It can take months to put a conference, training seminar or workshop together. There’s so much to do; booking the venue, organising the catering, lining up your speakers… but even if it’s been plain sailing throughout the planning stages, it only takes one mistake in the last moments for it all to come crashing down around your ears. But don’t worry! Run through our checklist of things to do on the day before your event and you’ll be able to sleep well in the knowledge that you’ve done everything in your power to make things run smoothly.
Are you using any external suppliers? Call them all up and confirm their responsibilities. Where, when, how, who… Double check mobile contact numbers for staff you’ll be dealing with on the day and ask outright if there are any potential problems you should be made aware of.
Put in a quick call to run through the schedule of the day and to make sure they know where they’re going and what time they’re expected. Confirm any AV requirements they have and make sure you have the correct contact details for them in case you need to speak to them on the day of the event.
If appropriate, assign a member of your team to phone round all the delegates you’re expecting and confirm their attendance. Note down any last-minute no-shows and adjust seating and catering numbers accordingly. Did you have a list of maybes in your RSVP pile? Or perhaps you have a possible lead of potential delegates who might be free last-minute to attend? Chase all of these up to ensure a great turn-out. If you’re expecting any members of the press, make sure they are still coming. Things crop up all the time that could change a journalist’s plans, so be ready to make other calls if someone lets you down.
Check the weather forecast and for any disruptions (road works, engineering problems, strikes etc) that may affect your guests. If needs be, make your delegates aware of any potential problems and if necessary arrange for alternative transport. Similarly, if there is going to be any extreme weather that could cause problems, notify your guests and find a solution.
Run through the schedule of the entire day with your team. Make sure everybody understands their responsibilities and give each staff member a chance to voice any concerns. Check all the AV equipment is working. Make sure your staff all know how to contact each other on the day.
If you can get into your venue the day before, take the opportunity to set up as much furniture and AV equipment as you can. This will give you a good opportunity to troubleshoot any potential problems with the layout of the rooms and avoid any technical glitches.
As well as confirming final numbers (including special dietary requests) with the kitchen, see if you can get a meeting with the staff who will be serving at your event. Getting them to understand your delegates and theme of your event (if necessary) will make them feel a part of the team and help them know how best to represent your brand.
Once you’ve gone through everything on the above list you need to try and step back and let go. You’ve done everything you can, and a good night’s sleep will give you the energy you need to be on top form for the main event tomorrow.
We understand that not everyone has the time to dedicate to planning events. At W12 Conferences we can offer you help with as much of your planning as you need. Give our highly experienced team a call on 020 3313 1606 to discuss your next project.