If only event planning was a perfectly smooth sailing profession—but no. Event coordinators outplay firemen for all the emergencies they put out in the course of the planning and execution of the event.
There are no perfect parties, but there could be disastrous ones if you don’t prepare for all the worst-case scenarios. All it takes is some professional event planning. One way you could do this is to have a trusty emergency kit with you at all times—a powerful pack that’ll get you through any unexpected issues during the event.
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Here’s a list of 15 essential things you need to have in your event planner’s emergency kit. First, we’re listing down what you’ll need for all kinds of events; a go-to kit for all your probable inconveniences.
1. First-aid kit
Your emergency kit should always have this. In all types of events, there’s a possibility of a guest or staff sustaining an injury. It's a top priority to keep them safe for the event to push smoothly. You and your personnel should also know some basic first-aid.
Although it’s also part of your responsibility to make sure your party venues are within quick access of medical facilities, it helps to know even just the most basic of skills— especially someone’s life depends on you.
2. Tool box
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Just as health issues may arise in parties, mechanical issues could also emerge. You need to have the right set of items to address these issues. If these aren’t addressed as they come up, the whole event could take the blow. You need the basics: wires, pliers, hammers, screws, bolts, and everything in between.
3. Extras of everything
You have to prepare extras for everything, too. Extra microphones, extra speakers, extra lights, extra extension cords. Although it’s routine to check if everything works before the event starts, things have a tendency to just stop working exactly when you need them to work. So it’s always a good thing to make sure you’ve got another set ready to sub in.
4. Emergency power-ups
Make sure you also have energy food stashed in your kit. Events can drag on for hours, and even if the food tastes heavenly, you’re going to need a lot more than a cut of steak. You’ll need protein bars, coffee or energy drinks because you’ll need to sustain your strength throughout the affair.
5. Production essentials
As an event planner, you know you’ll run into emergencies that are best solved by the handy tools of production. Make sure you have items like gaffer tape, garbage bags, hot glue gun, a roll of the velcro, a foldable dolly and all things in between. These are things that will come in handy in any type of event.
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Although our smartphones are readily accessible, there’s nothing like walkie-talkie conversations with the staff. It’s quicker and more efficient, especially if the signal acts up or phone batteries don’t last long.
7. Rainy-day emergency kit
Your planning should also have room for a rainy day emergency kit. You can check all the weather apps available, but if it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain. Be ready with umbrellas and tents if you’re having an outdoor event. Be ready with generators if electricity gets cut off.
Now, here are emergency kit items for specific problems that may arise in particular events.
Emergency Kit for Weddings
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The bride is always the most stressed-out person during a wedding; a close second is the event coordinator. A lot can go wrong in those few hours when a couple ties the knot. You’re up for a looming possibility of a series of mishaps and hassles you need to get ready for.
8. Miscellaneous toiletries
A wedding is one of the most important days in a couple’s life; no one wants to look oily or haggard on this day. As the event planner, you’ve got to make sure everyone looks good. You need to have wet wipes, oil removing sheets, tweezers, lint rollers, and other toiletry items that can help make everyone look their best, especially during event pictorials.
9. Hair management
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Another thing that can ruin a pretty wedding photo is a bad hairdo. Bring some hairpins, hair spray, hair extensions, dry shampoo, and all things hair. Keep those updos pretty for the photo op!
10. Outfit savers
A wedding won’t be complete without a couple of wardrobe malfunctions. You need to be ready for these with a sewing kit, and maybe a Tide pen for when things get messy. You don’t want a bridesmaid with a sleeve hanging off the seams, do you? The bride certainly won’t.
11. Sunscreen and bug spray
If you’ve got an outdoor wedding planned, it’s always good to be prepared with sunscreen and bug spray for the couple and their entourage. Of course, you should send a text blast to the guests that they should bring their own, but in the hullaballoo of the event, the couple getting married might just forget to bring theirs.
Emergency Kit for Corporate events
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Business-related events should not be much of a hassle; all you need to do is make sure the guests find their seats and that the speakers know when they’re up to bat. But a lot of things can spiral out of control in even the simplest corporate affair. You’ll need the following things in your emergency kit to make sure you’re up to the job.
12. Copies of the program
Make sure every participant (guests and speakers alike) have their own copies of the program. A lot of confusion in these events comes from people not knowing what to do or expect next. It’s one thing for the master of ceremonies to know how to keep the event going, but it’s another issue for the other participants to know what’s up next.
A poster showing the schedule and the occasional reminder from the emcee may not be enough; be sure you distribute enough copies of the program.
13. Back-up signage
You can’t go wrong with a staple whiteboard, collapsible easel, and marker; it can be a menu, a list of speakers or urgent directions you need people to see. Of course, with the latest tech, you can always flash it on the screens. But in case of emergency situations, signage can really be helpful.
14. Technical tools
Technical issues are bound to happen in events that need a lot of techs like speakers, projectors, and computers. You’ll need backups of everything from slideshow presentations to extension cords in your emergency kit. You should also have doubles of stationary needed like pens, attendance sheets, and markers.
15. Energy essentials
Always make sure you have a generator for back-up at the ready, just in case the electricity at the venue acts up. It’s also good to have fully charged power banks and different charging cables for the speakers and your crew. The show must go on, and it will if you have your energy source backed up.
Event planning isn’t a smooth sailing job—a lot of things can go wrong. But putting out fires is easy peasy for the event planner who’s ready. With these tools in your emergency kit, you’ll troubleshoot any problem in a jiffy, and the event will continue as if nothing even came up.