Whether it is your first event or your hundredth, there is one simple thing you can do to make sure you are ready for unforeseen issues: an event survival kit. Think of it like a first aid kit for any accidents that may happen the day of—should a sign not stay put or you need to make a last-minute centerpiece—you don’t want to be empty-handed or running around the space looking for staff that can lend you a pair of scissors. Not only will the survival kit save your event—it might just save your sanity.
Why You Need An Event Survival Kit
In event planning, you need to be prepared for anything. Maybe you are under a strict time crunch when planning. Maybe something was overlooked during the event space search. On the day of, there is no time to try figure out what went wrong—the best time for that is the day after when doing an event recap. On the day of, all you can do is react, and your event survival kit will help you do so quickly and appropriately.
Though it may take some time initially to create an inventory list and get the supplies for the survival kit, once the box is put together it will can save you time for your future events, as well. In fact, the Event Planning Blueprint lists having a supply kit as one of the top things every event planner should never overlook.
Make the survival kit once and then grab it and go for every event. After each event, take stock of what you used and make sure to replenish those items. Not only is it top of mind to do that during your event recap, but then you have everything you need at the ready and can grab the kit knowing nothing is missing.
How To Build Your Kit
The first step to building your survival kit is choosing what you would like to use—a box, a bag, a storage tub, etc.—to hold all of your supplies. Choosing a tote bag may make it easier for you to carry around during setup, but you may find that using a tub is easier to store in the back of your office after the event. There is no right or wrong here as long as it works for you.
Once you have the container or bag of your choice, the next step is to make your inventory list and choose what you’ll keep on hand. We recommend office supplies—scissors, tape, zip ties, permanent markers—electronic supplies—phone chargers, a flash drive, display cords to connect your computer to a projector—and badges and wristbands—’Hi, My Name Is…’ stickers and color coded wristbands in case you find that you need to let only certain people into a specific area.
The contents of your survival kit will depend on what type of events you plan regularly. You can get some ideas from event planners—BizBash has asked planners to share what they always keep on hand and famed event planner Brian Worley shares his top tools for a survival kit—and you will learn over time if there are certain staples specific to you that are necessary.
Though a bit time consuming to make, once you make your event survival kit, you will wonder how you ever worked without it. It will come in handy for times where you are setting up an event in an unconventional space that may not have all of the supplies you may be accustomed to. And remember: after every event, be sure to take note of anything you may have used and replace it as soon as possible so you don’t go without it the next event!