Plan Like a Pro

Posted July 14, 2023 by Jasmyne Harris

When you’re behind the scenes, you don’t always get to see your work come to fruition or get complimented for a job well done. I’m lucky to say that’s not the case for me. As an event planner, I get to pick and choose some of the fun (and not so fun) details about events. For the most part, I get to choose the hotels, venues, menu (fresh oysters coming right up!), neat activities, you get the idea. Sometimes I have to be the bearer of bad news when we have to be up at the crack of dawn or do some prepping on a Sunday. It comes with the job, but it all pays off when you’re complimented for an amazing event. Traveling across the country, visiting new cities and states, dining at some of the best restaurants and learning a new skill is a pretty great job that I try not to take for granted.

Planning pro tip No. 1: Always give yourself the king size hotel room!

Enough about the glitz and glamor, let’s get to the nitty gritty. Getting ahead and communication is key when it comes to event planning. Emails are constantly coming through my inbox about the next event and booking booths in advance to make sure you have prime real estate. Yes, it matters where your booth is at in the venue to generate as many contacts and connections as possible. It’s important to know before booking an event what your goals are, how to achieve them, make sure your team is on the same page and what to do after. There’s a great deal of prep work for an event no matter how big or small. It’s all in the details, baby!

The name of the game is to be as prepared as possible! Double check, triple check, check, check, check. It may be tedious checking your work (even when you feel confident) but that’s OK. You would rather have more than less in some instances. Has it happened where I forgot something or didn’t think of it until the last minute? OF COURSE! This isn’t ChatGPT! Designating roles ahead of time and creating a checklist is major. This helps your team know who is in charge of what and what is to be expected from others. If you can try to make do without what you’re missing, great, if not, call that Uber and head to the store. 

Planning pro tip No. 2: Arrive a day early, just in case.

Do some work as you go. If you know that some work is time sensitive but you’re at a show, plan accordingly. This may mean rotating shifts at the booth so that someone can get other work done or wrap up work at a company happy hour or put in an extra hour or two at the end of the day, pick your poison. With how automated some computer programs are, it can be easier to get work done when there is a deadline to meet. If you can quickly send an email to your coworker back in the office to help expedite a project, do it! Work as you go to make sure the work is getting done.

Planning pro tip No. 3: Stay on top of work as you go

The biggest planning pro tip I have is, expect the unexpected and go with the flow. Not everything will go your way, but you have to be flexible and roll with the punches. With that being said, I’m hitting the road again to attend another trade show. See you in Chicago for #IFT!

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