event details and have answers to potential guest questions
- Be positive! Remain calm when things go wrong and immediately look for a resolution
From a guest standpoint, their event perspective begins immediately with the arrival experience and check-in. This is the first element the guest will encounter and can set the tone for a positive or negative experience. We always recommend additional staff at check-in to insure this is smooth. Guests always seem to have an intrinsic concern they will not be found on the list, or can get easily agitated at the thought of waiting at check-in.
As the event continues on, it is important to frequently check in with your vendors – does the band need water, are the photo booth props still organized and nice looking, is the photographer hitting everything on the requested photo list, are the food stations plentiful, are the bussers clearing as necessary? Checking in to make sure the client is happy is also always a good idea. While everything is up and running smoothly, begin to review the teardown plan and follow up with any vendors necessary for load-out.
Once the event concludes, everyone usually sprints into action on the teardown plan. Be readily available to answer questions and have a good understanding of moving items out of the venue. Once all items and vendors are out, walk the space to confirm everything is being left as it was when you arrived and thank your event partners for their support on a successful event!
After each guest has left and each vendor has loaded up, think about measuring the event’s success and considering wins, misses and learnings. Provide compliments and feedback to your event partners and also receive feedback from them, as well as the client, setting yourself up for continued success on future events. Learning from our mistakes and also realizing our successes helps us learn and continue to grow into better event partners so the next event can be even smoother.
As planners and event industry professionals, we all know unexpected issues can arise no matter how many times you followed up or conversations you had in advance. Events involve many moving pieces and parts so sometimes, things out of our control are bound to pop up. We are responsible for planning and considering every detail, so have your problem-solving hat on and remember to remain calm!/