Event Planning Tips: Lessons Learned from Past Events

By Katherine Turiano

Pack an Event Kit

An event kit is just a suitcase, but knowing that all the small items you may need are in one place can help you save time searching during event execution. When I say that this is a lesson learned working at an event planning company, it’s true.Running around five minutes before your event starts in an area you don’t know looking for an item that is essential to finishing set-up is stressful and — as much as I hate to admit it — something I have done many times.event planning tips

I like to sit a couple of days before the event and do a mental walkthrough of my event: what it will take to set up and what items I should have with me. It helps to do this with your event program and a drawing of the space in front of you. It allows you to think through any helpful items and then pack them to bring for event day.

Confirm Everything and Everyone

It only takes a quick call or email the day before the event, even if you feel like you’re being duplicative, to ensure a truly successful event. Vendors, staff and volunteers appreciate having all of the event details in one place as a reminder one day before the event. The last thing you need to be doing on event day is fielding calls for directions or reminders about times and addresses. They can print that one email and know everything they need to know to get them where you want them to be.

I also think it helps to create a quick one-sheet for vendors, staff and volunteers for the day of event execution. We have all been in the position of being at a job but not knowing what to do to help or what time to be where. Handing everyone that walks in the door a quick one-page list of the event timing, contact information, and anything else that’s helpful can save a lot of time on event day.

There is One Thing in Every Event That Will Stress You Out

It may be the day of the event or an item on your event checklist during planning, but as I like to joke with colleagues: be on the lookout for that one item. On a couple of my past events, it’s been a flare that wouldn’t light as thousands of marathon runners waited at the ready, or a model breaking an ankle after being hit by a hot dog cart on the way to a fashion show, or a building whose heat goes out in the New York City winter a week before the event. Know that an event takes hundreds of steps worth of planning. If it’s just one thing that’s causing you stress, try to laugh about it and find a solution.