Event Marketing – the Basics

I’m teaching my husband the basics of event marketing so I thought I’d also share my methodology as a blog post.

Part I – Set Up

1. Shared Drive

Before setting up anything else, I strongly recommend setting up a shared Drive to store all of your digital assets and administrative documents. My preference is Google Drive. Even if you’re working alone, this can act as a good back up rather than keeping it all on your computer. Put everything in there for easy access.

2. Core Event Pitch & Creatives

First, prepare your core event “elevator pitch” along with a more detailed explanation of the event. Of course, you’ll need a great name.

Consider the core FAQ information related to the event to head off any questions or confusion. Who, what, where, when, why, how.

Along with your core pitch, create your key graphical elements, aka. creatives. You’ll want to size the key graphics for your website, the Facebook event, and an Instagram square version (which also looks good on Facebook). We also needed a specific size for our event ticket system.

The horizontal Facebook event size of the image will often work as your website banner and the horizontal format can be a good option for Twitter and LinkedIn (if those are important for your marketing) without having to fuss with too many resizes.

I would also recommend having an event hashtag (“proprietary hashtag”) that you make clear in your event pitch and in all of your ensuing marketing materials. See more of this below in the Instagram section.

You might find it useful to design a vertical poster but I personally steer away from print ads and I don’t find the vertical size necessary for digital advertising, outside of Instagram Stories or TikTok, if you’re doing that. (I usually just share the square version in Instagram Stories to streamline the process. That’s not really a best practice, but sometimes simplification is important and it does the job.)

3. Website (or Central Front-of-House Location)

Once you have your event pitch sorted, the first thing to do is to update your website with all of the details. If you don’t have a website, though it’s less than ideal, you might use a Facebook event or a ticketing system as your central front-of-house location for the event details.

You might have an entire website dedicated to just the event, a page on a website, or you might create a post on your blog roll. I’d like to explain a few tricks about that.

I’ll use the example of our hobby website, Stepping Out Vintage. It’s a WordPress website, which is my preference. For that website, we’ve got it set up with the homepage as a blogroll.

What I’ve set up in this kind of scenario is that you create a post (rather than a page) for your event. There are a few advantages and approaches to how I like to set this up.

  1. The event will appear front and centre on the homepage, as long as it’s the newest post
  2. I can create an empty page with a redirect that points to the blog post so the event can also appear in the top menu
  3. I can create a category for all upcoming events
  4. I can also keep a category for all past events to keep a record of them

Let me explain #2 about the page and redirect:

The main information for this year’s event will live in a post. However, you can also set up an empty page that will redirect to the post. You can do this by adding the post directly to your menu in the Appearance > Menu options within WordPress, but I personally prefer to have a short and easy URL. You can add a Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin that will take care of this.

Here’s how it works:

The blog post might have had a longer URL, like Stylish Sunday on Centre Island (steppingoutvintage.com/stylish-sunday-on-centre-island) but that’s a bit long for the main promotional slug. So instead, I like to create an empty page with a slug like steppingoutvintage.com/stylishsunday and then set up a forwarder to the post.

Why? The advantage of this is if I run the same event next year, I can use the exact same page and slug and just forward it to the newest post. And it will allow for a quick access link in the menu while also including the information in the blog roll.

Upcoming & Past Event categories:

Another advantage is that I can have a different page for Upcoming Events that uses the same redirect tool but this time have it forward to the category for all of the upcoming events. Or all of the past events. Here’s a live example, though there may not be very many active events listed:

Just note that events don’t automatically change from upcoming to past. You just change the checkbox in your post categories. 

The easier it is for someone to find your event details on your website, the better, and this will also get picked up by Google.

This post is just supposed to be about the basics. However, at a more sophisticated stage of marketing, I would also set up the Facebook Pixel for paid advertising and retargeting, and link tracking using Rebrandly

4. RSVP/Ticketing

Even if you’re running a free event, it’s really important to have an RSVP process so you can track numbers and interest. But most importantly, you want to build up your contact list. That’s why I always recommend collecting emails and not just relying on social media.

