We cannot emphasize more the importance of event logistics management. Logistics composes the lifeblood of event planning. A poor logistics coordination or failed communication can make or break a flawlessly planned event. Even seasoned corporate event planners, or specialists in event planning logistics, key in every single detail to ensure precise resource management and specifications of an event.
When we say logistics in the context of event, it means the flow of services between the event planner and the vendors. There may be some intermediaries or leg runners but specifications of services are agreed between the two and solely confirmed or cleared by the issuing organization or company.
Guide for strong logistics management
To deliver the desired results of an event, below are the absolute essential things to consider as an effective event planner:
Proper scheduling and monitoring. Logistics planners are suckers for timelines and milestones. Aside from this, they are unforgiving in terms of missed communications. Communication is extremely vital for coordination and if there is no proper protocol in reporting, tasks may fail, be overlooked, or be forgotten. An effective event logistics management has a master schedule which itemizes the tasks and the responsible people committed to deliver the duties, goods, or services.
Confirmed budget. Take note the logistics team is the cost driver. It involves purchase of food and beverage, decors, as well as rental of audiovisual equipment and payment of talent fee. Before you start selecting the silverware from your caterer, confirm first the budget then head out to negotiate on contracts.
Logistical program details. Itemize all the items in a spreadsheet. This should include the following items:
- Group planning
- Site selection
- Food and beverage selection
- Décor and entertainment selection
- Technical and production requirement identification
- Venue management
- Program security
- Attendee management (from registration to follow-up communication)
- Inventory control
Control of people on the event-site. Good event planning logistics consider not only the control of goods and equipment but also the people on-site. Is there a crowd control? Is there adequate security for guest performers and VIPs? Good event planners control not only the attendees but also the staff and volunteers. Are they properly informed of the whole event and program? Do they know what to do and who are they reporting to? Do they have a sufficient program guide to remind them what happens next?
Risk assessment and risk management. This item is usually overlooked but should actually be one of the top items in the checklist especially for large events, especially for national and international events. Identify the potential risks of technical interruptions and always be informed of the city happenings if the event is outdoors. Liaise with the municipal or city government. Keen-to-detail event planners have road maps that indicate flow of traffic or road situation. Will there be road closure on the day of the event? Is the car parking sufficient for the guests? It is always good to have backup plans for everything.