🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

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Event Coordinator Tips: A Guide to Planning Success

Master the art of memorable event coordination through thoughtful planning, seamless execution, and relentless dedication to creating transformational human connections.

Pulling off a seamless event is no small feat.

Like a conductor orchestrating an elaborate musical score, successful event coordinators artfully juggle countless moving parts behind the scenes to create memorable experiences attendees will rave about for years to come.

From aligning chaotic vendor timelines to wrangling complex technical set-ups to planning refined food and décor details that “wow”, expert coordinators operate on another level.

They intimately understand how to:

  1. Lead stakeholders
  2. Build strategic plans
  3. Innovate on engagement opportunities

in ways that seem effortless but require:

  • Remarkable foresight
  • Attention
  • Adaptability

These masters of ceremonies know that sweat, tears, planning and passion during the coordination journey directly translate to smiles, laughs, connection and wonder for attendees on event day.

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One Event. Two Experiences.

Skillfully engage both your in-person and online attendees through our cutting-edge hybrid event production services.

Our Advice for a Successful Event Coordination

But how do you become one yourself and pull of events that surprise and delight?

Let’s start where all great event plans do – the trusty timeline…

Map Out Your Master Event Checklist

Think of your event timeline as mission control – it’s the supreme schedule and task checklist rallying your entire production team around major milestones leading up to event day.

Work backwards from your event date, carefully plotting and confirming completion targets for things like:

  1. Locking in your venue
  2. Vendor research and proposals
  3. Marketing promotions
  4. Guest registration/RSVP tracking
  5. Event setup and rehearsals
  6. Final walkthroughs
  7. Guest arrival/check-in procedures

And much more!

Build buffer time into your timeline to accommodate unexpected hiccups or delays. No activity is too small for the timeline either – even minor milestones like confirming linen orders can have a big impact if missed.

Rally your event squad and vendors around this timeline, keeping everyone ultra clear on deliverables and deadlines.

This mission control document becomes your master blueprint for orchestrating event prep seamlessly across all players involved.

Set reminders leading up to key dates so nothing critical slips through the cracks.

Choose a Venue with Attendees in Mind

Your venue sets the stage for the entire attendee experience – make venue selection a marquee priority vs. an afterthought! Consider critical factors like:

  • Total capacity needed
  • Layout flexibility
  • On-site amenities
  • Accessibility for various mobility needs
  • Ambience alignment with your event vibe
  • Venue requirements and inclusion vs. hidden fees
Tip: Always walk potential venues in person to gauge wifi connectivity, parking ease, load-in access, power outlet placement and other nitty gritty details overlooked in glossy venue photos.

Prioritize attendee enjoyment and your event purpose first when venue shopping – not just finding the trendiest new “it” spot to wow folks with.

Trust me, guests care far more about comfort and great sight lines than flashy locales!

Communicate Early and Often

Want to know the fastest way to sink an event?

Fuzzy communication and misaligned expectations between your coordination squad, venue staff, vendors and attendees.

Nip confusion and headaches in the bud by overcommunicating critical event details across all these stakeholders early and often.

Designate a primary event lead to quarterback communication workflows.

Create shared drives housing master documents like timelines, floorplans, vendor instructions and event guides that all parties can access.

Set a regular cadence for email check-ins and progress meetings with your internal event committee and external partners like the venue manager and vendors.

Proactively share event specifics through every milestone so nothing catches these folks off guard.

For attendees, promote key event info and updates across:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Mobile apps

Share sneak peeks to build buzz, being careful not to inundate folks.

Make registration, venue navigation and schedules ultra clear while sprinkling in surprises and delighters to charm guests.

Mind Your Pennies – Budget Diligently

Bankrupt budgets can torpedo even the most well-planned events. Safeguard finances by:

  1. Creating a realistic master budget with your team listing every foreseeable expense
  2. Researching vendor rates extensively to find top value
  3. Tracking spending against your budget religiously
  4. Discussing any potential overages with event leadership immediately to decide how to adjust
  5. Having contingency funds ready for incidental needs

Should expenses swell more than expected, look to simplify and scale back elements like food spreads and takeaway gifts vs. nixing must-haves like staffing and core equipment rentals.