I use EventsFrame for ticketing but there are lots of ticketing tools out there. I really like EventsFrame’s simplicity around ticketing fees since some services can get expensive, and EventsFree is free for free events.

Get your RSVP/ticketing system fully set up and integrated on your website/central front-of-house location before doing any marketing. You don’t want to let any email addresses slip away before you have a system to capture the interest.

5. Set Up Email Marketing

In addition to the RSVP/ticketing, you should have an email sign-up. I use Mailchimp, which is free for under 2000 subscribers. You’ll be able to create an email opt-in that you can integrate into your website in a number of ways, either by embedding the sign-up right on the website or linking to the email sign-up form. (Or both. Make it easy for people.) The email sign-up is as important of a CTA (call to action) as “buy now” or “RSVP now”.

6. Reconfirm Set Up

Once you have your RSVP/ticketing and email opt-ins set up, do another update of your website to make sure it’s air-tight with all of the critical elements and details. 

Once you have all of your ducks in a row fully confirmed, you’ll be ready to start the actual campaign. (Though I do sometimes like to send out a few teasers before the full launch.)

Part II – Campaign Launch

7. Facebook Event

Do you already have a Facebook Page for your organization? If not, create one. Even if you feel like you’re just a single person throwing a party and you don’t need a page, it’s better to create a general page of some kind. At one point, I was throwing an event that didn’t fit under any of my existing pages so I created a general page called “Lindy Hop Events” to use.

Create your Facebook event so that it’s attached to the page and make sure it’s public. Even if it’s not truly a “public” event, unless it’s just a private house party (in which case pretty much none of the above applies), make the event public.

Make sure the event has an attractive image and all of the core information. You won’t get a lot of space to put in your event description but be sure to include your website link, ticketing link, and even the email opt-in. I usually put the ticket/RSVP link on the ticket line but then also repeat all three links in the body of the event copy.

General comments about Facebook marketing

Facebook events are still powerful, but these days the absolute best scenario is to leverage the trifecta of Facebook marketing:
1. Facebook Page
2. Facebook Events tied to the page
3. Facebook Group tied to the page with an ongoing community focus**
Your events should always be tied to the page, not the group, unless they’re private events.
Use the Facebook Page and Event for announcements and continuously drive people to join the community group. Use the group to encourage ongoing community-focused chit chat. I actually like to name the groups “X Community Chit Chat” or similar to encourage the open chat format.
The more people that join the group and are hanging out in there anyways, the better captive audience you’ll have to gently remind people about your events. And it’s just a generally good vibe in these types of groups with way better visibility in the Facebook algorithms.

Leverage all the Facebook avenues

Once you have the Facebook event, invite anyone you know who might be interested (don’t spam people who aren’t a good fit) and start sharing it everywhere that would be appropriate. Definitely share it periodically in your personal feed and on the organization page, but also share it in relevant groups.

When you share your event in other groups, make sure you’re posting in a conversational way that fits in with the group culture so you don’t come across as a disengaged spammer. 

Post regular updates to the Facebook event itself, but also share those updates elsewhere. The more you share your events, the more chances they’ll have to be seen. However, it’s a good idea to adjust the wording each time so it’s not a direct copy and paste of the exact same word-for-word update.

The more people who mark themselves “interested” in the event, the more that their friends will be shown the event in their newsfeeds so don’t underestimate the free exposure you can still get for events on Facebook. (Even with diminishing algorithms.) 

Consider a Facebook group of our own

As I mentioned with the Facebook trifecta, if you’re thinking big picture, it can be a good idea to create a Facebook group related to your interest group. This group shouldn’t be just for this single event but for the community you are building around your event and your entire brand.

