When someone walks into an event, they get their ticket checked and are on their way to enjoying with their friends. But as all event planners know, a lot of work goes into that single detail. You know event planning isn't about getting the biggest pop star or emcee at a great venue; it's about thousands of small things that need to be just right.
Here are ten things that will make your life easier next time you're planning an event:
Signage, signage, signage
You don’t want people wandering around trying to figure out where to go. Provide clear, large and highly visible signage for box-office ticket sales, pre-purchased ticket entry, VIPs, and any other entry type. People get easily dazzled (read: confused) at big events and can’t read A4 flyers stapled to posts. Provide lots of BIG BOLD SIGNAGE.
Have enough people managing at door sales
As a rule of thumb: allow 1 person for every 500 door purchases you anticipate. Put in dedicated lanes for validating ticket holders, so cash sales aren’t held up. You can easily hire hourly staff on alephants. If you realize you don't need them anymore, just let them go. You don't have to pay for extra hours.
Make check-in fast
Make use of new technology to speed up the check-in process — There are tons of systems like Envoy and Splashthat that process each ticket holder in 2 seconds. If you need to reference a door list, or equivalent, you should add some more lanes.
Keep people out
Secure your event to keep it exclusively for ticket holders. Fencing is your friend and make sure the entire site is contained. “Hey, the west entry is unmanned” makes a great Facebook post…that you really don’t want.
Make way for VIP
Are you selling VIP or premium tickets? Give them a separate entrance and dedicated staff — if you give them the experience they’ve paid for, they’ll become your raving fans (and return next year). You can use alephants to hire access control staff.
Make a plan to manage payments
Whether you’re selling tickets, drinks, food or merchandise, you’ll need to work out how people pay. If you’re accepting cash, you’ll need a place to store it and a plan for reconciling payments. Hiring payment terminals is critical for the audience these days and can make things much easier for you.
We don't float around in Aquarian love vibe that keeps us safe anymore, so you’ll probably want to limit things like glass containers, alcohol, weapons and illegal items. Set up amnesty bins for people to chuck away contraband — it’ll make security checks a lot faster.
Who’s the keeper of valuables?
It’s not just cash that’s of value in an event — wrist bands, credentials, and event dollars need guarding too. Assign one person from your core team to be in charge of it all. Never rely on external staff for this purpose.
Believe us, you’ll need to be online throughout the event — to communicate and to power your sales and ticket validation. Don’t rely on public wifi or mobile, especially if you’re expecting your attendees to be using it too. It’ll be slow and unreliable. Arrange to have a private wifi network set up instead.
Getting people out
Turning entries into exits sounds simple, but they can be blocked with ropes, covered in confusing signage or even locked. Make sure your team has a plan to create free-flowing exits — both to get people home quickly at the end of the night, and in case of emergencies.
Create an escalation path
Things will go wrong — you can’t avoid it completely, but you can create a plan for minimizing impact. Start by identifying potential issues, then assign a specific person to each one — that way when something goes wrong, your team will know exactly who to turn to.
Get a good ticketing provider
We would say this is important, obviously, but it’s definitely worth highlighting. A good all-in-one ticketing solution will take major stress off you on the day. It will provide better pre-show and post-show reporting, allowing you to manage the logistics of the event, make the check-in process smoother, and ensuring that your customers have a positive purchasing experience.
Mostly, people want to behave well — you just need to be clear about what that means. Get your emcee to announce what good behavior means, and what to avoid. If you’re not using an emcee, good directional and warning signage will do the trick too.
Event-day operations may seem like small details, but they’re deceptively important. Get it right and no one will notice — and that’s the best outcome possible. Get it wrong and it could taint your attendees’ whole experience (not to mention bad press). With a little extra planning ahead, you’ll make sure your event is legendary for all the right reasons.