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Event Planning: 5 Tips to Maximize Success and Minimize Stress

By February 11, 2014No Comments

Many of our healthcare clients put on events to share news and research, provide training and education, enhance relationships – or all of the above!


No matter how large or small the event, the planning and detail that go into a successful event can be overwhelming. As an event planner, I’ve learned a few tricks over the years that can go a long way to ensure everything runs smoothly.


Here are five things I always make sure to check off my list when planning an event:


1.     Do a site walk through with venue point of contact and caterer.

This is one of the best things you can do to ensure your event runs smoothly and you do not encounter any surprises on event day. Make sure to find out how people will enter, where check in should be and where the food will be set up. If you cannot be there in person before the event, ask for photographs and diagrams of the event space.


2.     Signage, signage, signage!


Make sure to have lots of signage directing guests to the registration table, event space and restrooms. Although you are familiar with the event space and flow, your guests have never been before. This is also a good time to think about branding your event by creating banners or poster signs with your organization’s logo, website and event name.


3.     Ensure adequate staffing.

Depending on the size of your event, make sure you have enough staff to handle checking people in at the event and to serve as points of contact for important VIPs and speakers. It’s never a good situation when you have a lot of attendees bottlenecked at the door because the sign-in process is taking too long. It’s a good idea to let your VIPs know who they can reach out to at the event should they need anything. Have the point of contact be on the lookout for the VIP’s arrival and be sure they exchange cell phone numbers!


4.     Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

I’ve found it helpful to bring a folder of important documents such as a vendor contracts, important phone numbers and a minute-by-minute schedule of events. If you arrive at the event site and you’re missing an important piece of AV equipment it’s handy to have a contact number and reference the contract stating what you ordered. This will help ensure the error is corrected quickly and doesn’t delay the start of your event.


5.     Bring a bag of supplies.

Pens, sharpies, tape, Velcro, scissors, paper clips, oh my! Once you get to your event site you will be busy setting up, talking with attendees and speakers, and making sure everything is in its place. The last thing you want to do is spend 10 minutes trying to locate some tape to rehang that pesky sign that keeps falling down. Bring anything and everything you can think of. You might not need it, but better to be prepared than waste time!


What tips and tricks have you found helpful when planning events? Please share in the comments section below!

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