Keep immaculate financial records post event for faster vendor invoice processing and payment.

Know revenue tied to sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandise too so you can calculate overall event profitability.

Get “The Event Success Playbook”

Our proven event planning playbook has step-by-step strategies to increase qualified leads 25%+, grow revenue, and boost engagement.

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Brace for the Unexpected

Rain or shine, even the most meticulously orchestrated events encounter some bumps along the way.

From speaker no shows to catering delays to sudden tech glitches, you need to anticipate worst case “what if?” scenarios.

Identify likely issues early – think medical emergencies, inclement weather, WiFi outages. Have contingency plans ready like:

  • Backup equipment and extra staffing
  • Rain check or overflow venue spaces
  • Protocols for handling attendee injuries, safety threats or property damage

During events, monitor high risk zones closely for problems brewing.

Should any major issues arise, engage specialized teams swiftly through predetermined escalation procedures.

Stay upbeat and solution focused to resolve behind-the-scenes challenges seamlessly without worrying attendees unnecessarily.

Your proactive crisis management ensures the show goes on!

Put Attendees Front and Center

With endless moving parts, it’s tempting to fixate only on logistical details or profit margins when coordinating.

But never lose sight of the heart of the matter – your attendees’ end experience!

Evaluate all aspects of your event from their perspective:

  • Will registration and check-in be intuitive?
  • How can you best direct guest traffic?
  • Are seating, sightlines and accessibility on point?
  • How will you capture feedback for improvements?

Brainstorm creative ways to wow attendees by simplifying, welcoming, informing and connecting with them before/during/after your event.

Make enhancements over time based on their candid feedback.

By fixating more on attendee takeaways vs. flawless execution, you drive meaningful engagement and fulfillment.


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Proven Pro Tips for Event Coordinators

Whether you’re planning a corporate event, wedding, conference or any large-scale gathering, coordination takes serious organizational and communication skill.

But having the right systems and partnerships in place makes all the difference.

Get Organized Early

Preparation is truly power when managing major events.

After reserving your location and date, promptly build out a detailed project plan and backward countdown timeline to the big day across tasks, vendor bookings and milestones.

Use organizational tools like Asana or shared drives to map out details, assign duties and set calendar reminders for deadlines.

Create templates for name badges, invitations, programs and more to systematize repetitive tasks.

Structure will be your best friend.

I cannot stress enough the importance of early organization.

Attempting to coordinate all the moving pieces at the last minute leads to forgotten items, unrealistic budgets and complete chaos!

Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities

One of the fastest ways for events to unravel is through miscommunication from overlapping or ambiguous ownership of duties.

For each event, clearly delineate who owns what aspects of coordination like venue, A/V, décor, etc.

Outline exactly how roles and vendors intersect through key checkpoints like walkthroughs, rehearsals or equipment delivery.

Share a living doc with role clarity across your internal team and external partners, updating as needed.

Hold regular cross functional meetings to get aligned, troubleshoot issues early and confirm next steps across groups.

When everyone understands their domain, things run much more smoothly.

Have Go-To Vendors Ready

Leaning on preferred vendors you know and trust helps streamline coordination and negotiations enormously, while still allowing customization.

Partners you work with repeatedly understand how you operate, reducing miscues. Thoroughly vet contenders on factors like quality, reliability, pricing and service style before deciding on catering, lighting, floral and other core partners.

Nurture relationships through frequent business, early booking discounts and referrals for your largest annual events.

Keep back-up partners on standby as needed for unforeseen issues or specialty event needs outside your go-to vendors’ wheelhouse.

But a trusted core team lightens your load tremendously.

Create Detailed Vendor Specs

Avoid coordination fails by providing vendors with crystal clear expectations around your needs from the very start.

