Who doesn’t love the holiday season? We are starting to get in the festive spirit here at Academy HQ, the decorations are going up and we are feeling the party vibes!
Whilst many of us will be thinking about winding down for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, for those of us in the Events industry this can be the busiest time. Corporate Christmas parties, public festive celebrations, Xmas fairs and December weddings can keep an Event Planner run off their feet at this time of year.
Being organised and prepared is what will help get you through a busy season. This will come with experience of working on live events, but there are also some need-to-know basics that every newbie Event Planner should be aware of.
So as an early Christmas gift we thought we’d share our 12 Event Planner tips for the Holiday Season!
Create a Checklist
Make sure you have all your essential paperwork finalised and ready to go ahead of the event day. Have a checklist for everything you will need; timelines, seating plans, room layouts, supplier lists etc.
Pack Some Snacks
No matter what the timeline says there is always a chance you won’t get time to sit down and have a proper meal. Make sure you pack a good selection of energy-boosting snacks, plenty of water and maybe a caffeinated or sugary drink to pep you up if you start to lag.
It is important that you dress appropriately and wear professional or on brand attire. If your client has a staff dress code then stick to it and don’t stand out or overshadow the guests. You may want to bring two sets of clothes; one for set-up and one for the actual event. And don’t forget layers so you can stay warm as the day closes and the temperature drops.
Make Yourself Known
If you haven’t met certain suppliers or key members of the event team introduce yourself when you get on site. As an Event Planner, you will be overseeing the event and be a go-to person should there be any issues or queries. Make yourself known and consider having a name badge and or businesses branded kit.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
On an event day, you will be on your feet most if not all of the day so make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Flat shoes such as pumps or trainers are best for the set-up and even if you do change into heels for the event itself make sure you can walk in them and stay comfortable.
Always Carry a Lighter
In our event planning course material, we provide a comprehensive list of what you may want to include in your planner’s kit. A lighter is one of the absolute essentials as most events will require you to light hundreds of dinner candles, tealights and lanterns. Event pros use the long reach ones and carry several on them, and often include gas refills in their kit.
When it comes to Events, expect the unexpected. There is always the possibility that something will go wrong so be prepared. Schedule yourself in some additional set up time, include items in your kit for any fashion nightmare (broken heel, laddered tights, etc) and have some backup options ready in your mind.
Bring All the Pins, Tapes and Adhesives
So many Event mishaps can be solved with something that sticks things back together. Make sure your kit contains all the pins (dressmaking pins, bobby pins, drawing pins etc), clips (paper, hair, bulldog etc), tapes (double-sided, gaffa, electrical, masking, sticky, cosmetic, floristry etc) and adhesives (fabric glue, super glue, eyelash glue, blu tack, glu dots, etc).
Identify the Key People
Make sure the Host/ DJ/ Master of Ceremonies/ Award Presenter know who the key people are such as the Clients and VIP guests.
Have Lots of Remedies
Be prepared for any minor ailments and pack a kit of remedies including plasters/ band-aids, antihistamines, painkillers, bite and sting relief, antiseptic wipes/creams etc. You never know when you, the team, or the guests may need them.
Exchange Social Handles
At today’s events, client’s permission permitting, many of the team will be filling their social feeds with sneak peeks of the setup and behind the scenes snapshots of the event itself. Make sure you’ve exchanged social media handles with the venue and supplier team and tag them in your posts to encourage them to do the same. It’s all free marketing!
Stay Calm and Relaxed
Finally, try to stay calm and relaxed throughout the event. As the Event Planner, you will be expected to be in control and calm under pressure. Even if you are panicking on the inside maintain a composed exterior and think quickly on your feet to find a solution to the problem.
The more experience and knowledge you have the easier it will be to carry off any event with calm and collected professionalism. Our courses will give you that knowledge and help you develop the confidence to take on your very first event.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kylie is the CEO of the Academy and is a wedding business coach and mentor. Through her own experience running a planning and design company for ten years, she has now educated over 3500 new wedding and event professionals.