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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Tran

Event 101: Tactical and Practical Event Day Tips

Event day is go time. The planning and prep is done and all that is left is execution and pivoting when something goes sideways (forthcoming post on how and when to pivot). Your goal is to have as much as possible done the night before. This leaves you free to mitigate concerns, walk through the event and finalize any last-minute items.

Not all of these will apply to your specific event, but I know you'll find some gems to implement.

  • Expect the internet to be slow especially if there is a large crowd. Print any essential materials the day before and file in your binder. Nothing will frazzle you faster than needing to pull up a document in your email and not being able to. Alternatively, you can take screenshots of documents to refer to during the day.

  • Review contingency plans. You've planned for the best-case scenario for how each piece of the event will work, but you've also planned for what to do if you need to pivot. Take a minute to review contingency plans, recall who the decision makers are should contingency be required and the timeline for pivoting. This is especially crucial for weather related items.

  • Walk the perimeter of your event and introduce yourself to the security personnel who is working at the entrance your guests/VIPs/vendors/etc. are arriving. Ask their name and their hours for the day, tell them yours and explain your role. Give them your phone number and/or radio channel Be friendly and ensure they have what they need (documents, information, water, etc.). You want to be known as a planner with outstanding working relationships. Be aware these are the people who will help make your event run smoothly. Note: Do not be fake when you do this. First because that is unkind, and secondly, the event industry is small, and people have long memories. This advice came from a boss early in my career and has never let me down.

  • Wear your event clothes with comfortable shoes for pre-event and switch to fancy shoes later if needed.

  • Carry an extra radio battery. When you rely on radio communications you need to ensure can be contacted.

  • Ensure your staff has what they need to be successful without you hovering. Don't be a micromanager. You hired and trained your staff and they are capable. Delegation is crucial to success. Ensure they know how to contact you if they need you and move along.

  • Watch your facial expression. No matter what is happening, ensure your face does not give away panic or negative emotions. Maintain a neutral expression and...

  • Become familiar with the phrase "Let me get back to you on that" if you are asked a question you don't know the answer to, need to check with your client or are approached with a request outside your purview. Ensure you respond when you have the answer.

  • Do not run. It makes people nervous. Step lively, race walk or use a golf cart. Use your discretion if there's an emergency.

  • If there is any type of incident (medical, accident, etc.) document it appropriately and inform the appropriate people.

  • Unless it's your job or a simple directional question (i.e., Where is the restroom?) direct members of the Press and their questions to the designated Comms personnel.

  • Takes notes about everything: timing, flake rate, what worked, what could be done better, etc. Talk to your staff and get their input and perspective. Use this information in your post event recap.

My last tip is from my first boss in the industry. He told me to always stop during the event. To pause, take your radio earpiece out and really look around. Admire what you've worked to achieve.

It's good advice. What a wonderful job you've done.

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