You have worked tirelessly at organizing every last detail for your event and it all comes down to those few hours or days of programming. Although you may think that you have dotted all of the Is and crossed all the Ts, you still need to ensure your event flows smoothly and is executed as planned. If you have read my blog, Event Timeline: Keeping Track of the Big Day, you will know that making sure that the day keeps flowing is very important. Below are some additional tips directly related to communication for when you are on-site at your event.
Be in close communication with your venue contact. On site at your event make sure to be in close communication with the venue coordinator and/or banquet manager at all times. Often the person who you deal with for the planning stages at the venue isn’t on-site for the event. When you arrive on-site find out who will be your go-to person for the day. Provide them with your on-site phone number (and get theirs), a detailed schedule of the event and make them aware of any key moments.
For example, your team member who is responsible for the food and beverage, should be in close proximity to the banquet manager all evening, so that they are able to cue them for meals. The kitchen likely requires a 5-10 minute warning, so work this into your schedule for the banquet manager. There is nothing worse than your MC saying “bon appetite” and your dinner coming out 10 minutes later. For more tips to ensure your venue is set up and ready to go read our blog, Want to Ensure a Perfect Room Set Up for Your Signature Event? Communication is the key!
Create specific roles for your on-site team. Before you arrive on-site, create specific roles for each of your team members and brief your team on everyone’s roles. It is not only important for each team member to understand their own role and responsibilities, but they should also have a general understanding of the responsibilities of every team member. These roles could include audiovisual, registration desk, food and beverage, venue set-up, entertainment and speakers, and sponsors and VIP’s.
Decide on a form of communication with your team. The most common forms of communication on-site at an event are text, phone, email or radio. Although using a cellphone to text, call or email is becoming more popular, walk talkies can be beneficial too. They work well for larger scale events where you have a lot of staff and volunteers involved, as they allow your entire team to hear the broadcasted messages. If you decide to use cell phones as a mode of communication be sure to have portable chargers and possibly extra batteries on-site so that you don’t lose communication with anyone throughout the day. It may be worth the investment to acquire long-life cellphone batteries for your team.
Keep track of your key people. Know the location of your MC, speakers and entertainers at all times. You will need to be able to get in contact with them easily should something change in the programming. As I mentioned above, assigning this task to a specific member of your team will be beneficial. Keeping tracking of your key people will avoid situations where the MC calls on your entertainment, but they are still in the green room.
The key to having a stress-free event that flows well and stays on time is high-quality on-site communication!