Organising an event can prove to be a hectic task for both professional organisers and a friend who is given the honour to plan a wedding. Missing simple details typically causes a ripple effect where the rest of the activities start going haywire and just ruin everything.
Event attendees are very vocal about the experience of the bad, the good and the crispy. Bigger events, therefore, call for much more attention otherwise you risk sabotaging your reputation as the organiser and that of the hosts.
So, what exactly needs to be done when it comes to event logistics?
1] Secure a venue and equipment
This requires you to perform research into suitable places for the event. It is best to choose a venue that is in line with the brand being promoted or the theme of the event.
However, there is no limit when it comes to exploring your creativity. Setting up a venue in an airport hangar or a rooftop with a gorgeous view can attract a much larger audience and appeal them to a great extent.
The most crucial thing is to ensure you have done early booking so that you get done with any bureaucratic processes soonest. Once you’ve done that it’s time to make sure you hire any equipment you may need.
Some things are best done well in advance, like finding a generator for hire or a suitably-sized gazebo to host your guests if you’re thinking about hosting all or part of your event outdoors.
2] Create a map for your site
Once you have acquired a venue, take a careful look at it and plan for where everything will be set up. Such include but are not limited to space for the podium, the band, food trucks, seats and tables, washroom facilities like portable toilets and shower units, areas for staff to work/rest/eat and a place to put the generator that you will need to hire among others.
Afterwards, plan for the entry and exit flow for all attendees. You may want to create different entrances for persons of varying stature or create multiple exits to prevent traffic at the end of the event.
3] Staff planning
Acquire the necessary staff for the event to run smoothly. These include ushers, a catering team and a band among others. Before the event, set a meeting with them for clear role definition.
This may also help you realise any additional staff you may require for the event. Additionally, appoint one or more staff as manager(s) so that the subordinate staff have a point of reference if a matter arises.
Assign more staff at critical areas of the event such as at the ticket issuing spot. Naturally, these staff should be dedicated enough to deal with escalations in these areas.
4] Contingency planning
This keeps you safe from unforeseen eventualities could occur during the event. For instance, it may become rainy or traffic may get tight. Seasoned event planners have witnessed a couple of such issues and may have the means to plan for them. If you feel lacking in this area, seek advice from an experienced event planner.
If you are aware of such issues, create a plan and set aside resources to avert or reduce them and ensure your staff are fully updated on the same.
5] Communicate, communicate and communicate!
Redundant as you may seem to become, people sometimes tend to forget instructions or messages you give to them. Keep reminding your staff of their tasks and what messages to share.
You can simplify this task by placing signs at strategic points to direct attendees where to go, distribute event time-line pamphlets or use an auto-reply messaging app to send replies to frequently asked questions.
6] Be ready to give refunds if need be
No matter how hard you may try to get an unfortunate situation under control, some attendees may still feel unsatisfied and seek a refund. It is best to soothe them by granting their wish to prevent the spread of pessimism and to keep a good reputation.
Of importance in all this is to plan within the limits of your budget, taking care not to have a low-cost unsatisfactory day or an extravagant one with nothing left for miscellaneous costs.