You’re finally a month away from the event and there’s a lot of running around to do. Your event agenda takes center stage and there’s a lot to do in terms of getting your event agenda just right. The next step in moving forward with the plan is organizing logistics for your event.
In our previous blog posts, we covered the following:
- Creating the perfect event plan.
- Structuring the event budget and forming strategic partnerships.
- Picking the perfect venue and initiating marketing.
In this blog, we take you through a detailed run of event logistics. Event planners often oversee the importance of logistics to the event. A good event planner ensures that logistics stick to a parallel timeline as the event plan.
Chalk out your timeline
Logistics are an important part of the event. They directly tie into the event experience and misplanning event logistics can have adverse effects on how your attendees perceive your event. So build your timeline. Chalk out your checklist and don’t spare the details. Decide when the caterers need to load the food, what lights you’re going to need to arrange and everything else in between. And do not forget to include equipment backup and time for checks. Convert your timeline into a visual and pin it up on a display board so that your entire team can refer to it whenever necessary.
Book talents and speakers
Talents are what grab attention. If your event involves performers or speakers, now would be the time to lock them down. Pick talents that not only come with a personality but link directly to your cause. If travel and accommodation are part of the agreement, make arrangements. Read riders thoroughly and sign agreements wherever necessary. Provide them marketing information so that they can promote themselves and in turn promote your event. Discuss and finalize merchandising options. Do not forget to include a clause that addresses no-shows and unexpected costs.
B2B events are usually enormous events. Building one from scratch is far from a one-man task. Gathering volunteers to help you with the workload. Create a program that can help volunteers understand what they get in exchange for working with you. Highlight the perks of volunteering and include a few incentives like free tickets, food, and merchandise. Once you’ve got enough of them on board, encourage them to spread the word and get friends involved. Get them to promote the event through social media. Remember, word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful tools of advertising.
Decor and audiovisuals
Decor and AV go hand in hand. So when you consider decor options, make sure your acoustics and lights are complementary to them. Handling the lights and sound for a big conference is no easy task. You are going to need a number of people handling these aspects with at least one manager to supervise the entire show. Revisit the technical riders and make sure that all the material and manpower required, is available. Make sure you test everything. Identifying audiovisual and decor challenges early can help you avoid last minute mishaps.
Food and beverage
Getting the food right is a lot more complicated than it seems. In general, your choices have to be the perfect balance of sophistication and elegance. Get caterers to send in samples and organize a tasting session with your peers. Remember food plays an important role. Narrow down on a caterer once you find it to your satisfaction.
If you plan on organizing a cocktail session, make sure you have the required licenses in place. Give the caterers the final count well in advance so they know what to expect. Order a little more than required in case the final numbers exceed what you have estimated. Ask your caterers what happens to the leftovers. And finally, ensure you have vegan and gluten free options in case there are people who have dietary restrictions.
Merchandising and promotional items
Now that you have your vendors and talents on board and you have a rough estimate of the number of attendees, it is time to order your promotional material. Send your brochures, vendor cards, feedback forms and other ID badges to print. Order signages that you may require for booths and event space. If you want to have customized t-shirts for your event, send them to print so that you give vendors ample time to do a quality job. And remember, the more in number, the lesser the cost.
Coordinating logistics is a major chunk of work. The logistics timeline needs to be at the head of the plan. Assign staff members to handle individual responsibilities. Update the timeline with any changes and check things off the list when they happen. Do not let tasks go down to the day before the event. Set strict deadlines and ensure you have everything in place early. In our next blog post, we run you through the final leg of preparations two weeks before the event.