By Jade McKenzie
Running events are for the most part, pretty straight forward. You plan it, show up, do your thang and then pack up and go home. But there are a few things you don't always think about with your events that can catch you by surprise. Here are some to help you prepare!
SET UP CAN BE STRESSFUL
Give yourself as much time as possible to do the setup. Even if it means you are sitting there, twiddling your thumbs and refreshing your instagram, it is a much better scenario than getting there later than you thought (thanks traffic!), taking three trips to get all your gift bags up, having to stuff around with the AV that's not working properly with your laptop, rearranging some furniture last minute and then worrying that you look sweaty.
Get in early. Hell, set up the day before if your venue will let you. Bring help if you need. Take some pics of your beautiful setup without anyone in the room. Get someone to take a photo of you. Do a social media post about being all setup and ready for the attendees to arrive. Then grab cuppa, relax and greet your guests feeling calm and in control.
YOU WON'T HAVE TIME TO YOURSELF
From start to finish, you probably won't have a moment to yourself. When you are the facilitator or host of an event, you are the person that everyone in the room wants to talk too. After all, you are probably the main reason they came. It's always super nice to take the extra time to connect with your guests and have some personal time with them, but just be aware of it if you are running a longer event like an all day thing. If you really need some down time, find a quiet space somewhere where you can excuse yourself and hide away in. Being 'on' the whole time can be tiring so just do what is right for you and if you know you need that space - make plans for it.
YOU MAY NOT GET TO EAT
Remember your wedding day when you spent thousands on catering but didn't eat any of it yourself? The same goes at events as you may not have time to eat a full meal. At events I assist at where I can see clients are not eating, I prepare a little plate for them that they can quickly scoff down in a break. Ask your event helpers or the venue to do the same or bring some nutrient dense snacks with you. I never eat at my evening events and I ALWAYS regret it when I am staaaaarving on the drive home at midnight wondering why Australia doesn't do Chinese takeaway drive thru's. Don't be like me.
SAYING GOODBYE CAN TAKE A LOOOONG TIME
I LOVE the goodbyes at an event. I love that people leave on such a high, are totally loved upped and so, so happy. There can be so much to say at this time and so many people to get through, that sometimes goodbyes can go as long as the event itself! No, I'm not kidding. I've run many events where it's taken hours to get everyone out of the room so we could pack down. And yes, they were all events for women ;) When preparing your run sheet, just know that you may finish the presentation on time, but you may not get everyone out of there on time. If you are really pressed to get of the venue at a certain time then ask your helpers to assist you in getting people to politely move on. Otherwise, have an impromptu afterparty!
YOU'LL HAVE HEAPS OF POST EVENT WORK TO DO
Events don't finish as soon as the guests leave. Depending on your event, you are most likely going to need to do some more social media posts, edit and post photographs, do a blog post, send out a thank you email to attendees, thank sponsors and speakers, review your budget, complete any sales that were made on the day and more. Plan ahead, try and template as much of the copy as possible pre-event and do as much as you can to make it easier on yourself post event when you will have low energy.
The high of running a successful event will override any of these things but if you are prepared for them then you will set yourself for an event that feels easy, stress free and well run.