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Refreshing your event management plan: 7 overlooked details

Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, the events industry is shifting once again. We think now is a great time to go back to basics and reflect on our event planning processes.

When hosting an event, many details can be overlooked. Successful event planning is all in the detail, so it’s important to consider these elements when creating your event management plan. Ensure nothing is left until the very end by adding these seven commonly neglected event planning details to your plan.

Refreshing your event management plan: 7 overlooked details

Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, the events industry is shifting once again. We think now is a great time to go back to basics and reflect on our event planning processes.

When hosting an event, many details can be overlooked. Successful event planning is all in the detail, so it’s important to consider these elements when creating your event management plan. Ensure nothing is left until the very end by adding these seven commonly neglected event planning details to your plan.

A person planning an event
With the planning in place, you can focus on the day, the attendees, and making your event a triumph. 

The importance of planning in event management

Careful event planning is essential to its success. Captivating speakers, amazing networking opportunities, and attendee satisfaction will not happen without effective planning in place, months before the event itself. If an event is poorly organised, then the reputation of your client or organisation may be damaged. 

Meticulous event planning ensures that risk is mitigated and your event achieves its overall objectives. It means everyone knows where to go and who to turn to if something goes wrong. 

Effective event planning

Before you begin organising an event, it’s good to reflect on how to plan the day. Planning an event can be stressful, but effective event planning will always help. 

It’s beneficial to start by imagining the day from the attendees’ perspective and noting everything that comes to mind. Consider:

  • Is the check-in clear? 
  • Is it obvious where to go for the presentations/talks? 
  • Are the talks engaging, or do activities need to be included?
  • Is there enough time between speakers for breaks etc? 
  • Is the goal of the event clear and well-reflected by the talks, activities, venue?

The answers to these questions may be clear to you and your team, but it may not be to your guests. As you continue to plan with this mindset, you’ll also pick up on the smaller details you should consider, such as where to station the refreshments in order to encourage networking.

Another tip is to create a binder or digital equivalent that contains everything you’ll need throughout the day. From emergency contact numbers to the itinerary, having all information in one place, organised in a way that works for you, can save you time and stress during your event. If you need to double-check anything or quickly kickstart a plan B, then you’ll be prepared. 

Two people working on an event management plan
Take note of anything that may need a rethink as you go through the schedule.

What factors need to be considered when planning an event? 

Even with meticulous planning, some planning details are often overlooked. To ensure that the day is a success, factor in the following details when planning your event.

Seven event planning details you can’t ignore

1. Updating your event website regularly

Creating a website is a great way to inform attendees about your event. However, if that website isn’t regularly updated, then it may lead to some confused guests. 

It’s important to include regular maintenance of your site in your event management checklist. Your site must always reflect changes to the event and important updates for your attendees. Guests will look to your website to find all the information they need. 

Some of the vital information that may need updating regularly includes:

  • Changes to the event schedule
  • Current Covid guidelines
  • Weather warnings, if the event is outside
  • Event sponsors
  • Event countdowns

Make a person or team responsible for updating your website. Social media and email marketing should communicate any major changes. 

Person updating event website on laptop
Treat your website as one of your main marketing channels.

2. Communication tools for your team

We all know that planned processes change during an event. Being able to effectively communicate with your team is therefore essential.  

To ensure that you maintain good communication with your team, you need to source tools so that you all stay in sync. Make sure of the following:

  • Everyone in the team has each other’s phone numbers 
  • Everyone has the event app
  • Everyone is on a group chat on a reliable platform / chat software 
  • Everyone has multi-channel walkie talkies - these are great for faster and reliable communication. To see some of the top walkie talkies for event planners, take a look at this guide from Gizmos Zone

By having more than one communication channel, you have backup options to overcome any issues on the day.

3. Providing travel information before the event

As an event planner, helping attendees get to your event safely and efficiently is imperative. A paragraph of information on your website or in an email isn’t going to cut it. 

Provide plenty of travel information before the event as a full page on your event website, and share travel tips and information on social media channels. If you provide a postcode, make sure it’s precise for your venue. What3words is a good alternative to include for more precision. 