For example, when I started running our Roaring Twenties Events, I also started a group called GTA Vintage Chit Chat for anyone in the Greater Toronto Area who might be interested in vintage things. I didn’t have much time to nurture that group before the pandemic hit, but in the long run that will be a great place to build up a community of people to talk about all things vintage, where we can also post about future events.

If you do create a Facebook group, make sure to add the link and information to your website and add it as another soft CTA.

CTAs

Remind people about your calls to action. Don’t just always push the “buy” message. Also, include your “low stakes” CTAs to reinforce the importance of keeping in touch. 

  • Visit the website for more details
  • Sign up for emails to stay in the loop
  • Follow us to stay in touch
  • Join our Facebook group
  • RSVP/buy tickets

You need to make this easy for people so always include the relevant links in your Facebook posts. Don’t make people fish around for the information or links, always include one CTA in every Facebook post.  

Make sure to add the links to your Facebook event, page, and group to your website.

8. Instagram

You should almost certainly also set up an Instagram account for your organization. You’ll want to share your square graphic and any other imagery on that central account, while also sharing content on your personal account. 

I would also recommend having an event hashtag (“proprietary hashtag”) while also researching other relevant hashtags for both your local area and the interest groups. 

Event hashtag:

Here are two examples. When we were running our Roaring Twenties Events before the pandemic, we had the hashtag #roaring20sTO. For our little Easter Parade that we would like to build up in future years, we’ve been using #TorontoVintageEasterParade. This is particularly useful for tracking people’s photography after the event has taken place, which will very much help to establish your visibility if you run the event again. But it also helps to reinforce your proprietary hashtag by using the hashtag you create repeatedly before the event takes place. Just don’t make it too complicated so that people get confused about what it is. Usually, the most obvious hashtag is the best choice. 

For our upcoming event, I haven’t researched it yet to see if #StylishSunday is already being used. I’m guessing it’s already populated so will probably want to use #StylishSundayTO.

Local hashtags:

Examples from most broad to most specific: #Toronto #the6ix #CentreIsland #TorontoEvents #TorontoVintage #VintageToronto

Interest group hashtags:

#vintagestyle #vintagelook #modernvintage #1920s #1930s #1940s #1950s #1920sstyle #1930sstyle #1940sstyle #1950sstyle #vintagestylenotvintagevalues

Make sure to research your hashtags, those are just some examples off the top of my head.

Follow the relevant hashtags as well to help populate your account with the kinds of people you should be engaging with. 

Post diverse content

Post strategically to your feed with images, carousels, videos, Reels, and post more spontaneously to Stories. 

Remember for Instagram with your CTAs that links are not clickable in your feed posts. You get one link in your bio, which is the only clickable link, so remind people to check that link and make that link count. (I set up a LinkTree or similar to ensure all of the important links are easily accessible. It’s a way to include multiple links in a single link.)

You can include a link in your Instagram Stories so use that wisely as well. 

9. Other Social Media Considerations

Depending on the community you’re targeting, Twitter, LinkedIn, or TikTok might be worth using too.

I’m trying to keep things simple for beginners, but I also recommend that you use a social media scheduling tool to queue up content on the social media channels. You can still add spontaneous posts but it’s ideal to have your primary brand awareness content queued up in advance. I will plan and schedule my content for a month in advance. That way you can focus on active engagement. If you’re only using Facebook and Instagram, you can use Facebook’s Creator Studio at no cost, which covers both those two platforms. For bigger endeavours, my preferred tool for social media is Cloud Campaign.

By the way, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have secure passwords and to set up extra authentication for your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Hacking is on the rise and once you’ve been hacked, you may never get your accounts back. I implore you to take this warning seriously and set up authentication in your settings now.

10. Email Marketing

Send our email updates… but not too often. You’ve been driving email sign-ups which is great. This is the best way to capture your audience without relying on paid advertising since the social media algorithms can be fickle. Once you have those emails, stay in touch with people.

Be informative and engaging with clear CTAs.

