Logistics are the intricate processes involved in arranging people, places and things for an event. It doesn’t matter if you rent tables or fly in a keynote speaker. Logistics can make or break an event’s success.
Managing logistics can be a difficult task, no matter how large or small the event. There are many ways to ensure the event meets or exceeds your clients’ expectations. Read on for the best tips and tricks to make your event a success.
Clarify your event goals, and your event value proposition
Your event goals represent the goals your client or business wants to achieve at the end of the event. This could be team building, excitement about a new product or raising funds to support a non-profit.
A value proposition for an event focuses on the attendees’ experience so that your event meets their top interests and needs. The EVP clarifies your guests’ goals, such as whether they want to listen to a headlining acoustic act, learn something new or network with other professionals in their field.
These goals should guide all decisions, including logistics. These are some ways your event goals and EVP could help you guide your logistics decisions:
- If you want your event to be hands-on with a product, ensure that your temporary stage vendor has multiple ramps and stairways to allow crowd flow.
- A sound system should be set up so that everyone can enjoy the music at the right decibel level for large events featuring a string quartet.
- A college symposium will start with seminars in one building and then continue with a reception on campus. Logistics will include golf carts for older guests and people with mobility issues.
Make a timeline for event planning.
A detailed event plan will help you keep your event logistics on track. This timeline should contain key dates and tasks. It should cover everything from venue research, early planning meetings, and contracting with vendors such as catering companies and furniture rental companies. To ensure that nothing is missed, share the timeline with your team.
Take into account logistics when choosing a venue.
Logistics are heavily influenced by location. Here are some examples of how event logistics can influence venue sourcing.
- 50th Wedding Anniversary – Most of the guests will be older. You should choose a facility that does not require a lot of stair climbing.
- Large-scale outdoor events – Although the venue may be on a large scale, it is worth looking for alternative locations if the roads can’t manage traffic.
- Team building weekend for a company – The hotel is located far from the tourist attractions. You can arrange bus trips for employees or choose a venue closer to you.
Designate team members to perform key logistic tasks
Each member of your team should be assigned logistics tasks. These are some of the most important logistics tasks:
- To ensure that vendors are allowed in, measure the venue’s doors.
- For guest check-in, rent rope barriers
- Find the best locations to place event signage.
- Clarify the delivery protocol with the venue.
- Make a plan for car traffic management and hire train attendants.
- Double-check accessibility and compliance with the ADA.
- Confirm travel arrangements with VIPs and guest speakers.
If you are a solo operator, you can use your event planning calendar and checklist to ensure you reach all key logistics points.
Clear signage is worth the effort.
Guests can become confused and cause problems at events if there is no clear signage. Post signs along roads leading to difficult-to-find venues. Outdoor signs can also direct guests to the parking lot and event entrance. Make sure to place clear signs inside the event that point attendees to the bathrooms, check-in desks, meeting spaces, presenter booths, and the ballroom.
Discuss logistics expectations with each vendor
Each venue will have its unique logistics process. You may have to follow specific equipment loading and unloading procedures or use moving blankets to protect walls. Temporary ramps are available for large equipment. Although many vendors are familiar with the location or have done extensive research, it is important not to leave this up to chance. You should find out the rules and expectations for each stage of the event and pass these details on to your vendors.
Customer service training
Your team must be able to manage attendees’ frustrations, confusion, and complaints. These situations can be handled with patience and avoid event log jams at check-in or any other point during the event.
Training in customer service is a great way to spend quiet moments. You can practice greeting and leading guests, and you can also roll out how your team will handle common problems such as angry attendees and late starts to panel discussions.
Online review forums allow you to find reviews about most companies. You can check Google Reviews, Yelp and TrustPilot, Angie’s List and The Better Business Bureau. Here are some best practices for reviewing reviews
- Look at the number of reviews. A larger number is better.
- You should check as many sites as possible. It’s easy to see if stars and negative reviews are consistent across sites.
- Larger companies should check out employee review sites such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn. These can help to uncover internal issues.
- Don’t look at the stars. Read the reviews. There may be some tidbits you find that are important to you, both the positive and the negative. You’ll find the small business that keeps you informed about the event’s progress and the large company that has difficulty hiring the right staff.