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In this new video we share some of our top tips for running a smooth event.
After all of the grueling hours and paperwork, and schedules and negotiations that we go through in the planning process, there’s nothing more fulfilling than getting on-site and seeing your event come to life from the ground up. Follow these tips to see your events running smoothly on-site!
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Hey there - Xander here with EventMB and I am going to share my top 9 Tips for Running a Smooth Event.
This is the Event Manager Blog video series, brought to you by Event MB, the number one blog for Event Professionals.
I absolutely love working on-site at events. After all of the grueling hours and paperwork, and schedules and negotiations that we go through in the planning process, there’s nothing more fulfilling than getting on-site and seeing your event come to life from the ground up.
So, I threw together some of my top tips that I could share with you in this video: 9 Tips on Running a Smooth Event.
Be the First to Arrive
Except for your venue manager, who you are probably meeting outside the door with keys in the morning, you need to be the first person on-site at your event so that you can serve as the gatekeeper. You are bringing all the different elements together at this event which means you need to be there to be able to communicate where people need to go, where resources need to be placed, and any other minutiae that happens while they’re on-site to make sure that your load-in is flawless.
Strangle the Load-In Schedule
If a delivery shows up an hour late, that could completely derail your entire process so you need to know your load-in schedule backwards and forwards and be on top of any service provider that doesn’t show up when they’re scheduled to.
Work Smart, Not Hard
We’ve all heard it before but the way I like to think about it is to think every process through the next 5 steps. What are the next 5 steps we need to tackle in order to get to that end goal and find a way to make steps 1-4 as easy as possible. Trim them down, streamline those processes, make sure they are simple so that once you get to the last step you’ve thought through the most efficient process possible.
Always Carry Pants
My friend Gary told me that his old boss at a department store would tell him to “Always Carry Pants.” What that meant was always have something in your hands so it looks like you’re doing something and for eventprofs that works so well. If you’re carrying around a clipboard or even a glass of water with a determined look on your face and a dedicated ‘move forward’ towards that crowd, they’re going to separate for you, no question.
Next, we’re going to be reflecting on feedback that your attendees might have to share with you so the next item is going to be...
Sometimes your attendees don’t want any sort of explanation, don’t want to hear from you, they just want to talk at you. They want to complain, make sure their concerns are being addressed, or they just like to chat.. In this time that you’re using to listen, you should be able to prioritize where their specific needs fit within the needs of the event as a whole to figure out whether or not you’re actually going to be able to do anything to help them.
Here, we should note, that...
Not Every Concern is Critical
You’re going to hear a lot of feedback from your attendees who are going to give you pointers on XYZ or everyone is going to have a comment about everything. But, not everything they are going to complain about is something that you can solve. Sometimes, they don’t like the venue but that is not something we are going to fix the day of. Be sure to prioritize like I said, what those concerns are when they come in and figure out if any of them are things you just have no ability to respond to and let it fall off your plate.
Finally, the response to any question that any attendee has for you or any comment they might make is to...
Just Say Yes
Someone comes up and says that it’s too cold in the room, “Yes, of course we definitely understand and we’re working on it right now, the engineer is turning the temperature down.” (Even though sometimes it’s not gonna help for another hour or so.) No need for explanations, no need to go into details. Just smile, say yes, and let them know that their concern is acknowledged and you’re taking care of it.
This is something that I never did. When I got started out I used to run conferences single-person, solo man operations from registration, to AV production, to getting everybody on buses and shipped out to a reception venue off-site that I checked in with. Now, I’ve realized how bad of an idea that is. We are so much better at producing events when we have a team of skilled professionals bringing together all of the elements with one person serving as the ring leader. Bring on staff to manage registration, to have bus captains, to have people at your restaurants before your attendees arrive to make sure that everything is arranged and you’re going to have a much smoother process when you’re on-site.
Eat, Drink, Sit, Breathe
Event planners suck at personal wellness. We are really bad at recognizing that yes, we have a lot of work to do, we have to get it done, we work ourselves to the bone BUT - we’re not drinking, we’re not eating, we’re not sleeping. Set something on your phone that says “Eat every four hours. Have a snack. Take a break. Breathe.” You’re going to do no good for your event if you’re passed out in the corner so rest and take care of yourself.
Being on-site can be pretty stressful but it is also one of the best parts of planning events. It’s that glamour that everybody is talking about,so it must be the best part? Right? Well, if you follow these tips that I shared with you, you’re going to see your events running smoothly on-site and you’re going to be set up for success.
What are some of the things that you do on-site at your events to make sure they run smoothly? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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