Planning Tips, Your Event Career
Always Follow These 8 Event Planning Rules on the Big Day!
As a professional planner, you know there is nothing more exciting (and admittedly, more stressful) than when the day of the event finally arrives. After all, you’ve spent weeks – often, months – planning every last detail for your client. Now, it’s time for everything to come together and bring your client’s vision to life.
Needless to say, there’s a lot at stake! To best ensure that things will run as smoothly as possible, it’s important to remember 8 critical rules that every event planning pro needs to follow on the big day. Let’s take a look at what these rules are, and why they’re so important!
1. Eat breakfast
There’s a reason why they call it the most important meal of the day! You’re about to be on your feet for the majority of the day, so your body will need the fuel. A coffee and a granola bar aren’t going to be enough. Even if you’re not the type to each much on most mornings, make event day the exception!
Poor nutrition before such a demanding day can lead to you burning out way too soon. This is obviously not ideal, and will hinder your ability to perform at your very best. So, don’t skip breakfast. Make sure you load up on filling, healthy foods.
Trust us: your body and mind will thank you for it!
2. Check in with your client
Just a head’s up: you’re going to find yourself doing this a lot throughout the day. However, it’s especially important to be in contact with your client before the event starts. There may be details to go over, and last-minute discussions to be had.
Depending on the nature of the event, your client may also need some emotional support. They may be overly anxious, stressed, etc. Understandably, this day means a LOT to them. The hours leading up to the event will likely be the ones where their nerves are off the charts.
As their event planner, you can help guide them through the experience and ease any concerns they may have. Check in with them here and there. ALWAYS make them the priority if they suddenly need you. Keep their spirits positive, and remind them as many times as they need to hear it: you’re there to handle the details, so they don’t have to.
Your goal is to help THEM.
3. Arrive to the venue early
There are plenty of things that will need to be checked (and double-checked) before the event is due to start. You need to give yourself enough time to not only go over these things, but do so in a way where you aren’t frazzled or overly rushed.
Arriving early will also provide the perfect opportunity to check in with the venue itself, to make sure that nothing important has been forgotten. Test the WiFi, and (if applicable) look over the A/V set-up. You can also use this time to do a final walk-through of the event, touch base with the vendors/suppliers, and help set things up.
4. Stick to the schedule
The schedule you’ve taken so much time to put together for the day of the event is going to be your best friend! As much as humanly possible, try to stick to it as faithfully as you can. That way, even if something unexpected happens that throw things a little off track, it’ll be much easier to regain control over the situation.
As the event planning professional, it’s also going to be your responsibility to make sure that everyone else is following their schedules, too. If there are speakers, musicians, MCs, caterers, etc. they’re all going to be expected to provide their services at specific times.
Check in with them prior to the event starting. Confirm that everything is good to go on their end for the agreed-upon timetable.
Overseeing the big day will be much more effortless for you if everyone else is doing their respective jobs. The more they’re able to stick to their own schedule, the easier it’ll be for you to stick to yours.
5. Make sure everything’s where it needs to be
This one’s broader, but especially critical. Do a run-through of the venue setup to make sure that the décor is where it needs to be. Double-check to ensure that nothing valuable is missing.
Just as important is to go through any items or materials that the vendors/suppliers require, and then making sure they have been provided. Do they have everything they need to be able to provide their services, as negotiated? If there are specific times or cues for them to follow, have they been given this information?
These are just some of the questions to keep in mind!
This rule extends to individuals involved in the event, too. For example, if you’ve been planning your client’s wedding, you’ll need to know who will be holding onto the vows, who’s in charge of hanging onto the rings, etc. Then you need to check in with them to confirm that they actually have those things.
Similarly, if you’re organizing a corporate event, it’s up to you to confirm with any and all speakers that they have all the materials they need in order to present. By covering these bases before the event starts, you’re minimizing the chances of something going wrong while the event’s in progress.
Furthermore, by making yourself the point person, your client doesn’t need to worry about fielding any of these responsibilities themselves. They can simply focus on their event, and enjoying it to the fullest extent!
6. Stay hydrated
There’s going to be a LOT of running around involved, so you’re going to need to drink plenty of water. Coffee may seem like the preferred beverage of choice, especially as the day progresses and you start to lose some steam. But coffee is a quick way to dehydrate yourself and make you jittery if you consume too much.
So, try to limit your cups of java, and increase your H2O consumption. If you’d like something with a bit of flavor, drinks such as Gatorade are also a great choice. They contain beneficial electrolytes, which will help re-energize you!
And of course, stay away from alcohol at all costs. Your client might insist on your participating in a toast to a well-organized event and a sip of champagne probably won’t do any harm. But otherwise, you need to keep your wits about you.
7. Wear comfortable clothing
Just to be clear: we’re not talking sweats and a t-shirt here. You’re running a business, so you’re still expected to look professional. What we are saying is that if you’re exerting yourself for hours at a time in uncomfortable clothing, it could affect your performance.
Instead, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by opting for clothes that allows for movement and breathability. A good rule of thumb when choosing any event day outfit is: will I still be comfortable in 5 hours from now? If you know the answer’s no, you might want to select something else.
Note: This rule is ESPECIALLY important when it comes to footwear. Yes, heels look nice, but if it’s going to make you walk with a painful limp after a few hours, it’s not worth it. There are plenty of professional-looking shoes you can choose instead. Comfortable footwear is a staple event planning necessity on the big day! Your comfort (and ability to walk without wanting to chop your feet off) shouldn’t be sacrificed for the sake of appearance.
8. Remember to enjoy yourself
With so much to take care of, it can be easy to forget that you should be enjoying this event, too! After all, this is the big result of all your time, planning, and dedication. You’ve poured your heart and soul into making this day happen. You deserve the chance to appreciate the final result!
So, make sure you take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Take in this incredible memory you’re creating for so many people, and congratulate yourself for making it possible.
You deserve it!