“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
There is nothing more important in event planning than, well, the planning. No matter how big or small your event is, the gremlins that can derail plans or disrupt a great event are often not large issues, but small details. So pull up your checklist and let’s review some commonly overlooked issues:
Power. The lighting team, the audio visual team, the DJ, the kitchen, even the acoustic guitarist need power, so make sure the space you are using not only has outlets, but outlets in the right locations and enough power to support the needs of all your suppliers and vendors.
Water. Many venues cannot provide potable water for your caterer, and some don’t allow caterers to dump water, so check with your site manager and confirm with your caterer if they need to bring their own H2O.
One More Drink. Unfortunately, not everyone can hold their liquor, and while it may encourage line dancing and live auctions, the inebriated can quickly ruin a party (think broken furniture and unruliness) and lead to more serious liability risks. Make sure you talk to your caterer and bartender about when to cut off alcohol to guests and make clear instructions on when the bar should close. Additional tip: have taxi phone numbers and car service apps handy and offer to provide (or in some cases insist on providing) guests a ride home.
A Stool. We love live music. But we groan when artists arrive on site for sound check and we find out they “totally forgot to mention” they need a stool, or even instruments, amps, mics, a riser… Check with your artists regularly and double-confirm their equipment, instrument, and lighting needs.
Bathrooms. Why is it that we use them everyday, but so easily forget about them? Whether you’re planning an outdoor festival, a meeting, or a soiree, don’t forget to check for restrooms – boys and girls – make sure they are in good working condition, that they are a reasonable distance away from the action, that they are ADA compliant, and that they are easy to locate.