11. Networking

Reach out to likeminded people in your community and ask them to help share the event. Not everyone will but some people like to be asked and will gladly share. Consider inviting some influencers to be involved in the event and for paid events, it can be worthwhile to comp a few strategic tickets in order to get buy-in from key people who can help spread the word and endorse your event.

And then it’s just a matter of keeping on top of it! 

There is so much more I could get into, especially about paid advertising, but I would say that this has the basics covered. The rest is about constantly pumping energy into your campaign so roll up your sleeves and best of luck!

Main Points:

  • Shared Drive
  • Core Event Pitch & Creatives
  • Website
  • RSVP/Ticketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Facebook Event & other Facebook
  • Instagram

Event Organizing Checklist

A Seasoned Event Organizer’s Tips & Checklist

Everyone loves a great event! It takes an incredible amount of planning, project management, and also stage management to run an event that feels great to participants. Detailed planning is critical. You need a great team of people that you can work well with, you need a high level, realistic perspective, and you need to be organized. Really organized.

I’ve created a checklist that you can refer to when you’re planning your next event. I’ve tried to include all of the best event organizing tips that I can offer from my extensive experience as an event planner. This advice comes from my own experience running major dance festivals like Frankie 100, over 12 years of dance workshop weekends, and local specialty festivals like the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, Rawstock Niagara, and the Niagara VegFest.

Obviously, every event is different and this checklist should be scaled accordingly depending on the size and scope of your event. A two-hour book club party is going to be scaled much differently than a four-day jazz festival. However, the core principles remain the same.

1. Set the Date 

As early in advance as possible, set your dates. If your event is an annual one and the event takes place at the same time each year, you have an advantage, but either way you should lock that date in stone ASAP. Make sure to add the date to your website as early as possible.

Be courteous and coordinate your dates with other organizers in your community. Let them know what you have planned and avoid conflicts when possible. Reach out to other nearby organizers, or related community leaders, and be respectful and communicative.

2. Secure the Venue

The next most important step is to book and confirm the venue. Even if your event takes place in the same place every year, confirm it and get it booked. Unless the event is taking place in your own backyard, this is really critical. Make sure to lock into your venue as early as possible.

3. Send Out a Save the Date Announcement

Your full promotions might not begin for some time, and you might not even have any other details set yet, but as soon as you have your date confirmed and your venue booked, update your public. In today’s day and age, people are becoming more and more busy and it’s essential to notify your community as soon as possible. Update your website with the preliminary save-the-date information, and send out the high level announcement on social media and in your newsletter.

4. Build A Great Team

You may already have a core team in pace, but consider what staffing needs your event needs based on your new event scope and budget. Depending on the size of your event, key members might include:

  • Director/Producer
  • Fundraising Lead
  • Sponsorship Lead
  • Treasurer
  • Stage Manager
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Registration/Tickets
  • Decorations/Creative
  • Marketing & Promotions Lead
  • Guest Liaison & Hospitality
  • Security Lead
  • Green/Eco Team Lead
  • Roadie/Logistics Team Lead
  • Travel Liaisons
  • Etc.

A great event is only as good as its people. Not only do you need to find great people who you can work with, but you need to build a team that will be communicative and caring with each other. Building a team of hard working, dedicated, mutually respectful, inclusive people is probably my number one tip when it comes to event organizing.

5. Establish an Organizational System 

These days, there is some great project management software available. I love Asana. It’s really changed the way that I work and think about work. If you’re new to it, consider picking up the Asana Definitive Guide. And where would we be without Google docs? I can’t live without my shared Google spreadsheets. A shared Google Calendar might also be useful for your team.

6. Set Out the Organizational Timeline

Depending on the lead up time to the event, determine what benchmarks should take place when. When considering major timeline benchmarks, consider all factors, like the launch of your promotional campaign and the date that ticket sales will open should not conflict with other related events or holidays that will distract from your message.

