Sarah Halfpenny Events

What’s in your on-site event survival kit?

by Sarah Halfpenny

Over the years I have done a lot of formal training and mentoring covering the broad spectrum of what is termed ‘event management’. Scheduling, budget control, project plans and the like. Sometimes though it’s the simplest pieces of advice based on one’s own experience that is the most useful. So in this blog you will discover what’s in my on-site survival kit to ensure I am comfortable, prepared and well fuelled to deliver a well executed event

So first things first, pack yourself a bottle of water and some quick no mess, non smelly snacks. Typically, we get on-site and hit the ground running. Inevitably we have had an early start and thus not had a proper breakfast and when we do get on-site its all systems go. Likewise, lunch provides a similar predicament as you don’t want to be seen to be eating into the delegates buffet or eating with your delegates as that often proves a distraction. So by grabbing some snacks throughout the day you should avoid any energy slumps.

Flat shoes!
This is one for the ladies, wear flat shoes, well at least whilst you are setting up and packing down your event. Heels do tend to make you feel a little more professional, well I do anyway, but too wear them throughout the duration of your event can mean your limping home in agony. Likewise, I would also pack spare cloths. I tend to arrive on site in my ‘scrubs’ and once set up I will then go and change into something a little more professional.

Presentation back ups!
Yes, this has happened to most event professionals at some point. You arrive with your laptop preloaded with slides and presentations and you plug it in and the password doesn’t work, the format of the presentations isn’t computable and your AV technician struggles away recovering the data. Always take a spare USB with everything you need on it, if nothing else arrives then at least the show can on.

I love a clip board!
Prep this the day before you get on site and it will provide you with the confidence that you have everything you need at your fingertips. You cannot be expected to remember every detail but this will ensure you can get to the information quickly. So the programme and schedule, briefing documents, delegate lists, room plans and catering are all useful documents to have by your side.

Contact details
You rely on an army of people to get the event delivered so don’t forget all their contact details. Sponsors, speakers, partners, suppliers and staff emails addresses and phone numbers are a must.

Event file with everything
This might seem a little overkill but you never quite know when you may need that email you sent to month ago to the venue…. Any disputes or disagreements on-site then should be alleviated as you will have access to all conversations and agreements.

Spare delegate information
In the event that your boxes and creates don’t arrive then a spare delegate pack is useful too have as you will then be able to print off some spares! In a rush admittedly but at last your delegates will have something.

Ok, so yes you will now need a very large bag to bring everything you need but believe me its totally worth it!! It will avoid stress, hunger and potential tiers.

So now its your turn to share, what’s in your events bag??

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