Stocking your Event Planner Emergency Kit
Every event and/or wedding planner learns that you can never be too prepared for the big day! Anticipating things that might go wrong and doing what you can to avoid them is a great tactic for helping the event run smoothly. Sometimes, however, you can’t avoid a hitch no matter how hard you try! When this happens, don’t panic. That’s what your event planner emergency kit is for!
What is an Event Planner’s Emergency Kit?
Putting together an emergency kit is a tactic that some planners make a habit of so that they feel more prepared to face problems the day of their event. Before the day arrives, think of potential issues that could arise. Ask yourself questions like:
- What do you do if something from one of your vendors doesn’t arrive?
- What happens if one of your central party members or guests is nowhere to be found?
- What tools and information do you need to solve each of these potential problems?
- What problems have either you or other planners you know faced in the past that you’d like to avoid?
You want to put together a package of things that will enable you to deal with all of the issues that the day might throw at you! Make sure to check your emergency kit again the night before, just in case something is missing or you think of any helpful last minute additions!
Why do you Need and Emergency Kit?
Putting together an emergency kit is a matter of preference, but it is highly recommended! You’ve put a lot of work into planning this event, so there’s no harm in preparing for the last few challenges you might face on the big day! If something happens and you already have the things you need to solve the problem, everyone will benefit. Both you and your clients will feel much less stressed if a solution is available as soon as a problem happens. Your clients will also think you’re very professional if you’ve anticipated potential issues beforehand and arrived prepared!
What should be in Your Emergency Kit?
How each planner stocks their emergency kit varies from person to person. Some planner’s prefer to include only the absolute essentials, while others prefer to have everything they could possibly need, and more! You will have to decide which things make you feel the most prepared and comfortable. What you include in your kit can vary from one event to another, but you’ll probably find a few things that you always want with you on the day! Your emergency kit is based on your preference and can include whatever you think you need. Here are some suggestions to help you get started!
These should be easily accessible in case they need to be called very quickly! Be sure to have contact numbers for each vendor, each host or key guest for the event, and someone who can help you with venue maintenance. This way, if your flowers don’t arrive, the food is wrong, a guest is missing, or the venue loses power, you have the phone numbers to contact the right person as soon as possible!
List of Responsibilities
Which person is taking care of which tasks throughout the day? If something goes wrong with the lights or music, who do you speak to about fixing it? Keeping a list of who is doing what can help eliminate the time it would take to figure it out in the moment!
Copy of Timeline
Be sure to keep a copy of the day’s events and times on hand at all times! This way, if guests don’t know where they should be or things start getting behind schedule, you can quickly refer to the plan in order to direct people to the right place and get things back on track!
Copy of Seating Plan
This is useful to help keep guests organized and informed. Having a copy of the plan on hand will let you quickly refer to it if a guest doesn’t know where they should be.
List of Food Allergies/Dietary Restrictions
For events that involve a meal or catering, getting a list of dietary restrictions, particularly severe food allergies, is essential before you even order the food. Having the list on hand that day lets you quickly reference who must be reminded about certain ingredients in the appetizers or who should have received a particular meal at dinner.
List of Backup Plans
Some planners like to prepare a list of alternative options and backup plans for various things, in case something goes wrong. If the floral arrangements don’t arrive, is there a local market where you can quickly send someone to purchase other flowers in the right color? If the entertainment is late, can events be shifted to accommodate their later start? Thinking of these potential scenarios beforehand can save you some stress later when you’re thinking on your feet!
Miscellaneous (but Useful!) Things
If you’re the kind of planner who wants to carry only the essentials, you might choose not to include any of these things in your emergency kid. If, however, you’d like to be prepared for anything and everything, consider stocking up on these useful items!
- Phone charger: People will want people to be able to get in contact with you at all times, so your phone must stay charged! If you’re concerned about places to charge when you’re moving around, consider a cheap external battery or phone re-charger.
- Tissues: If you’re organizing an event like a wedding, where emotions run high, there can never be too many tissues in the room.
- Pain Killers: If you or one of your central clients gets a head ache in the middle of the event, you’ll all be thankful to have Tylenol or Advil on hand to help you through the rest of the day.
- Breath Mints: Fresh breath while speaking to others is great; chewing gum at a wedding is not!
- Small Sewing Kit: If your guest speaker’s seam bursts or your groom’s button falls off, having one of these on hand can be useful.
- Local Cash: Particularly for events that involve traveling, having some cash on hand (in the local currency) can be beneficial for quickly picking up last minute emergency necessities.
Preparing a kit of tools like this can reduce your stress greatly on the day of an event. If you can prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible, you might feel calmer if something doesn’t go according to plan. If the planner is calm, the clients and guests can stay calm, and things will run more smoothly! You’ll never be able to eliminate or predict every little thing that could go wrong during an event, but by preparing the things you’ll need so solve common problems, you’ll feel more confident as you take on the day!