Your Event Production Checklist

(Also published by Special Events Magazine)

There’s a lot to remember when producing an event. We’ve got decades of experience to pull from as well as a finger on the pulse of today’s event world. Here, we’ve used this dynamic to provide you with an event production checklist. Use this list as your starting point and don’t underestimate even the smallest of tasks! We encourage everyone to be transparent on budgets… to be forward thinking… and to always be a good partner.

  1.  LED lighting

Bills, bills, bills. Keep costs low with LED lighting. The power bill is included in client costs so it’s important to stay mindful of ways to keep costs low! LED Lighting has advanced rapidly over the years since they can move and change color. Another benefit is you can use fewer lighting instruments than before. They also use much less power and generate a lot less heat than conventional lights.

  1. Wireless mics

We’re seeing more and more professional presenters wandering on stage. Gone are days of the fixed-at-lectern position. (And thank goodness—how boring!) Accommodate your freeform walking presenters with wireless mics and headsets. They sound better and help make for a better presentation.

  1. A budget for in-house rigging projects

These days venues are practically renting the air, not just the floor space used for an event. That means clients are paying the cost of high in-house rigging charges. Be mindful of this less-than-obvious profit center for many venues.

  1.  Direct flights for your event pro staff

Didn’t expect to see this one on the list? It’s 2016 and we just don’t have time for 3-hour layovers all over the country. Not to mention the weather. You can’t risk being caught in a weather event, experiencing a delay and being late for the big show.

  1.  Know your venue

It’s important to know what’s going on around you. Are there several meeting spaces for rent? Is a competitor in the next ballroom over? You don’t want the competition privy to your entire sales strategy and you don’t the NRA an assembly hall away from PETA. Be sure to check out what else is going on at your venue while you’ll be there.

  1.  Security!

Today, security is more important than ever. This includes hotel and convention center security, arenas, sporting venues and more. We don’t want to inconvenience attendees, but safety is our number one priority. Insurance costs are skyrocketing and we predict that perimeter security will soon be mandated. Before you know it, walking through a metal detector will feel mainstream and normal, outside the U.S. it’s already common.

  1. Ample backstage area

Don’t cram your celebrity acts in a broom closet. Remember to consider the backstage area and arrange for ample space. We’re talking dressing rooms and security for big name acts. Often overlooked is bathroom and specialty meal needs. Many hotels do not have restrooms in “back of house” areas, near meeting rooms. You don’t want your artist in the public space.   

  1. A plan for rain

Whatever it is, have one. And don’t underestimate it. Period. Storm frequency is rising; the long-term weather averages don’t seem to be a reliable predictor anymore.

  1. If using technology, consider your audience

Ask yourself: What is the attendee make up? Sure, smart phone apps and digital materials are tech-savvy and new age, but depending on where your audience is coming from and what kind of Wi-Fi access your venue has, things like data usage and overage costs can’t be taken lightly anymore. Some attendees won’t download apps, may not have phone space or may not be allowed per their company. It might not be time to retire print materials. The corporate community hasn’t fully embraced these tools.

On the other hand, does your event require interactivity? Consider Q&A technology or live-tweeting!

As #EventProfs, we’ve been trained to think of every possible scenario. This list could go on forever, but we find it as a great place to start. No matter what, if you want an extraordinary experience in a challenging environment, we’re your team.

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