The Details: All Those Small Things You Might Forget When Planning An Event
When you’re planning an event, you’ll quickly discover that there are many more little details than you ever thought possible, and for some reason, YOU are the only person who can make a decision on any of them! Don’t stress over these details, though; most truly are small things that don’t really require a lot of thought or effort on your part, especially if you know about them and are prepared.
Delegate Away, But Be Prepared to Take it Back!
When you delegate some of the tasks for an event to others, you may expect them to deal with everything. More likely than not, though, when a decision has to be made on something, they’re going to come back to you for a final answer. Be ready for this by knowing what each person is working on and having a general idea of where they are on that task. You don’t need to know everything (that’s why you delegated it, after all), but you should always keep on top of what’s happening. If it’s truly a tiny detail, you can always tell them to make a decision.
There’s more here than you might think. For example, what color tablecloths and napkins will you have? What about centerpieces? Should dessert be on the table already or served after the main course? Do you want round tables or rectangular tables? Some of these details can be left up to the caterer, but you will need to make some decisions yourself.
If you have a stage for your speakers or a podium to give out awards, do you want flowers arranged near it? What about signs pointing the way to each room (if you’re in a large venue)? If your event is spread out across multiple buildings or areas, is it possible to get (or create) a map for attendees? If you have many people speaking or presenting, you want to be sure each room or podium has water available for the speakers (generally, hotels provide this, but other venues may not). It’s also helpful to find out if there are any other events going on at the venue at the same time so you can warn your attendees about them.
Registration and Sign In
Most likely, you’ll want your attendees to sign in and pick up their event information at one place so you can have a list of who is in attendance. If attendees are playing a registration fee, be sure you have a list of how much each person owes, especially if some people are paying different amounts (some may be paying to attend extra sessions or for meals). Put all of the information into a manila envelope or folder with each person’s name on it so it’s easy to find what they need. The main goal of this task is to keep on top of all of the details so the process goes very smoothly.
While it’s somewhat easy to handle details before the big day, during the event, things can get crazy. Just remember to keep calm and make certain you have several people who can make decisions and handle anything that crops up.
May your event go off without a hitch!