Welcome back to the seventh and final installment of Event Planning 101! So far, we’ve gone over the importance of establishing your event goals, choosing a venue, selecting vendors, creating a guest list, and handling event-related emergencies. In today’s post, I have a checklist for you to review the day of your event. On the big day you want everything to go off without a hitch. These tips will help make that happen.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before and be sure to eat a healthy breakfast (and possibly lunch) so you have plenty of energy all day.
- Arrive early to make sure the location is set up correctly. This includes the main event room (tables & chairs, A/V equipment, decorations, etc.), guest bathrooms, and the break room for your staff and/or volunteers.
- Check in with your on-site vendors including your property event manager, valets, bartenders, and photographers to ensure they have everything they need to successfully complete their job.
- Allow for run-throughs if your speakers and/or entertainers request them.
- Finalize any financial obligations you have with the venue or your vendors. Also, be sure to have gratuities in envelopes on-hand and ready to distribute to performers and those who went above and beyond to assist you.
- Take a few moments to pow-wow with your staff and volunteers in order to review everyone’s responsibilities, to go over any last minute changes that have been made, and to (most importantly) thank them for their assistance.
- Once your guests begin arriving, make a point of standing near the entrance to greet them with a smile and a handshake.
- During the reception, introduce people you think will hit it off. This is not only a nice thing any good host(ess) would do but it will also enable you to move around the room from guest to guest without having your time monopolized by one or two people.
- Carry a small notepad and pen or take quick notes on your phone when you have a moment to yourself (in the restroom or the break room) to jot down reminders for yourself when it comes time to write your guests thank you letters. These notes might include funny conversations, news tidbits, or a compliment you wish to give.
- After the event ends, hold a move-out inspection with the property event manager.
My very best advice for you is to have a good time at your event! You’ve spent a lot of time organizing and you deserve to take time to relish in its success. Plus, your guests will have a lot more fun if you’re smiling and not stressing out! I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and I would love to hear any questions and feedback you have about any step of the event planning process. Good luck on your next event!