The day of your big event has arrived, and it’s taken a tremendous amount of effort to get to this point. You’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon, but not quite yet. This is when all of your planning will come into play in order to create a seamless entry-through-exit experience for your guests.
The key is having a solid logistics strategy in place months in advance. Download this event logistics strategy guide created by Tommy Goodwin, Director of Field Operations at Eventbrite, for a comprehensive breakdown of best practices for on-site logistics, which includes three main steps: 1) identify your requirements, 2) choose your resources, and 3) execute.
Day-of logistics is all about execution - step 3 - which is the focus of today’s article. Here are some basic yet critical day-of logistic strategies to follow to ensure your event will only have the good kind of surprises and leave guests tweeting happy thoughts.
1. One Last Push
Continue your marketing, promotion, and communications strategy the day-of with queued up social messaging and emails to the guests and key stakeholders. This serves as a final reminder and a kind of inspirational, welcoming message of excitement. Provide the name/phone number/email of a contact who can help people with last minute questions guests have. One great way to do this is have key staff members set up auto-reply messages that answer a list of FAQs. Don’t forget to also keep in contact with vendors with reminder of where to drive and set up.
Also make sure your entire team is clear on any hashtags they should keep consistent by storing social media content and messaging examples in a shared document they can easily access.
2. Team Rally
Get your team together to make sure everyone is present and clear on their roles for the day and provide a quick overview of any common issues they should be prepared for, or who they need to report to for various categories of issues. You should have a clear chain of command among the onsite staff so everyone has a point of contact if an issue arises at key points like the box office, IT, ticketing, or power. This would be a good time to go over any and all site safety notes with your team including expected attendance, weather forecast, emergency exits, etc.
Also, have coffee, water, and food on hand to keep your team replenished!
3. The Walk Through
The morning-of during final setup, walk through the venue as if you were an attendee to determine if any changes need to be made or if anything has been overlooked. For instance, make sure you’ve set up barriers that creates an “entry chute” in order to funnel people to the check-in points to avoid confusion and chaos. Also make sure you have point people at the start of the lines to assist guests with further directions. Is your directional signage located in spots where they won't get covered up by the crowds when it starts to fill up? If you are too familiar with the site (which is often the case) have a volunteer do this walk through with you and ask for feedback as you tour.
4. Tech Check
Before opening, conduct a final tech training for all staff members. Issue walkie-talkies to the key points of contact, and make sure each department has their own channel. Check that various key pieces of equipment and tech, including wifi, are in working order. Even though a radio might be second nature for you to use, make sure everyone who is getting one knows the proper use and the proper communication channels or lingo! Also leverage the use of event management apps to streamline and automate certain tasks when applicable.
5. Safe Not Sorry
Expect the unexpected and have contingency plans in place for things like traffic jams and sudden electrical issues. Also have a strategy for turning the entry chute into an exit chute in the case of an emergency that requires quick and calm evacuation.
Lastly, after the event is just as important as planning for it. Follow up with your vendors, attendees, staff and ask questions. Do your research by checking social media for reviews to determine how people perceived your event. Listen to all feedback. Figuring out what you can change or make better will only set you up for success the next time around.
We spoke with the Community Manager at Eventbrite who had a lot of great insight to share with us on this topic!