Events- it’s all in the detail, part 1 of 2

Where to start?

I love planning events. I am pretty ‘OCD’ when it comes to detail so the need to ‘dot all the ‘I’s’ and cross the ’T’s’’ required for event planning suits me well!

Some of the bigger events I have led include voluntary sector conferences, staff awards and community awards. I have also coordinated communications for the 2012 Olympic Paralympic torch relays in Lambeth, the Lambeth Country Show and fireworks events.

My Storify blog highlights some of these.

Why I love Storify

face palmWhat can go wrong?

All event planners have had those ‘face palm’ moments when you realise you’ve forgotten something/someone or the unexpected happens mid-event. Here’s just a few I’ve come across and diplomatically dealt with:

  • late speaker arrivals.
  • short notice event requests due to political or community need.
  • venue issues – heating/catering etc..
  • campaigners trying to hijack the event.
  • last minute changes to a presentation that had not been approved by the lead speaker.
  • protest ‘walk outs’ of delegates.

planHow to minimise last minute panics

In advance:

  • Prepare a project/event plan and stick to it – most events are months in the making (or should be!).
  • Establish a project team with clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Check for cultural, school holiday or sporting event date clashes.
  • Consider your audience in relation to time, venue, catering and format.
  • Secure budget/sponsorship funding.
  • Check any food/accessibility requirements with attendees.

I’m looking forward to two upcoming events, The Big Yak – communications unconference on Saturday and a large staff conference at a sporting venue next week that I’m involved with organising. I will report back on these experiences!

Do you have any other tips or experiences to share @katygibbins1?


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