Myself with volunteer coordinator and event coordinator

Why a Day of Event Coordinator is Critical for Event Success

The big day has arrived and your event is here! No dress rehearsal; either things are going to run smoothly and appear effortless or disorganized and unprofessional. This will all come down to if you have thought out all aspects of the day and how your customers and clients will be taken care of.

After organizing several trade shows where it was just myself as the organizer and co-ordinator the day of the event, I realized that I needed help. Multiple vendors and customers would be asking me questions at the same time and I spent the day mainly frazzled, trying to please everyone but often taking longer than I would have liked, and getting side tracked by more questions along the way. I remember mopping up a spilled coffee, then helping someone clean up a display that toppled over, while trying to get back to a vendor who was waiting on more change with a line of customers! And that was just a sliver of the multitasking I was trying to do well-yet failing everyone and myself by being spread so thin at a large event.

I had to sit back and think, what can I do to make these events run much more smoothly? What came to mind was a print out of the frequently asked questions for each vendor, and a day of event coordinator with a small army of volunteers. And guess what, it worked!! My vendors would thank me for a well organized event more than ever before. This will also work for your events, so let me explain!

Myself and day of event co-ordinator at a fun Christmas fair I organized called “winter moon makers market”

A day of event coordinator is critical for success.

Whether you are a wedding planner, trade show organizer or have put together your first gala fundraiser, you’ve already done 90% of the hard work in advance; the floor plan, guest seating or vendor lay out, traffic flow, signage, and advertising. But the final 10% of work (smooth execution) will make or break your event. Having a day of event coordinator will ensure your guests and vendors have a great time without worrying about the behind the scenes logistics.

A day of event coordinator can do just this! The number one objection of their work is: customer and client satisfaction. Their job is multifaceted but can involve coordinating staff or volunteers, greeting vendors, having a list of FAQ available . Guiding vendors to their set up areas, putting up signage, handing out vendor info packages and invoices and being clearly available via text or phone to answer any questions.

There is nothing worse as vendor or event guest to arrive at an event and
feel unsure of where to go or what to do! For example I remember showing up to my first trade show event as a vendor. Couldn’t find a site map, my table or event staff to talk to for over 45 minutes! How frustrating! If I would have had a point of contact-either an info table or a number to text, it would have eliminated a lot of stress.

What I have learned from organizing over 100 events is that your vendors/clients and guests need a clear picture of what to do from the moment they arrive at a venue. This eases stress and keep things running timely and professionally while keeping an overall happy atmosphere during set up.

Myself and my volunteer co-ordinator and day of event manager at the largest Vintage event in Western Canada. Couldn’t have done it without them!

To have my day of event coordinator as organized as possible, I would have this list of to-do’s ready for them, and have them arrive 30 minutes before the first vendors or guests were scheduled. An example of duties from my trade show included:
1) Setting up front table and signage (signage to bathrooms, atms, food and several outdoor signs pointing to the vendor load in doors).
2) Setting up front door cash box and draw.
3) Depending on the event, assisting with table set up (taping floors)
4) Dropping off vendor info to each booth (this may include FAQ’s, a discount to the concession and/or free treat such as granola bar). These small gestures make your vendors feel more at ease about the day and help spread a positive vibe throughout the venue!
5) Have the event coordinator review a copy of the FAQ’s for the day of event (where are bathrooms? How much is admission? Where is the closest atm? When is the next event?) etc.
6) Greeting and coordinating volunteers as they arrive. Usually the volunteer duties would include asking each vendor if they needed a hand with load in or setting up their booth and letting them know they were available. Once the event was going, the volunteers would also let vendors know they could watch their booth if they needed a quick 5 minute break. Vendors who were alone really appreciated this little perk!
7) Texting myself if any questions cannot be answered by the co-ordinator. Usually this would be during set up, if a vendor wasn’t satisfied with their booth. And on that note-I would empathise that I’m sorry it wasn’t what they imagined and ask “how can we make it right”? We are always able to find some sort of solution.
8) Having my day of event coordinator give out my email address and website to anyone who inquired about participating in future events. This would free up my time and was something I could deal with once they emailed me after the event.

9) Once the event is underway, being an extra set of eyes to keep the event running smoothly. For example, is the venue to hot or cold? Is music to loud (or quiet!). Do the bathrooms need attending to?

10) Most of all, being a happy, warm and welcoming face to all that attend the event, whether a vendor or customer. I cannot emphasize how much first impressions matter and count, so make sure you hure someone who will be ready with a cheery disposition all day long.

I also want to mention that even though I have a day of event co-ordinator, I am always on site at my events. I am also doing all I can to make the event run smoothly by mixing and mingling with customers and vendors, spreading positive energy through meaningful and happy interactions with others!

By simply having your day of event co-ordinator do most of the front work (with a small team of volunteers), you will be able to enjoy the event that you have worked so hard to put together, and gosh, you deserve it!

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