Prepare for every detail on the day of the event
Material coordination. Have all materials ready at the beginning of the day and prepare for their delivery and storage, including checklists, contact lists, programme leaflets, staff passes, name badges, participation lists, prizes, presentation materials, etc. Consider the possible unpredicted need for additional materials: where do you have the original documents, where is the nearest printing station, etc.
Event crew management. Prepare a contact list for everyone in the event crew. Hold a briefing prior to the start of the preparations. Decide and prepare a quick and clear means of communication: which device or app you use and who to contact. Distribute staff-passes, if used.
Security. In larger or special events, it is recommended that you hold a security briefing before the start of the preparations. Agree about this with the Event and Lobby Services well before the event. Invite all the core event team members to be present. All actual points of view, evacuation procedures etc. should be addressed here. Also agree on a means of communication, e.g. walkie talkies.
Entrance and passways. Ensure the accessibility of all the facilities. Check that the doorways and routes are free and unlocked during the event. Make sure that the exits are clear. Pay attention to furniture arrangements, leave pathways open, and use temporary signage if needed. Check pathways also during the setup and clear-up.Accessible event planning checklistFurniture and Lobby Services. To move existing furniture, or e.g. for more electricity or cables, as well as setting up signage, your first point of contact is the building’s Lobby Services team:
Venue infrastructure. Ensure that automatic air-conditioning and lighting etc. is functioning normally during the event, as well as during the preparation and clear-up.
Cleaning. Check that the cleaning is done according to your requirements in all the requested facilities including toilets and outdoors.
Cloak service. Check that there are enough tags in the cloak room. Check that the area is clearly marked and has signage about its opening hours. Brief your cloak room personnel.
Catering. Check that the catering preparations start and proceed in all facilities according to the order. Inform about any additions as soon as possible. Make sure that the water is delivered for the speakers and guests.
IT support. Questions about connections? Is the WiFi working flawlessly? Need laptops, adapters, or extra clickers?
Technical support personTechnical solutions. Sound, lighting, visual, and video technology is the first to be set up, usually done by an external vendor supported by Aalto IT. Make sure that the set up is done according your order.
Backstage and storage. Prepare backstage for the performers, speakers, or technical services. Check entrance, signage, drinking water, catering, and cleanliness. Leave a programme leaflet, contact information, and/or other relevant material in the room. Ensure that there is sufficient space for storage if needed.
Venue guidance. Make sure there is a welcoming and informative arrival at the venue by using signs or personal assistance. Inform all those involved in the event about the programme so that they can advise guests and the audience. Lobby Services are there to help you with customer service and campus logistics.
Lobby Services Reception and info. If there is a reception in the lobby with name tag distribution or a meet & greet at the beginning, make sure that the persons appointed to their roles are informed and present. Supply your staff with clear information on security and prepare guidelines in case of emergency.
Deadline for set up. Make sure that all preparations are ready according to your event timetable. It is recommended that all is ready and everybody is in place at least 30 min prior to the start of the event.
Checklist. What happens, when, who, where, and what tech will be needed? Make or finalise an event timetable to the minute, including all necessary technical details. Share it with the event crew. Everyone included in the programme should have a printout of the event’s schedule at hand.
Programme. Decide how the programme is being shared with participants, speakers, or within the venue in general. Prefer digital platforms over handouts.
Briefing. Take time to brief hosts, speakers, and performers, as well as everyone working with the event, whether on payroll or volunteering.
Presentation materials. Presentation materials such as PPT slides and videos should always be requested, collected, and revised beforehand. Prepare and use dividers with the brand visual of the university or that of the event. Have all the materials, preferably as a single file, on a separate computer or memory stick, or share the file with the technical crew. Required adapters and clickers should be reserved and collected beforehand, too. Contact IT Services.
Soundcheck and technical check. This must be scheduled after the technical set-up. Speakers and technical staff will check the microphones. Final rehearsals require more time especially if there are music performances. Also check the internet connection and presentations. If you don’t have professional technical staff present, decide beforehand who will monitor the sound and who will take action if something fails.
Permissions to distribute and publish. For video recordings, webcasts, pictures, etc., you always need to have proper permissions. Check that you have the permissions well in advance from the speakers and performers. Check that participants are informed about photographing taking place during the event through your event communications channels and signage on location.
Risk analysis. The smoothness and security of an event is strongly influenced by good planning and recognising potential risks. It is advisable to be prepared for unexpected situations in advance by defining responsibilities, i.e., who is involved with what, who is contacted about what, who is responsible for communicating with the event crew and the guests, and so on. To be able to do this, always check operational readiness, roles and responsibilities as well as list the relevant contact information.
On-call duty at the event. It is recommended to have an appointed contact person or persons at the event, who will take care of smaller urgent matters such as power outage, changes in catering, late speakers etc. For example, the persons working in the reception can be appointed to this role.
Emergency procedures. For greater urgent matters or accidents always refer to the security plan of the venue and/or the event, and general emergency number. (See more details in the paragraph Security.) Note that the person marked as contact person in the security plan must always be on site throughout the event and is the primary contact in urgent emergency matters inside the event organization. Read also through general emergency instructions. All media contacts are handled by the university Communications director. When you encounter a near miss, accident or an incident, make a report to the incident reporting system.
Incident reporting systemSurprising situations. Event organisers can witness a wide range of human behaviour, unreasonable demands, and new experiences. Take note of past events and learn from surprising situations. Remember also that you cannot please everybody, but you can keep calm and ask for help if needed. Do your best, carry on, and never stop learning.
Dismantling. Event dismantling will start right after the event. For safety reasons, check that the guests have left the premises or moved into the lobby, for example, before dismantling and moving structures, furniture and technical equipment. Also make sure the necessary walkways are free for the dismantling.
Facilities. Make sure that the venue is left as it was when you arrived. Ensure that nothing is left behind. Check who is the last person to see that the venue is empty, and its doors closed.
Cleaning. Check that the cleaning is done according to your order after the event.