Rule 6. Organize yourself.
Event organizer is a misleading name. It’s their event and they should have it together and be the expert on their own event. But, they often offload that work on to the person supporting them.
This means you have to be organized, whether the people you’re working for are or not. It’s your job to make everything work. It’s your job to assure success as much as possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re planned and scheduled if you don’t have the information you need.
If you write down the information but leave it behind, it can’t help you. If you need a specific link and don’t have it, it’s as good as never scheduling it.
A practice I adopted early on in event planning was coming up with a list of questions. My first reply when was this list. It gave me everything I need to know to be successful. Some of them were basic. What is this event? Where is it? What time? How many people are you anticipating attending in the room and online?
Are we recording this session? Do you need Closed Captioning? Will there be a sign language interpreter present? What about a photographer?
And others were just for me. Is this date and time firm? Do you have a slide deck? If not, when will it be available?
Asking questions finds weakness in plans. Once we find the weakness in the plans, we can plan around them and be successful.
Rushing leads to disorganization which leads to forgetting which leads to failure. Always arrive early. The quiet time before an event starts is for you to prepare yourself and organize your space. Organization is about making time to be successful.
I was always the first person to an event. I had time to get my computer and camera setup. I verify the links I need and content (slides, videos, audio) were available and working. The extra time is for troubleshooting. Links break and computers crash. Time is the different between success and failure.
I open the slides and go through them all one last time. I open the video and play it straight through. I listen to the audio over the sound system in the room. I had already done all this before. But everyday is a new day and failure always possible.
Setup what you need where you can get to it. I setup my notebook and post-it notes so I could see everything without flipping pages. I like using a notebook because it gave me space for new notes or updating what I thought I knew.
If I was in a conference room in front of a laptop, I kept it all on my lap but still had it open and available if I needed it.
Having the information does you no good if you can’t find it when you need it.