Event Operations

The Essential Event Day Checklist for Organisers

Reading time: 7 min

Months of preparation have been leading up to this moment: event day. When your doors finally open, even the smallest details can have a big impact on your success, from communication plans, to hydration stations, to parking. Want to make sure you have everything complete and accounted for? You've come to the right place! Our team has put together an event day checklist to double-check that you have all the essentials covered before the big day.

Download our full checklist today to use as a reference guide during your event preparations!

1. Check in with your team

Meet with your entire event staff (including volunteers!) at the beginning of the day to confirm all hands are on deck. Go over key topics like your admissions strategy, security details, emergency plans, and your full event schedule so everyone knows what to expect throughout the day. And be sure to give everyone easy access to your event schedule, whether as digital or hard copies, so they can check what's going on at any time. 

2. Meet with your vendors and special guests

Make time to touch base with each of your third-party vendors, special guests, and media personnel, ensuring they're clear on their role for the day and your expectations of them. This can include reviewing your shot list with your photographer, clarifying what sized bags your security team will allow in, or discussing the event schedule with your special guests. You can even go above and beyond by providing them with personalised itineraries for event day. 

3. Solidify your communication plan with staff

No matter the size of your event, clear communication between team members is key to successful event operations. Establish where and how you'll be doing your main communicating, whether it be via walkie-talkies, in-ears, text, or a group messaging app like Slack or Discord. We also highly recommend laying out a role hierarchy so each staff member knows who to go to with questions or escalations. For this, it's key to clarify not only who everyone's main point of contact is, but also secondary contacts for emergencies. Share these contacts with all staff.

4. Check the WiFi

You can never verify your WiFi connection too often! If large crowds of attendees use your WiFi at once, it's not uncommon for your connection to slow down or become unstable. That's why you need to have a clear backup plan in case of temporary outages, which can include setting up mobile hotspots or connecting to a nearby building's WiFi. If you're really in a pinch, plugging into an ethernet cord is a great way to ensure stable internet connection for your most important devices. Whatever your solution is, make sure you're password protecting your data all the time!

5. Confirm weather-dependent accommodations

The weather can be unpredictable, so it's vital to remain flexible for event day. If you're hosting an outdoor event, make sure you're prepared for every type of weather condition. This could include purchasing heaters, fans, tents, or ponchos, or moving your event indoors. If plans do change, be sure to update your attendees and staff as soon as possible. Even if you've planned to be at an indoor venue all along, while it may seem obvious, you should check that your A/V, air conditioning, and heating systems are all working properly. 

6. Finalise your admissions strategy

The key to minimising event queuing is having a solid admissions strategy and sticking to it. Prior to your event, plan how you'll direct the lines to maximise floor space and clearly differentiate between different lines (like VIP, box office, and mobile check-in) using stanchions, floor tape, or spray paint if you're outside. Have staff stationed at your entrances to help approaching customers get to the right check-in line. Lastly, verify all your exits and entrances are easily accessible and visible. If you're expecting a larger crowd, consider setting up more entry points to get your attendees in as fast as possible!

7. Test all event tech

Testing your event technology is crucial to ensuring your admissions will run as smoothly as possible. First, verify that all your scanners, card readers, phones, and walkie-talkies are fully charged and working properly. Then, set aside time for every staff member to test scanning tickets, manually looking up orders, and making payments at the door. Pro-tip: keep backup chargers and extra batteries handy for an extra power boost if you need it!

8. Set up clear event signage

Ensure all your event signage is on display and clearly labelled for key places like concessions, your service desk, toilets, water stations, and your exits and entrances. Set out sponsored display ads and signs to their booths in high-traffic areas of your venue for maximum attention. And don't forget to upload your entire venue layout on your website or mobile app so your attendees can easily reference it. 

9. Communicate your parking plan

With proper planning, you can make parking a painless part of your event day experience. Before cars pull in, set up signs to your parking lot and station staff to direct traffic and maximise your lot space. You'll also want to designate a preferred parking area for VIPs, special guests, and reporters. Make sure you clearly communicate if there's a parking fee and accepted payments (cash, credit, etc.), and know where the closest ATM is just in case.

10. Gather additional supplies

Some of the smallest details can make all the difference later! For example, keep a basic tool kit on hand to give your equipment some quick TLC at a moment's notice. Check that you have extra extension cords and some gaffer tape to cover any stray cords across the floor. And, most importantly, have a basic first aid kit close by for minor injuries. After all, safety first!

11. Take care of yourself and others!

With how many hats you wear as an event organiser, remember to practise some self-care. This includes (but is not limited to) staying hydrated, making time to grab a cup of coffee, getting enough sleep the night before, and wearing comfortable shoes! And don't forget to look out for your fellow staff members and make sure they're taking care of themselves, too. Remember: you're all in this together!

Look at that, you've made it! If you follow this day of event checklist and our full event planning checklist, you'll gain more peace of mind than ever that all your operations are accounted for. If you're working with an online ticketing platform like TicketLeap, you'll even have a friendly support team by your side to help with any event questions you may have.

And don't forget to download a printable version of this checklist to use during your big day!

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