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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Main Meeting Ingredient: A Knowledgeable and Helpful Staff

in: Event Planning Advice

event shirtOne of the greatest challenges of any event is coordinating all the moving parts, or rather moving people, which help make an event happen and happen well.  Whether you have a trove of volunteers or a ready group of event staffers, there are certain pieces of information that everyone should know.  This will help your event run in a much smoother manner, leaving you to focus on the high level duties that accompany any well run meeting.

It’s a good idea to organize an orientation before your meeting for event staff. For events where a bit of training is in order, it’s best to hold orientation a day or so before the event. For most events, you can have the staff arrive early and go over the points just before the first attendee shows up at the door.

Here are some items that may make sense for your staff to know!

  1. The Schedule of Events: Each staff member should know what is happening and when and where it is happening.  Make sure each of them have a schedule on hand and know the location of the room where each event will take place.

  2. Who’s Who in Management: Staff members need to be aware of the event managers and who to go to in the case of certain questions.  Knowing who is in charge of what area will save a ton of time on every front for both staff and attendees.

  3. Who’s Who in Sponsors: If sponsors are a part of the event make sure your staff knows which sponsors are connected with which program or amenity, as well as what the sponsor represents.

  4. Where are the restrooms?: Not only where the nearest restrooms are located, but where the next nearest restrooms are located (in the case that lines are sure to form at each break). Staff should also be aware of where the handicap accessible restrooms can be found.

  5. Green Initiatives: If your group is participating in any green initiatives, spread the word amongst the staffers. It’s not a bad idea for them to be able to share the news with attendees so they too are aware of, for example, where to put their “trash” or why water in pitchers is offered, but no bottled water can be found.  You would not want attendees to take the perspective that you are cheap, when really you are environmentally friendly.

  6. #Hashtag: If your event has a #hashtag, make sure all staffers know it and share it with guests.

  7. Charge!: If you are offering charging stations at your event, make sure the staffers are aware of this. If not, point out the locations of electrical outlets in case someone needs to plug in.

  8. Wi-Fi: Staffers should know if wi-fi is available and what are the passcodes, if any, to connect.

  9. In Case of Emergency: Who should be called in the case of an emergency situation? Should they use a house phones or head straight to a service desk. Are emergency personnel on hand and where are they located? Time is such a huge factor in any emergency, making sure your staff is prepared could not be more important.

  10. Food Ingredients: With the variety of diets, allergies, and sensitivities out there, your staff should know if any of the food contains common allergens, like nuts, if any of the food being offered is gluten-free, meat-free, vegan, etc.  Be proactive in letting them know! Even better, make sure to include information cards next to each food item.

  11. Smoking Areas: In case someone asks, we want to know where to send them.

This is a great list to keep on hand and share with the person coordinating the staff for your next event.  It will keep many headaches at bay and help you to concentrate on that which truly does need your attention.


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