Make sure that as much of your organizing will ready in advance as possible so that in the final weeks (or even final month, depending on the timeline), most of the large pieces have already been finalized. That way, you can leave yourself wiggle room for putting out fires (the inevitable unexpected) and troubleshooting.

Also, if you’re planning to have any type of after party or volunteer appreciation party, set that date in advance and stick to it. Otherwise, it’s likely to fall by the wayside.

7. Create a Schedule for Regular Team Meetings

Depending on the size and scope of the event, meetings might take place in person or by conference call and should ramp up from monthly or bi-weekly to weekly leading up to the event.

Strive to keep meetings on topic. It’s important to respect people’s time. The meetings should be friendly, but not so casual that you just end up winging it. If you’re in charge, take your leadership role seriously and work to continuously motivate your team and make them feel valued. Take the time to communicate and check-in frequently with your Team Leaders to make sure that they are on track and equipped to mobilize their team own smaller teams if they have subordinates. The larger the project, the more important it is that you focus on mobilizing your people.

8. Budget Budget Budget

Get serious about your event budget. Remember that every event is scalable. If your event is in it’s infancy, be conservative. Start out small. Make modest projections of how many guests you might realistically expect to attend your event. It’s advisable to under-budget on attendance while over-budgeting on costs to ensure that you have a safe buffer zone for unexpected expenses.

There are always unexpected costs and even with extensive experience, you never can anticipate what they will be. If you could, they wouldn’t be unexpected. Set aside some a reserve in your budget for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. I recommend a buffer of about 10%-15% as a safe buffer zone.

  • Petty Cash & Expensing

Set out a clear policy for expenses. It can be very tough for staff, and especially volunteers, to carry expenses around for too long before submitting for reimbursement. Setup a clear system for your team. Be very cautious about asking volunteers to expense items. I much prefer a petty cash system, and the petty cash available on-site during the event should always be bigger than you think, just in case.

9. Give Your Event Shape

Determine the specific details that will give your event character. This will depend on the type of event that you’re holding. Whether it’s booking and determining special guest needs, booking bands or artists, securing guest instructors, celebrities, local officials, etc. now is the time to work within the budget that you created and shape your event into a blend dreams and reality. This is also the time to manage any artist contracts and riders, and lock in to specific guest requests.

Consider all the ways that the event will affect the guest experience:

  • The event’s vision & mission
  • Event branding, tone, messaging, communications
  • Entertainment and/or educational value
  • Decorations & overall feeling of the event
  • Flow & energy; what kind of “ride” will you be giving your attendees throughout the course of the event. You don’t want to underwhelm your guests, but you also don’t want to overextend and plan more than is realistic for them to absorb.
  • Create value so that guests walk away feeling like the event was a worthwhile experience that was worth the price of admission – even if the event was free!.

Go back to your budget constantly to tweak it and ensure that everything still fits.

10. Operations & Logistics Planning

Now it’s all about balancing logistics with the flow of your event. What should take place when? What parts of the event will be the best attended slotted in where? What logistical support will be required based on how your schedule flows? Think about the way that your event flow will feel from your audience point of view, and also consider the human resources that will be required to execute that plan. As you lock in to your finalized schedule, be as realistic as possible about how much time needs to be allotted where. Various aspects of event setup always take longer than you might think.

  • Organize Registration and Tickets

Unless your event is free, you’ll need a way to manage attendance. What type of ticket or wristband will be most appropriate for your event? What will your re-entrance policy be if someone leaves and wants to come back in? Will the tickets or wristbands be enough for re-entrance, or will you need a hand stamp of some kind?

  • Determine Technical Needs
  • Determine Equipment and Supply Needs
  • Determine Administrative Needs
  • Establish an On-Site Communications Plan

How will your team communicate throughout the actual event? I’m a big fan of walkie talkies with the ear piece attachment. I’m also a fan of being as hands-free as possible. As a woman who usually dresses up to be presentable at the events I’m running, I plan on wearing a belt so that I can attach the walkie talkie to the belt.

