How to Keep Your Fall Event from Getting Scary!

Photo by  Elti Meshau  on  Unsplash

Photo by Elti Meshau on Unsplash

Don't let planning an event spook you! Here are three tips that will set you on the right path to getting all treats without any tricks when it comes to your event.

Understand your lead times

Every event is complex because every event involves people, the only difference is the level of complexity and the scale. In the same way that setting tables for 150 guests is obviously different than setting up for 500, the A/V needs of an event also change depending on the size of the crowd and the space. Estimating set-up time is part science and part art, but it is crucial to executing a flawless event. Navigating the costs of labor against the margin needed to make sure the set goes smoothly can be tricky to balance. It's important to know what you can afford not to do and what is too valuable to risk not doing well. 

Another element that is time sensitive are the media assets used in the production. Do you have speakers or presenters at your event? Are they using PowerPoint or Video? The answers to these questions add another layer of complexity to your event and need time to prepare. Nothing is worse than working hard to compile all the critical data you need, input and format it in powerpoint, and show up with the USB drive the day-of and discover that the resolution or screen ratio is wrong and there is no time to fix it. 

When you're working with Fastlane, you have a team that knows how to make your presentations look their best on whatever screen you're using. For this reason we request delivering your media to us a week before the event. This allows us to test and format the files so there are no surprises on the day your message matters most.

Over-communicate the details 

It's in the nature of complex events like yours to have a lot of details. Too many details for just one person to track. Having a team that communicates effectively is vital to success. 

George Bernard Shaw said, "the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Too often the work of intelligent people gets undermined by communication that isn't clear and consistent.

This issue is especially true with the fast-paced world of events. The pressure to deliver can sometimes prevent us from slowing down around the curves and making sure we didn't lose anyone. Even technology that is designed to increase productivity can get in the way of getting details covered. 

It is essential to sit down ( in person is best ) with your production team at least once a month in advance of your event and then once more the week-of to walk through the logistics and the final details of the program. Again, this is all subject to the complexity and the scale of the event. Not every event may need a production meeting, but they will all need some kind of checklist and a commitment to driving everything to a decision. Make sure every decision has a number connected to it, Most often this is a deadline but could also be a dollar amount.

Know your power

One of the most overlooked details that we see at Fastlane is electrical power. Power is the invisible frame that everything in the event hangs on and since it's invisible, it can often be taken for granted. On paper, the plan can look like there is plenty of space for lighting, video, and audio until you add in the catering, who often bring refrigerators, stoves or ovens, other booths and/or other exhibitors who need to plug in screens, lights or other accessories. In Colorado, outdoor events happen year-round so it’s important to make sure you have the required special electrical permits and inspections. Having a un-grounded generator can shut down your event before it starts! At Fastlane, we provide full CAD files that show how much power is needed and how it will be best distributed throughout your space. Another way Fastlane's attention to detail allows you to get the most out of your investment!

Paul Romig-leavitt