Measure Twice Cut Once

The adage, "measure twice cut once" is used in the construction and DIY market to remind people to always confirm measurements to avoid costly mistakes (that cannot be undone). This same principle applies to event planning. No matter how silly it may feel (Hi, hotel? Just wanted to make sure my conference of 1000 people is on the books for this date.), confirming all details well in advance of the event is a critical step in making sure everything goes smoothly once you are onsite.

This article provided a helpful checklist of confirmations. We wanted to take a moment to delve into a couple of these in greater detail.

  • Venue - no matter how large or small, it is a good idea to double check with your venue about a month out to make sure everyone is on the same page with start times, dates, total people, etc... Likely, you've booked the venue months in advance and a lot can change with your event and at the hotel. Perhaps there was some unexpected construction that has shifted ballroom space. While the venue should be proactive and tell you, they may not think it will have a huge impact on your event. You may feel differently. A month out gives you time to make any changes needed.
  • Press Attendance - before reaching out to press a month out from the show, contact all of your speakers to ensure they are ok with having press in attendance. With government speakers this is incredibly important. Nothing is more uncomfortable than having to turn a reporter away at the door or explaining to a high ranking official that you have no control of whether press will be present.
  • Speaker Participation- frequent, but brief, outreach to speakers in the weeks leading up to the event is critical. Checking in to make sure they have met deadlines and offer your help with any questions or preparations can avoid last minute crises with presentations and even speaker cancellations.
  • Vendor Arrival and Set-up Times - like with the venues, you have contracts in place with vendors that should make times and locations a no-brainer, but if they rely on humans to enter times into their work order/work flow systems there is always a risk of a typo. Checking in about a week out will ensure that 7:00 was entered instead of 8:00.

What about you? What confirmation surprises have you faced in planning events?


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