You’ve sourced the perfect venue, built an insightful agenda and planned all the necessary components for an effective event. It is time to go on-site. Are you set up for success while you are in the thick of it? We have pulled together a few key tips to making the most out of your time on-site, so you can not only be efficient in assisting attendees throughout the hustle and bustle, but also stay organized, calm, cool and collected. The stakes are high—we want you to be as stress-free as possible during your event.
It all starts with registration: Registration is your attendees’ first impression of the event. Make sure you have planned out the flow and have all badges, packets and additional information organized and easily accessible. Make sure your attendees feel welcome and assure them you are here to help.
Put your take charge pants on: On-site, prepare to take initiative. You will have to solve problems, big to small, on the fly and be comfortable doing so. Not always confident taking charge? Take a peek at this TED Talk on “power posing” and use this trick to boost your feelings of confidence.
Get organized: Start off on the right foot by setting up an organized office or storage space. When you need to quickly locate a sign, or the CEO needs a button sewn on, you will know exactly where to find what you need. Your office space is one of your only places of respite—don’t let it be a cluttered mess that will induce anxiety.
In addition, organize your contact information and make sure all necessary parties have contact details for all the key players. Make sure you have a chain of command in place for emergencies. And if you have a team helping you, make sure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.
A way to an attendee’s heart…food: You have your menus planned and your BEOs established, but you still need to pay attention to your food. Make sure everything is as ordered and that you don’t run out. Most negative feedback is around the food, so stay on top of it.
Advance your spaces: In addition to checking on food throughout your event, you will want to make sure your set-ups, AV and special requests are as planned. Before each session, inspect your rooms, referring to your BEOs and AV orders, and any other prior plans as arranged with your venue or other venues. Do this early enough that you have time to fix any errors.
Loosen up: If attendees see you running around like a chicken with its head cut off, they are going to feel your stress and anxiety. When the unexpected happens (and it will) take a second to take a deep breath, give yourself some positive affirmations and remember there isn’t a problem that can’t be fixed without some creative thinking and resourcefulness. Rely on your vendors where you can and communicate what you need them to do.
As an internal planner, you are going to have your hands full, so be sure to explore the option of having a dedicated, third-party on-site planner there with you. They can handle the logistics, so you can focus on your attendees and desired outcome of the meeting.