I am the first to admit that I am Type A, slightly OCD and very detail oriented. I plan everything. I organize everything. I create lists, crossing each thing one at a time. And if I completed something that is not on the list, then I write it down and immediately cross it off anyways. You know the type.
The thing is – I love organizing. I love planning, scheduling, looking at all those details. Even though I do tend to be so detail oriented, sometimes I learn the hard way.
When exhibiting, ALWAYS order double padded carpeting.
This was a lesson learned by ShareASale way before I entered the picture. However, I didn’t believe it until it I experienced it myself. After being at a booth from 9am to about 5pm, your feet hurt. And they don’t hurt just a little, they hurt a lot! The double padded carpeting helps so much, it is remarkable! The difference between it and carpet with no padding whatsoever is significant. As much as I scoffed at first, there is no amount of money I wouldn’t pay for that extra relief for my feet.
Always print and bring contracts to events. Any contract, any tracking number, any confirmation number. All important things should be on hand. I had prepaid a transportation ride to the airport for one of our shows at Affiliate Summit. I had received a confirmation number and a receipt saying that the ride was paid for. When we were getting out of our ride, the driver insisted that I had not paid. I did not have it printed and therefore, wasted time calling their office to verify. I never again get in the car, limo or bus unless I have that receipt printed and ready to go with any discrepancy from the driver about payment.
Along with contracts, make a list of important contacts for the conference. Instead of fishing around for phone numbers or searching the web for contact info, why not make a list, print it or email it and eliminate wasted time.
(This is why I have Ole Blue.)
Make a Conference Emergency Kit for your group. Blisters need Band-Aids. Headaches need ibuprofen. Hunger needs snacks. Coffee breath needs mints. Long nights need 5-hour energy. You get the picture. Being at a conference with any of the above makes it miserable for you and for those around you. As an Event Planner, you are expected to be prepared for anything. Having this little kit available at your booth or on hand can remedy any potentially awful situation.
Always make the times on your agenda a little earlier for people in your group who are notoriously late. Not everyone is Type A. There are certain people at ShareASale (not saying names) who are rarely on time. I provide detailed schedules for everyone and certain people come waltzing into the lobby 10 minutes after everyone else. I have learned to just plan everything with extra time to spare. You could always create “special schedules” just for those late people, having their timetable to be 5 minutes ahead of everyone else. Although I’ve never done this, I’ve thought about it.
Plan for stress followed by flexibility. I am queen of getting flustered and freaking out. It is so important to take a step back sometimes. In one of my earlier posts, I included the following:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Plan for things to go wrong – as they will. I guarantee you that. I could come up with oodles of little moments when I had minor panic attacks – such as when our driver was 45 minutes late to pick us up, when one of our entertainers was late, when the weather prevented anyone to showing up to an event or when our electric outlets were placed in the absolute wrong places within our booth. However, it is important not focus on what is going wrong and think about how you are going to fix it. Find out what you need and where you can get it. Then, get it done or delegate someone else to do it. Plan on being stressed, but also plan to be flexible. Mentally prepare yourself for any potentially stressful situation.
Event Planning should be fun! Therefore, if you are not having fun, then perhaps you should start looking for a different job/position.