The key to pulling off a successful event is all in the detail – even a small oversight in logistical planning can have a dramatic impact, leaving you with less than satisfied attendees and high stress levels.
In today’s post, the packaging experts at Kendon Packaging will be offering some guidance on handling event logistics, ensuring you stay cool, calm and collected during every stage of your event. From venue reconnaissance and staff management to communication and contingency plans, we’ll be covering all the critical logistic factors that will guarantee everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
Allow plenty of time to select your venue
Selecting and securing the right venue is the cornerstone of a successful event planning strategy and should be one of the first things you do. Starting early in this process will not only allow more time to scout venues and avoid availability issues, but it will also give you sufficient time for planning the rest of your event.
Naturally, each event will have different requirements for a venue depending on size, sector and target audience. However, here are a few key considerations that should be applicable to any venue you plump for.
- Opt for a venue that matches your brand and core message to avoid confusing attendees, ensuring there is a clear connection between the two
- Consider venues that add brand value – an unconventional space can be highly effective in adding interest to your event and all-important social sharing on the day
- Factor in the practical elements, such as location and transportation, accessibility for vendors and attendees alike, catering and necessary equipment hire
- Allow extra time for paperwork and permits. From public liability insurance and health and safety checks to special permits and licences, be sure to do thorough research on any official paperwork needed to host your event well ahead of the day. You should also allow a buffer for any unexpected paperwork that could arise to avoid unnecessary stress
Map your layout
With a venue booked, it’s time to start planning your event layout. Understanding your key requirements from the start will make this process simpler. For instance, if you have a focal point like a stage or a central attraction, use this as the starting point to configure the positioning of other elements, such as seating, vendor stalls, equipment and entry and exit points.
This provides the perfect basis for planning the navigation of your event and managing crowd flow from start to finish. Identifying entry and exit points – as well as any hotspots where queues may form ahead of the event – allows you to anticipate and implement measures in advance, leaving you with one less headache on the day!
Brief your staff
For a smooth, stress-free running event, it’s vital to ensure staff are fully briefed and prepared well in advance – being clear and concise with communications to ensure they understand their responsibilities and tasks.
It’s also a good idea to implement a definitive chain of command for staff. Appointing key team members in different departments, who are equipped to deal with issues that may arise during the event will help prevent the situation from escalating.
While this may require additional training, it’ll be time well spent. Firstly, staff members will have a designated point of contact, resolving issues faster; secondly, there will be less demand on your time to resolve every minor problem, allowing you to focus on bigger priorities.
When it comes to managing event planning, technology is definitely your friend. The advent of event technology has made it easier than ever to manage events and streamline processes across the board – allowing you to keep a cool head.
With the ability to organise projects, sell tickets and promote your event with apps like Get Invited, with the click of a button, event planners and their teams can now see project progress in real time – saving valuable time, money and paperwork at every step.
This technology can also be harnessed in post-event analysis too, offering a continued connection with attendees and helping to identify successes and failures of the execution.
Make contingency plans
Even the most robust event planning logistics should always have a ‘plan B’ up their sleeve – because there are some things you just can’t predict. From technology failures to inclement weather or no-show caterers, planning for every eventuality is part and parcel of successfully navigating event logistics.
Where possible try to anticipate any potential problems beforehand, putting a contingency plan in place just in case. Also, be sure to communicate back up plans to staff and so they know what actions need to be taken to find the fastest solution and keep a cool head.
While your website may have all the key information your vendors and event-goers may possibly need, don’t always assume they’ve read it. From questions about pre-event day access for vendors to opening times and parking on the day, communicate all your key messages as much and as clearly as you can.
From auto-reply emails with frequently asked questions to regular updates on social media and clear signposting on the day, wherever possible keep your core messages visible and easy for to find.
With so many different things to consider with putting on an event of any size, it’s normal to feel a little flustered at times. However, with these event logistic planning hacks, you’ll hopefully be far better-equipped to stay cool, calm and collected before, during and after your event.