10 Step Event Day Checklist Before Opening the Gates
The event day has arrived - congratulations! It’s time to see all your hard work pay off. Like many event planners, you’re probably running around like crazy, trying to make sure everything is in place.
Channel that nervous energy with this day of event checklist to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.
Step 1: Vendor confirmations
On the day of your event, have a team member or coordinator call vendors early to confirm where and when they’ll arrive.
If there are any issues with your vendors, you want to know as early in the day as possible. This is an important time to have your list of backup vendors handy, just in case you need to make some emergency phone calls.
Step 2: Double check vendor payments
Be sure that you have all vendor checks printed and sealed so you can hand them out at the end of the event (this step depends on your vendors). Get them to the staff person or volunteer of ensuring that each vendor is paid.
If a vendor prefers to send you an invoice post-event, hand them a thank-you note in their envelope instead.
Step 3: Run equipment and sound checks again
I say again, because you or vendors should have already done this leading up to the event.
Your A/V team will probably be one of the first vendors to arrive at the event. Run through the program one last time. Ensure that sound, lighting, and video are perfect and address any issues during the run-through. If something isn’t quite right, demand another run-through until the show goes off perfectly.
Step 4: Hold an all-hands-on-deck meeting
Meet with everyone involved in working at the event so that you can address any issues head-on before chaos arrives.
This is the time to put your delegation plan to work. When a volunteer or staff member brings up something that needs attention, direct them to the party in charge.
Make sure everyone understands their schedule, duties, event rules, etc. and is dressed for the occasion.
Step 5: Set up a communication plan
Whether you’re using walkie-talkies, a text app, or another way to stay in touch with your staff and/ or volunteers, make sure everyone agrees.
Share contact information, post an event schedule, and provide a hard copy sheet for volunteers and staff to check-in and out.
Step 6: Make sure your registration is online
Be sure that you’re online.
If you have someone from off-site coming to run your registration and ticketing, ask them to show you that systems are up and running. Role-play purchasing a ticket or checking in so that you know there are no issues with your system.
It’s a good idea to have a tech-savvy volunteer stationed at registration before the event, scanning the system for potential issues that could put a hold on the registration process.
Step 7: Set the final touches
From wristbands to press kits to programs, make sure that all your marketing material is in place before your guests arrive.
This job can certainly be delegated to a volunteer or staff member, but you’ll want to do a quick walk-through to ensure that the set-up meets your standards.
Step 8: Create a parking plan
Talk with your valet company or parking volunteers and go over the parking plan.
Be sure there’s a plan if they have more cars than expected. Double-check that they have your contact information in case there’s an issue.
Step 9: Meet with your talent/speakers
Similar to your volunteer and staff meeting, have a quick meeting with your speakers, presenters, and talent.
Go over any important information and be sure they understand the flow of the program. Include your on-staff program director in this meeting and let the talent know that this person is their go-to for any event-related issues.
Step 10: Collect real-time feedback
Throughout the event, you’ll want to make sure you’re already collecting feedback on how to improve the flow and program for the following year.
Taking random surveys at registration and during program breaks can help inform future event planning processes. Offer a grand prize to get people invested in participating in the survey process.
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