With COVID-19 restrictions’ letting up, MP&F clients have been easing into events very cautiously, but optimistically. It’s been a long two-plus years, and we’ve gleaned plenty of best practices from helping plan dozens of events during the pandemic. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you navigate event planning once again.
If you take anything away from this blog post – take this: PLAN EARLY. We promise – this is for your sanity. You’ll thank us later.
Many companies and vendors are dealing with extreme staffing challenges. This has many implications for events, including fewer openings on preferred vendors’ books and the heightened possibility that you might experience turnover with your contacts during planning. Make sure to get on your vendors’ books as early as possible, and carefully capture notes on conversations along the way in the event you have new contacts over the course of planning your event.
Supply chain issues:
We recently planned an event for a client and ordered 5,000 bags months in advance. Unfortunately, the event came and went, and our bags were still hanging out in a storage container off the East Coast. In this case, having a Plan B in place (more on this later) really paid off; but the lesson is the same – order your event items AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And if possible, try to find vendors that already have the items you need on hand/in stock. International shipping is not a guarantee.
Gifts and swag
Latest tech/fun tchotchkes:
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spoil your attendees. Host an impromptu brainstorm with your team or friends and get their feedback on what gadgets and useful goodies are catching their eyes. You can find customizable swag for every budget.
There are a few ways to go about this. If you have a CSR initiative or partner, consider donating in your guests’ names. Or give your guests the option to pick a charity of their choice in place of a gift. This can be the cherry on top of a great event, and guests love the feeling that they are making a difference.
Have a Plan B (and C and D)
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that COVID is on its way out (or at least downgrading to an endemic). But it’s always best to have a Plan B in place in case of the unexpected – whether that’s an uptick in COVID cases, bad weather or shipping delays. Remember our client with the shipping delays? Because we had a Plan B in place, we were able to quickly procure additional bags so the event could still move forward.
Go all out
Because why not? Your attendees are likely still getting back into the swing of things and are excited to get back to “normal.” Use your event as an opportunity to show off what makes your company – or client’s company – unique!
Got an event coming up? MP&F would love to help. From brainstorming to execution and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. Let’s plan something memorable.
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