I am not a fan of cell phones which you don’t hear ringing in loud spaces. I still carry my cell phone on me because you always need it for something, but I set an out-of-office reply on my email to let people know that I’m in event mode and won’t be able to attend to email. If it’s important, it’s better that they call.

Make sure that you have someone who will be in charge of fielding phone calls and email from the public during the event, or set an office responder for that account that includes all of the FAQ information that someone might need at the last minute.

  • Consider All Possible On-Site Needs

Get your team involved to make sure that as many brains are considering gaps that may need filling as possible. Will your guest artists need water? Lunch? Who will be responsible for that? Are there enough toilets onsite or do you need to order port-a-potties? Are there enough seats? What about coat check? Think about all of the variables, then think about them again so that nothing slips through the cracks. Revisit this line of thinking often.

11. Return to the Budget

Review your budget again to make sure that costs are still lining up with projections or revise the budget as needed.

12. Launch the Full Advertising Campaign 

And begin ticket sales/registration, according to the timeline you originally set out. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the PR side of this other than to say that a strong social media presence is very important. Establish a hashtag for the event and encourage photo uploads during and after the event. Having someone live Tweet the event can also be a good idea.

13. Check Up on your Event’s Health

Check ticket sales in the weeks leading up to the event. Are they where they need to be? Does the event need to be re-scaled, either up or down, based on the current level of sales? Consider whether or not you’ve over or under projected your supply quotas and scale back or add on to make sure that you can meet the needs of the event without either losing money or overselling.

Also, make sure that you’re checking-in with your team members regularly. How are they feeling? How is morale? Take care of your team, and they will take care of your event. Neglect your team, and the event will suffer for it. Your people are everything.

14. Walk the Critical Path

Walk the Critical Path of your event with your Team Leaders to make sure that all aspects of event flow have been considered. By this, I mean create a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, schedule for the event that includes who/what/where/when for event details and staff. You can do this as a flow chart, or I happen to love spreadsheets. However you do it, get it down in writing and get your team on-board to create a functional critical path.

  • On-Site Responsibilities

There needs to be a clear understanding among your team members of who is responsible and on-duty when. Who is committed to the early morning setup shifts? Who is dedicated to late night and clean up? Your team must take the time considerations seriously.

Part of running an event is understanding that you really aren’t there to have fun. Of course you enjoy seeing your vision come to fruition, but while the event is taking place, you are responsible. Drinking, dancing, socializing, celebrating, etc. is for your guests and not for you to partake in unless you are clearly off-duty or taking a break from responsibilities at a time when you are clearly not needed by your fellow team members.

  • On-Site Financial Control

You need a clear plan for managing cash and financials on-site. Who will be responsible for delivering the float/cash box? Who will check-in periodically and remove excess cash to a safe location? Who is paying bands, guests, artists? This should be decided and scheduled clearly in advance.

  • Printing & Personal Tech

Who will be responsible for bringing any printed lists or information that you’ll need on-site? I really prefer to go paperless in the rest of my life, but there is always a need for printed information on-site. Whether it’s registration and ticket lists, lists of volunteer schedules, site maps to facilitate smooth setup, or even something as obvious as the schedule of events, you’re going to need printing and someone needs to clearly be responsible for bringing it.

In terms of equipment, don’t just assume that everyone will have their own laptops on-site, and don’t assume that they’re comfortable using their own laptops. I personally am happy to use my own laptop but I’m not comfortable sharing it. Other people will have their own preferences and that needs to be respected. Same with the use of cell phones. That’s another reason why I prefer walkie talkies; it’s not fair to assume that your volunteers are willing to use their own air time, and the same goes for staff unless there’s an expensing policy.

If you’re using a square to accept credit cards, you must determine in advance whose phone will be used. Giving up their phone for credit card transactions means that they won’t have it for personal use. This needs to be taken into consideration.

