By Dave Kramer
Time to get out of bed, find that quick boost of caffeine and put on the clothes you set aside last night ― it’s event day and you’re headed to your site. It is 3:30 a.m. on Saturday after all, you wouldn’t want to be late, would you? The element of excitement is literally what gets you out of bed and moving toward all that this event day may bring ― planned or not ― and the excitement has begun. “Here we go!” you think with a twisted smile.
Your path to the event site whether just down the elevator or across town is a great place to run through the morning checklist one more time in preparation for the day ahead. Once on site, a good first contact to make is with your overnight security personnel. Whether the local police department, staff provided by the site, or other hired vendor, getting the low down on overnight happenings will determine if adjustments need to be made right away, as well as issues to look out for as the sun comes up. Since you hadn’t heard from them overnight all should be well, but confirmation is key. Even if things were quiet, you may find out that a harmless group of revelers came through after a night on the town and is staying to watch the sunrise ― under your registration tent, where upon further review, they’ve all fallen asleep…. You’ll want to resolve any issues as needed with the security assistance before they depart.
Next, take a walk. Since most site elements were placed the day prior (or 10 days if you’re dealing in the mud), a review of the venue/site will help steady your thoughts toward actions needed in preparation for the arrival of participants, clients, volunteers, vendors, and constituents. If you’re unable to review the entire site due to size or proximity, ensure that your staff is prepared to report a status update as they review their respective areas. As you proceed, turn on the generators and the lights around the venue, review what elements are yet to be placed, signage to be hung/re-hung, setups to be completed, and sponsored assets or other arrivals expected. Confirm that the plans still fit the needs, and determine adjustments as needed.
This is a great time to talk with staff throughout the property as they review their assigned area. Confirm they know what to tackle first and have the staff/volunteers to get it all accomplished. As everyone gets started on their detail, ensure that they have what they need, and know where to get any additional supplies. Review all special circumstances and associated modifications. Talk through the details related to vendors, volunteers, operations, and timelines, and safeguard the event through the understanding of next steps and processes. You share a laugh (maybe about those revelers) and look forward to another successful day with your team.
Dig in! Now that you have a handle on any necessary fixes or finessing, it’s time to put it all into action. Move those barricades in to place. Unveil the fundraising rewards. Set up the sponsor tables. Turn on the mobile devices for use at Check-In/Registration. Roll out the red carpet. Put on the final table covers. And raise the flag to let everyone know that your organization is poised for an incredible day of comradery, excitement, fundraising, support, fun, and celebration!
Of course, this barely scratches the surface of what goes into getting the morning started on any given event. The details that go into each aspect could fill a book (and do fill your event book, after all), but stick with this overview and you’ll start things moving in the right direction for everyone involved.
David Kramer has been a part of the Event 360 team for over 12 years focused on event planning and production. He’s currently focused on furthering existing events to help clients grow and develop.