Special Events IQ & Protocol

I am not an event planner, but I admire those with the experience, patience and knack to manage vast amounts of time-consumeing planning details and pre-, during- and post-logistics when organizing special events that last just a few hours.

If you find yourself working or attending a variety of special events throughout the year, below are some suggestions to consider to ensure they are yielding the most effective impact for your needs and purposes, even if some of them occasionally turn out to be disorganized, poorly attended or just not a great overall fit for the immediate needs of your staff or organization.

These 10 tips are fairly logical, but even as reminders they may serve to further enhance your value,  productivity and experience from participating in the event:

1. Try to arrive 30 minutes early so you can have your booth fully set up and ready to go . Do you have a branded, colorful table cloth? How about a display board or retractable/pull-up signage to complement the materials being distributed?

2. When you are set up, take a couple photos of your booth to show your boss and co-workers what the event set up looked like to the public eye. These shots can also be good for an employee enewsletter/intranet or future marketing collateral.

3. Once you are ready to go and the event has not opened to the public (or employees if it’s an internal event), spend 10-15 minutes visiting the rest of the vendors and gather intel from them and collect materials from their booth to take back to your organization.

4. Collect vendor cards and brochures even if they are not in your line of work; you could be a resource by sharing  related information to your colleagues in other departments or acquaintances in other sectors. Because you never know.

5. Also by collecting information from an array of vendors, you can help augment your organization’s database in case you have future events where you are seeking vendors/sponsors/participants that could be a fit for the various types of businesses.

6. Always stand up and be proactive in greeting every visitor to your table. Only sit down for short breaks if there are no approaching visitors in the vicinity for a while.

7. Never eat while working the booth (beverages are fine, especially to prehydrate & rehydrate in Arizona). Take short breaks for snacks when feasible and try to get a neighboring vendor to  cover your table for a few minutes.

8. Do your best to stay to the very end of the posted event time. It does get hard when traffic slows to a crawl, making the last 30 minutes painfully slow. It looks bad for the event organizers and everyone involved when a couple tables start packing it in early.

9. Inquire with the event host or HR representative about leaving behind an additional supply of your brochures, flyers, etc. for their employee break room, lunch room, community information area or HR office for new employees.

10. Follow up and thank the event organizer and/or HR department the next day. Give them kudos on some event particulars and request to be notified of other future events.

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