Event planning is all about the details.

Have you ever thought about enhancing the details you bring to the project? You don’t need to become an expert on everything, but some basic knowledge will speak volumes on the value your services add to any event.

There are 6 things every event planner should know. From booking vendors, negotiating contracts, and creating a budget; are you overlooking anything?

6 Things Every Event Planner Should Know

Registration: Even if you are not coordinating the onsite registration for an event, find out what the process is. Learn how to use any equipment being used to print names badges or other materials. Know the purpose of any give-aways, and how to use them. Know where the business centre is for making copies, as well as the location of the closest printing store should additional signage or posters be required. All of this knowledge will enable you to jump in and help should the registration desk get bogged down, making the experience more enjoyable for the attendees. And don’t forget to check the location of the bathrooms – I promise you’ll be asked this more than any other question!

Audio Visual Equipment: You may not have A/V support at the venue so you will be ‘it’. When you do find yourself working with an A/V professional, ask them to schedule some time where you can learn what the different components are, how to properly set up a projector, and how to use different types of microphones. Having the knowledge to be able to explain to your speakers how to properly use a microphone will increase the audience’s enjoyment of the presentation.

Back of House Functions: Know how a kitchen works, whether they are serving a buffet or a plated multi-course dinner. Learn what is involved in getting 300 people their entrées, each within moments of the table next to them. Find out how many service staff would be required to provide optimal service. I suggest you find vendors you work well with, who feel like an extension of your team. This kind of relationship will be mutually beneficial in chaotic situations where you could use all hands on deck.

Insider Tip: It’s all about relationships! Get to know the Food and Beverage Manager at a venue you respect and make arrangements to spend some time with them outside of your event. Ask them to walk you through their processes from setting a room to serving at the bar, to picking the right linens.

Supply Kit: Having a well-stocked supply kit is a sure-fire way to be prepared for anything. A fishing tackle box is a perfect container to transport and organize everything you might need, from extra pens to hand sanitizer, paper clips, different kinds of tape, and bobby pins. Remember to restock your supply kit after every event.

Clear Communication: Knowing what you are responsible for and what your client will take care of will save both parties the hassle of duplicating efforts. You may be responsible for booking the caterer, but your client may want to set the menu for their event. Setting out the responsibilities as part of the contract is a great practice and can help avoid many misunderstandings.

Project Management: You will be the central contact for your client as well as all the suppliers involved in creating the event. You need to know how all the parts fit together and how they affect each other. Being highly organized is only a small piece of project management. You will also need well-honed skills in the areas of diplomacy, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Above all else, know absolutely every detail about your event. The smallest details can make the biggest impact on your client’s experience as well as on your reputation with the venue and your suppliers.

I’d love to hear from you.

In the comment below, let me know what tips you’d add to this list.

As always, thanks for joining me!

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