Don’t assume that there will be wifi available and be careful about relying on the internet for important on-site tasks. Check in advance, and save or print backups of the information.

Make sure to review the Critical Path again in the final week before the event.

15. Run the Event – Show Time! Event Proper

Follow the plan that you set out in your Critical Path. However, there are times when you need to be flexible. A really good event organizer will know when it’s time to change parts of the plan. Do what needs to be done based on the reality of the moment.

Take the time to respect and appreciate your team members while the event is on, even – no especially – when you’re under pressure and feeling stressed.

You’ll be overworked and busy during the event, but try to be as present as possible aware that your plan is materializing into fruition. As an organizer, events tend to fly by from your vantage point behind the scenes, but try to appreciate what you’ve created!

  • Self-Responsibility

As an individual, I try to be as organized and responsible for myself as possible. By that I mean, I try to pack all of the clothing, gear, a bottle of water, and also snacks so that I have everything I might need for the day already with me. Even if there is a planned break where I might have time to go back and change, etc. things can change and it’s better to have everything you need with you from the outset. Get your coffee and breakfast first before the call-time. If you’re the point person for volunteers or subordinates, brief them with the same suggestions in advance so that they can also plan accordingly.

  • My Personal Must-Have Onsite Items, aka. My Event Kit
    • Ziplocks – In a variety of sizes, ziplocks are extremely handy to keep at your event’s front desk. They can be used for a variety of things, from organizing cash, receipts, loose papers, pens, pencils, tickets, etc. You can never have too many ziplocks!
    • Sharpies – ie. permanent markers. There is always a need to write signs or label items (including writing on ziplock) and it’s very handy to have extra sharpies around.
    • Cell Phone Charger – Because you always run out of charge. Always.
    • Laptop – And charger, because you never know what you might need to reference or look up onsite.
    • A Small Purse – As a woman who dresses ‘up’ for events, I don’t usually have pockets and there are things that I need to have with me for functionality. I have a small purse that’s big enough to hold my cell phone, a pen, a sharpie, a little change, an event or personal credit card, and lip stick. 🙂
    • A Larger Bag or Backpack with Everything I Might Need – Including print outs of my important documents, a folder that seals or a large ziplock to keep and seal important incoming documents, a bottle of water, a change of clothing and change of shoes (usually I leave the house wearing something very casual and then change into something nice before the event starts), several snacks, hand wipes in case we end up doing something dirty and it’s inconvenient to find a washroom to wash up, makeup and a comb to freshen up before the event proper.
      • Great suggestions from Rich:
        • First Aid kit // Combo of Band-Aids+Tylenol+Advil
        • Safety-Pins
        • Sewing needles and white+black-thread
        • An 1/8th”-to-1/8th” audio cable (headphone size) with an 1/8″ stereo to 1/4″ mono adapter. (Can come in really handy for emergency DJ’ing / Audio issues.)
    • A Belt – So that I have something for my walkie talkie to hook onto. In a pinch, I can hook it to my small purse instead but it gets clumsy.

16. Conduct an Event Post-Mortem

After the event, conduct a post-mortem meeting as soon as possible to review the event. Create detailed notes while the event is fresh in your mind. Discuss the successful or needs-improvement aspects of the event with your team.

Don’t postpone the post-mortem! Despite being tired, it’s important to attend to this as soon as possible or you’ll lose all momentum.

Review finances and budget in the first few days after the event.

Also look at how the team worked together. Sometimes the truth can be a bit brutal, but it’s important to be communicative with your team so that you can learn and grow. Make yourself listen to the good, the bad, and the ugly, as well as any praise. The constructive criticism is far more valuable than any pats on the back. Don’t be self-deprecating but don’t succumb to hubris either. Live, learn, improve.

Once the wrap up has taken place, relax and look back at what you’ve accomplished. Feel proud of a job well done!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions of items you would add to your own checklist, please let me know!