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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Tran

Event 101: Post Event Close Out and Client Summary

It's exciting when the end of your successful event comes into view, but the end of the event itself is not the end of your job (sorry). What happens after the event can be categorized in two ways: post event work and the client summary.

First is the post event work, inclusive of the close out and load out, which is at the physical location of the event. The event close out is when the night has ended, entertainment is over, the bar is shut / lights on, and guests are departing (Pro-tip: closing the bar is an excellent strategy to encourage guests to leave). During the close out it's your responsibility (or delegated to another staff) to ensure guests have what they need (coats, purses, gift bag, etc.) and know how to leave (wayfinding and transportation). It's also the time to pick up all lost and found and put it in a secure location, ensure registration is closed down with event materials packed (including strategy to return to the office), radios are returned and any temporary staff are cut with hours documented. You may be pulled into client conversations and celebrations or need to remind catering to provide food for working staff. You will definitely be pulled in 100 directions during the close out, on top of being tired, but keep your client and guest needs at the forefront of your mind (one word reminder: delegate). Once guests have departed the load out can safely ramp up. Load out means the return of vendors and their vehicles to dismantle whatever infrastructure has been brought in, think A/V, stage, floral installations, catering, etc. Now your job is to get out of the way and let these professionals do their jobs. Check in with each supervisor and the venue point of contact before you leave to determine if any paperwork needs to be reviewed, or signed (note: only sign if you are an authorized signer. If in doubt, do not sign, have them scan and email you the documents. Ditto for payments, have them invoice). Reassure your vendors you'll work with the client for return of documents or payments in a timely manner. Once the final check ins are done, say thank you, and you're free to depart.

Second, is a client summary. This is a comprehensive overview of the event. Create your own branded version of this, but components to consider:

  • Overview: A long form version of the event itself, the agreed upon definition of success, detailed information on time, date, location, notable speakers.

  • Data: This could include flake rate, registration information (including how long it took to get through the registration line), social media engagement, online engagement (if hybrid), total donation amount (if you're hosting a fundraiser), etc.

  • Budget: Optional, but I recommend it

  • Collateral / Design: Invite, social media templates, marketing pieces

  • Photos

  • SWOT: While this might not be a popular opinion I do find value including some version of a SWOT analysis.

  • Recommendations for future events: A targeted list is best

  • Conclusion: Include successfulness, based on your agreed definition

You're creating value by designing a comprehensive review of the event and reminding your client of your forward-thinking and solutions-oriented nature.

I bet they hire you again.

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