9 practical tips for coordinating and managing your event logistics
9 April 2018 by Caroline Medcalf
Managing the logistics of an event can be daunting to say the least. Our director of events guides us through the process.
1. Think about every single detail
There are so many variables when organising events, and many people don’t recognise the depth of detail that needs to be considered. Sourcing the perfect venue and inviting delegates are the obvious details, but then there’s delegate registration, the number of cubicle toilets versus the number of delegates, and the acoustics in the main room – the logistics an event manager needs to think about are endless, and no detail is too small.
2. Thoroughly check your venue
Take booking a venue. What type of venue would you like? What’s your budget? What are the network links like? You also need to think about whether it has a car park, what the facilities are like, if it has mobile network (yes, some venues without reception still exist!), and how far the smaller meeting rooms are from the main room.
3. Stick to a project plan
You need to have a project plan right from the word go. We plot all the essential dates up to show day, including when we need the final delegate list from customers and marketing approval of the event’s website. Also remember to drop in all of your deadlines for external suppliers and the production team.
4. Have a weekly conference call
As a minimum, we have a weekly conference call with our customers to work through the project plan and check that we are on track. Our customers might be HR directors or marketing managers who have their day jobs, so it’s easier and more convenient for them to sit in on a call once a week and lay out what they want to happen. We then go away and make it happen, and they don’t need to worry about the event again for another week.
5. A running order is essential
The running order is like a bible. It starts from the moment you arrive on-site and runs all the way through to the end of the event. It is a minute-by-minute guide to the day, and every action on the running order has a person assigned to it. Everybody has a copy of the running order so all of the different stakeholders know exactly what is happening when, and who is responsible.
6. Use a group of trusted suppliers
My team has been in the industry for a number of years and uses a network of trusted suppliers. You have to build up trust with the people you work with and I personally have a raft of suppliers I use in all areas, from production to creative to catering. They are my go-to suppliers and I know they will do a fantastic job.
7. Technology is your friend
We couldn’t work without technology, especially when you are inviting 8,000 delegates to an event. We use an events hub, which is essentially a website for the event that mirrors the customer’s website and has the same branding. Through the hub, we can ask delegates for information such as arrival time and dietary requirements. Hand in hand with this is our events app. We send push notifications via this so that we can, for example, welcome delegates when they arrive and remind them what time dinner is that evening. It makes it really personal.
8. Always have a plan B
It’s crucial to have a plan B, as something will always go wrong, and if you don’t plan for it before the event takes place, you have to deal with it on-site when you are already under pressure. There’s also the unexpected, like a coach full of delegates breaking down or an airline strike leaving 300 delegates with no way to get home. You have to be able to think on your feet.
9. Embrace the challenges
We have got a team of the best professionals in the country, and we know this because our customers tell us and because of the awards we have won. The team can turn a lunch around in 45 minutes or transport 300 delegates from nine different UK airports to a meeting with a three-hour turnaround. This is what we do all day, every day. Capita is an extension of your team, acting as your support and offering advice and guidance.
Take a look at the event services we offer and get in touch with our experts to talk about your event strategy and requirements.
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