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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Tran

Event 101: Functional Area Tetris ®

Updated: Mar 4, 2022


Event planners face a real life Tetris® game of putting all operational plans for each functional area together in a way that makes sense, literally. We'll talk about each way.


The first is an actual printed binder. Each event planner has a preferred way to organize their binder and here's mine (with color coded tabs please!):

  • Front/side with Name and Role

  • Table of Contents

  • Staffing plan

    • Including Name, Job, Phone number and Radio channel

  • Timeline(s)

  • Budget

  • Operational plans (in alphabetical order)

  • Other

The second is the exercise of ensuring all your operational plans make sense in real time, on the ground, in person, in preparation for when the event is occurring. Depending on the size of your event this could be a physical walk through from start to finish. This means following the written direction you've prepared for guests to the parking lot, walking to the event space, checking in/credential check/coat check, finding your seat, etc. Sometimes this physical walk through is not an option so, instead I suggest a read out of a master timeline with everyone involved in the event present and actively participating. It's best to plan these well in advance and I recommend doing a read out multiple times if possible. You want the read out to be quick, but to allow and encourage staff to jump in if there are issues or concerns.

For example, if you are in charge of permitting and the read out states Buses will line

up on Main Street between 1st and 5th, this is the time to mention the permit is

delayed. It gives those planning the event an opportunity to discuss, brainstorm,

follow up with questions, etc. The next read out this is already flagged as an item to

follow up on, making the most of everyone's time.


Remember, your most important work for an event occurs in the planning phase. Take the time to create a binder that will serve you well on the fast paced event days and engage with each event professional working on the project to ensure the team building a great event.


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