At The Big Group, we love turning the impossible into the possible. Event planning is a super power; it takes true professionals to organise the chaos that happens at exceptional events. Yet when your juice is running low (such as short timelines and tight budgets), there’s only one solution; having the basics covered before the details, and to get it sorted pronto.
Condensing 12 months worth of planning an event into two takes some serious magic. You can keep calm and carry on by following our last minute event checklist that will help you pull it all together.
First thing’s first – get the basics covered.
1. Be purposefu
Information, education, motivation, inspiration – what is the purpose of the event? It’s likely you’ll know this, but incase you don’t, there’s little point putting on your ‘quick planner’ hat. The purpose of an event can determine what type of venue is needed, the preferred location, styling and the size of the guest list. Always start with the end in mind – get to the purpose.
2. Have sign-off on the budget
Before you order that 12 piece dancing jazz band spectacular – ensure you get the dollar details and they’re signed off on in writing! Also know what your budget is for the event, and then the budget for marketing the event. It gets awkward when you spend dollars that you don’t have – or so we hear – so you’d best check the budget.
3. Venue, venue, venue
All great events start with a critical element – the venue. With short notice some dates may be unavailable; however, if you have your heart set on a place (we know the feeling) perhaps you can explore:
– Alternative dates
– A luncheon or breakfast event
– Mid-week options
Our venues each have different styles and elements, and while we don’t ever compromise on an epic experience, sometimes you need to get creative to secure your right venue. View all The Big Group venues here.
4. Catering – feed and water the people
Once you have secured a venue, fast track the catering options by discussing catering suppliers with the venue manager. The Big Group cater for all sorts of functions, both in selected venues and off-site.
It’s critical to tick these big ticket items off first. Now logistics are sorted it’s time to get the following organised.
The ultimate last minute Corporate Event checklist:
1-2 Months Away:
Confirm with key stakeholders who is on the guestlist, and get those invites out pronto! Should you not have the time to design and print beautiful hard copies, online invitations are a rising trend, and some of the best sites are: Paperless Post, Evite or Pingg.
– Stage/speakers or entertainment
This follows on from the purpose of your event. You’ll know who or what to book – so get onto it. For engaging acts, Rutherford Entertainment is one of our go-to entertainment suppliers.
– Audio visual equipment
A must-do once you’ve sorted entertainment. Our preferred suppliers are Harry the Hirer Productions; they’re experts in all sorts of AV set-ups and pack downs.
– To theme or not to theme?
This is the question – to be sorted out sooner rather than later, giving guests enough time to sort themselves out too. If you are going with a theme make it clear to guests and narrow it down a bit, there is nothing worse than an ambiguous “dress-up” theme.
– Promote event on the company website
Tell the world! On your website, through social media, or just the company newsletter – whichever works for the event and guestlist.
1-2 Weeks out:
– Send out final payment to any vendors.
Ensure the dollars are squared away.
– Send the final guestlist to the caterer.
How many mouths are there to feed?
– Print out a registration sheet.
If appropriate – use this to double-check that all guests have been notified.
Determine security needs.Security at your event – what are those needs? Black Tie security offer tailored security needs in Melbourne.
– Weather or not. Organi
se a contingency plan with the venue if your event is outdoors – if Mother Nature unleashes all her fury, it’s best to be prepared.
– Showbags – surprise! If
possible, ensure guests don’t forget this awesome event you’ve swiftly pulled off – organise a little surprise for them to take home. A branded gift (ensure there’s value) or something useful – small plants, teas, edible goodies or kitchenware are popular items that will be used and not just end up in the junk drawer.
1-2 Days Before:
– Create name tags of registered attendees
Hello, my name is ‘Epic Event Planner’. If your guestlist is a bag of party mix then it’s important that guests are easily able to introduce themselves and name tags also helps them remember each other’s names.
– Make a timeline for the day
Know what’s happening and when and have a couple of hardcopies handy on the day. Don’t forget to email a copy to all vendors/helpers and relevant staff.
– Print the event schedule
And make sure every vendor has a copy!
The DAY OF:
– Arrive early
Meet vendors/suppliers and ensure everything is organised.
– Get social
Encourage your guests and speakers to capture your event on social media! Instagram or Facebook, and certainly LinkedIn – if your company has the page, ensure they tag you so everyone knows about it.
– Know the roles
Every person who has a role should know what theirs is, and you should know what every role is.
Thank the team and all the helpers – run through what happened and any hiccups, but don’t forget the, high-fives all round.
– Media, media.
Collate any photos and videos of the event to put on your company’s website or EDM as a highlight reel to keep the after party rolling.
– Why thank you!
Send thank-you notes to all attendees. Perhaps even send a special somethin’ somethin’ to those vendors or people who pulled all kinds of strings and magic to assist you to pull off a last minute event.
– All the info
Save all information, from the budget to vendor details and the event timeline, so you can quickly reference everything again!
The next time your boss decides to up the ante and host a last minute corporate event, now you’ve got everything covered. Short lead events are easy once you know what needs doing first and foremost -then comes the details.
So well done, you epic event planner! You did, yet again – now pray for a longer timeline next time, or bookmark this checklist, go on – we love to help.