The last few days of the planning portion of your event are very important. Whether you’ve been planning for eight months or for two, it’s in the final stretch of six or seven days where everything comes together and the event that started out as an idea is almost fully formed.
The final preparation demands great focus from everyone involved. This time is very important to do the following things:
- Ensure that all necessary tasks have been completed and no major components of the event have been overlooked. Refer back to the timeline to help refresh your memory. A good exercise is to imagine if the event was to take place right now. Is there anything missing? As well, try imagining the event from a participant’s point of view. Again, is there anything missing?
- Make sure all the equipment you need is available and functioning. If you are using an audio/visual system, test it to see if it works. If your equipment is locked up in a storage room, make sure you know where to get the key to open it.
- Create the set up and take down plan. Do you need extra volunteers, or special equipment to move things? It’s a good idea to have things set up the night before so you have the opportunity to conduct checks. Create a floor plan of the layout and mark important areas like the “control station”.
- Determine each team member’s role and responsibility for the day of the event. This should be organized to ensure that everything is covered and accounted for.
- Review (or create) the day-of-event schedule that will outline what is happening at what time at what location with whom. This will give structure to your day and can act as a reference to keep the event going smoothly. As well, ask yourself if each activity on the schedule can be completed. If not, do something to fill that void.
- Think of a worst case scenario and list out every possible thing that can go wrong. Now create a course of action or a protocol for if these things actually happen. If you’ve prepared well these problems most likely won’t arise, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Pat yourself on the back for a job well done so far and keep your fingers crossed for good luck. If your event is outdoors, you may choose to cross your toes for extra good luck to keep away the rain.
- The day before the event, get a good night’s sleep. You’ll probably be too excited to even sit still, but being rested and alert is important. You want to be able to not only participate fully and make sound decisions, but also to enjoy the fruits of your labour.