An event such as an inauguration, especially one so controversial as the most recent one, got me thinking about what it must be like for those that plan this type of event. Though most of us will not be planning anything controversial or as fraught with security concerns, there are some lessons for us planners to keep in mind.
- Start Yesterday: It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and more immediate concerns when an event seems so very far off. But as we all know, the earlier the better. If you’re asking yourself, where to start, how about starting with me? By utilizing the “world’s largest site selection resource firm” you are assured of finding what you are looking for – in a timely manner, and delivered to you in a very organized and easy-to -read format.
- Be Safe: Your event may not require a Secret Service level of security, but it’s responsible to ensure that your attendees are safe. Keep an eye on the weather, keep an eye on information from the CDC and this brings me to my next point:
- Be Prepared: In the case of illness you want to make sure that you have medical professionals (EMTs, etc.) for larger events such as these. Large numbers of people are apt to have at least a few people dealing with health issues. Also, it’s a good idea to ask for this information in your registration information in order to be even better prepared.
- Plan B: A big production like the inauguration absolutely has backup talent on call. Illness, weather, airline delays and more can keep your speakers and entertainers and key guests from making it to your event. Always have a back-up plan.
- To and From: Moving masses of people from one place to another can feel overwhelming. It is expected that you will provide information to those traveling on how to get from one place to another. This could be anything from simply providing transportation options ahead of time to scheduling busses and such. The local CVB is a great place to start.
- Licensing: If alcohol will be part of your event (as it was for the Inaugural Ball), ensure your supplier has the proper license to serve. The same for music, proper licensing is required or hefty fines may show up.
- Technical Non-Difficulties: There is always a new technology that claims to make all better, faster and easier. Sometimes this is the case, sometimes it is not; if a new technology has not yet worked out the kinks or is so new that your audience does not yet have familiarity with it, it could be more trouble than it’s worth. Do your homework! A great resource for us meeting planners is the ever trust-worthy Corbin Ball.
So when is your next event? Let’s get going on it now! I promise that you will be quite happy electing me as your go-to resource for helping you to get the (inaugural) ball rolling. I swear (in)!