To run a greener event, you need to promote sustainable travel when possible. Here’s some tips:                                                 

  • Choose a venue that benefits from fantastic public transport links & encourage people to use them.
  • Organise car-sharing schemes amongst staff.
  • Work with local public transport authorities to organise shuttle buses to and from the event venue.
  • Encourage car shares amongst attendees - you could use social media to promote organisation of this.

For information about running sustainable events, check out our guide. 

London train station
When planning an event, consider greener options and promote sustainable travel when possible.

4. Keeping extra tech supplies on hand

Tech issues are common at events, so it’s always best to have a technician on hand and some extra equipment. Do multiple test runs in the lead up, but expect the unexpected on the day. 

As well as having an AV and IT savvy technician ready to jump in and sort any issues that may arise, you also want spare equipment for the event, such as:

  • Adaptors - speakers may bring different devices for their presentations that are not compatible
  • Chargers and cables
  • Cameras for event recordings 
  • Pointers
  • Spare tablets - these can help speed up the check-in process
  • Download copies of videos that will be played throughout the day on a laptop or memory stick - this is a lifesaver if an online video doesn’t load when it needs to. 

You want as many attendees as possible to have downloaded your event app prior to the day. Your efforts won’t always work, so having QR codes on the day of the event can make downloading the event app effortless.

Finally, it’s worth checking the phone signal at the venue before the event. It's good to mention any areas that have poor signal before the event so attendees know what to expect. Likewise, also include areas where the signal is particularly good. If an attendee can’t connect to the WIFI, it would be helpful to know where to go if they need to reach someone. 

Speaking of WIFI, don’t forget to include the password at check-in and outside presentation rooms - there’s always a chance someone will miss it when they first walk in!

5. Ensure someone is always available for attendees

It’s common for attendees to turn up late to an event. This doesn’t mean that they should have a lesser experience. Your job is to help them settle in and start enjoying the event. Make sure that there is always someone at the check-in desk to assist late arrivals. 

This also applies when monitoring email and phone calls. Some attendees may reach out to say that they’re running late, encountered another issue or have a quick question. It could be good to set up a specific email address for on-the-day questions. Someone can then monitor this inbox and answer all queries quickly. 

Person speaking at an event
Ensure that someone is available to greet late attendees and sneak them into presentations. 

6. Updating catering specifications and always having extra

Many complaints event planners receive are to do with catering. It can be a real headache. It’s hard to please everyone when it comes to food. Make sure that all food options are as varied as possible whilst still being practical and in-keeping with the event theme. 
We all know that numbers can change in the lead up, that not everyone declares their dietary requirements (or they change them before the day), or attendees might not like the food choices available. 

We suggest ordering more than what you need, so you can be confident that enough food will be available. At the same time, you want to minimise food waste. Offer containers or bags during the event so attendees (and team members) can take food home if possible - just check with the catering company that they are happy with this. 

Sliced cakes as an event catering option
If required, don’t forget the meals for staff and speakers!

7. Having a plan B

When it comes to events, not everything goes according to plan. It’s therefore essential that you have multiple backup plans in place and are prepared for all eventualities. Speakers get sick, refreshments run out, rain pours, and yes, those dreaded tech issues do occur. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prepare. 

Make sure that extra staff are available to help provide cover if required. Always have at least one team member on hand during talks or activities. And of course, make sure you have contact information for all staff. 

Keep information updated on your event app and website to avoid any confusion, and stay connected with your team so that you’re all aware of what’s going on. Create an event contingency plan listing anything that could go wrong during the day, the solution, and share with all team members before the event. 

Plan an event with University of London Venues

Including these overlooked details into your event plan will make a difference. Attendees will have a fantastic experience , and appreciate the details factored into the day. 

Here at University of London Venues, we support you with all aspects of event planning. We have a team of event planners on hand to provide support. From bespoke catering services to stunning art deco venues, rest assured your event will be a success. 

To find out more about our event planning services, get in touch today. 

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