Planning and delivering an effective event requires meticulous preparation – from pinning down a suitable venue to securing interest from vendors, and, in turn, attendees. However, in your quest for event success, are you forgetting to factor in some fundamentals? Our guest bloggers this week – packaging material providers, R+R Industrial – share practical event preparations for event organizers and vendors – helping them keep all bases covered when it comes to their next event.
Number of vendors
As an event organiser, the vendors you book are undoubtedly a crucial element when it comes to ensuring success. Book too few exhibitors and attendees will be left disappointed. Book too many and you’ll struggle to accommodate each business. With this in mind, you’ll need to consider the nature of the event when choosing a location. If variety is the thing that will impress attendees, you’ll want to book a venue that will allow a large number of vendors to set out their stalls – giving guests plenty of options to explore.
When it comes to booking an event, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the worry of sticking to your budget and ensuring both vendors and attendees show on the day. But if you fail to take practicality into account, you can end up excluding entire segments of both audiences. From building access and concerns over parking permits to navigating the actual venue itself, by making sure you choose an event space suitable for an audience of all ages and abilities, you’ll be one step closer to an impressive turnout and event success.
Whether your event is designed to attract ten people or tens of thousands of people, as the organiser, you’re responsible for ensuring all health and safety measurements are in place – and this includes having a designated first aider. Start by finding out if any members of your event team or people who will be volunteering on the day are first aid trained. If so, great. If not, speak to the venue to see if there’ll be anyone onsite during your event who could take on this responsibility. If event planning is your main job, it makes sense to have a first aider as part of your team – if you don’t already, it could be worth investing in training for one or two members of your core event team.
While it’s often just a precaution, it pays to be prepared for any unexpected incidents or emergencies – and this means having a plan in place. From fire drills to what to do if a child goes missing at your event, all eyes will be on the event organiser when it comes to finding a solution. It might seem like health and safety overkill, but it’s well worth locating all fire exits ahead of your event and briefing staff on how to chaperone vendors and attendees out of the building. Find out ahead of the event if there are any fire drills planned for that day and brief your team on a suitable meeting point should the fire alarm go off in the event of a real emergency.
For vendors, there’s so much more that goes into event success than turnout on the day – as an event organiser, it’s your job to steer each business in the right direction. If vendors are selling products and services on the day of your event, have they considered suitable packaging or delivery if needed? Would-be customers might decide against buying from your vendors if they realise there’s no way to transport their goods or that delivery time will take weeks. With everything from branded bags and boxes to an efficient delivery date contributing to an attendee’s perception of a company, it’s crucial that all of these things are taken into consideration when preparing for an event.
Something that’s often overlooked during the planning of an event is the level of noise that will be created during the day or evening – this is particularly important if you’re hosting an event near a residential area or outside of what would be classed as sociable hours. The nature of the event will obviously play an important part in the noise management procedures you’ll need to put in place, but one of the difficult things about monitoring noise is it can be very much subject to the individual. As a precaution, try to avoid causing noise that could be deemed unreasonable by any member of the surrounding community. It’s also worth contacting the local council to seek advice ahead of your event.
Much like the location itself, refreshments play a big part in the overall enjoyment of an event – and, as the organiser, you’re ultimately responsible for delivering a great day. From allergies to preferences, catering for all types of attendees and vendors will help to ensure no one goes hungry. For vendors who are offering food samples, it’s worth reminding them to bring options for a variety of dietary requirements so as not to exclude any attendees.
For event planners, you’ll be in charge of running a tight ship – not just on the day itself, but also in the lead up to the event. From knowing when to confirm your venue to giving caterers a final number of attendees, each aspect of the event planning process needs to be well timed in order to ensure everything runs smoothly. Give yourself plenty of time to come up with a plan B, should any of the planning steps go awry. Vendors also need to practice their time-keeping skills, ensuring they’ve arrived at the location in plenty of time to set up their stand and be ready to greet attendees, while a prompt arrival from any guest speakers will help keep your event stay on schedule too. If you’re operating to a tight timeframe, give staff, vendors, speakers and volunteers specific instructions and slots to minimise mishaps on the day.
With your guest speakers booked and venue secured, you might think that the most important parts of the event are taken care of – but after all your hard work and effort, a failure to secure relevant licences can unravel your entire event. Listed below you’ll find a range of just some of the reasons you might need to obtain a licence or permission:
Providing food for vendors and attendees
Using public land
Selling or providing alcohol
With this practical checklist, start by organizing a safe and successful event for your vendors and attendees.