Never assume they just know your preferences or way of doing things.

Build master setup spec documents covering standard equipment, timing, event flow and preferred brands for rentals, décor, catering, A/V and more.

Have new partners shadow previous events when possible.

For one-off events, create granular outlines with specifics like table linen colors, mic requirements, staging dimensions, menu options and exact timing for program elements.

Walk new sites together, connect vendors with key internal contacts and carefully review quotes for accuracy.

Reconfirm key details multiple times leading up to event day, sending reminders a week out and again 24 hours prior.

Vivid specs sets everyone up for success.

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Use Event Management Software

Robust event management software centralizes details and communication between your coordination team, vendors and attendees pre, during and post event.

Platforms like We & Goliath offer registration, invite and website modules along with real-time data and reporting to simplify planning. Click here to learn more.

Visitor registration and badging modules keep guest lists organized.

Email and text marketing tools easily share event updates while allowing targeted communication streams.

Integrated payment processing enables seamless collection of ticket fees, merchandise sales and donations.

Many platforms integrate with popular calendaring software to manage schedules and send automated reminders.

Real time data and custom reporting provide attendee metrics and event ROI insights.

Mobile event apps allow guests deeper on-site engagement through interactive venue maps, live polls, speaker bios, push notifications and digital content sharing during the event.

Embrace Event Planning Best Practices

Beyond having the right systems and partners, adopting core best practices is key to smooth event execution:

✔️ Confirm All Details in Writing. Verbal agreements risk major mismatched expectations. Get quotes, timelines and final counts in writing from vendors. Email key milestone decisions to your team too.

✔️ Over-Communicate Internally. Keep everyone aligned through early and frequent sharing of plans, assigning of duties and periodic status meetings via shared drives.

✔️ Inspect Event Sites in Advance. Walk spaces firsthand whenever possible, visually mapping layouts and flow. Conduct A/V checks to catch technical issues early.

✔️ Confirm Deliveries Day Before. Reconfirm vendor drop-offs and pickups the day prior to avoid day-of chaos. Adjust floorplans if needed per final guest count.

✔️ Have an On-Site Emergency Kit. Bring name badges, signage, toolkit, first aid essentials and other critical event items to handle last minute needs gracefully.

✔️ Arrive Early Yourself. Triple check setup, technology and décor while vendors are still present to remedy issues before guests arrive.

✔️ Consider an Emcee. Hire a polished master of ceremonies to elegantly handle event flow glitches and timing issues.

✔️ Brief Staff on Issue Protocols. Ensure event staff know medical, technical and missing vendor response procedures should problems occur.

Final Thoughts

The detailed tips in this guide show just how complex and hard it is to properly coordinate an event.

From early planning to working with vendors to budgeting to handling problems, skilled coordinators have to successfully manage a ton of key tasks behind the scenes.

But rather than getting overwhelmed by logistics, expert planners thoughtfully build engaging surprises, connections and wonder for their guests.

If you’re new to event planning, remember that the core priorities that allow coordinators to capably handle major coordination challenges are: 1) keeping attendees happy and valuing their experience over perfection and 2) having organized systems in place early on to align teams, simplify operations and prepare for issues.

With these pillars in place, coordinators can skillfully bring all the moving parts together, transforming disorganized tasks into unified events that attendees deeply appreciate.

So while slick tools and timelines keep things on track, genuinely caring about the audience experience is what takes events to the next level.

Craft Your Next Must-Attend Event With the Experts

Let your next conference, fundraiser, or celebration be the event people rave about for years.

By partnering with our team of top coordinators, we help you artfully choreograph an event that delights and inspires.

Our mastery has achieved 7X higher attendance and 300% more revenue for clients.

Just imagine the reach, engagement, and meaning we can bring your vision when combining your purpose with our production prowess.

Let’s connect to map out a completely customized, wow-worthy event plan tailored to your organization and attendees.

Schedule a strategy session now to start turning your boldest ideas into an unforgettable experience with serious impact.

We & Goliath

We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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