Event season is nearly upon us. One of the many tasks is a site visit. Every planner does it and you should too. There are many checklists on the web, in books etc. but none of them will speak exactly to your situation. Over the years I can say I have never used the exact same checklist twice and I've been working events for a decade. Each time some addition/subtractions are necessary.
Take for instance the events on deck for this year. All are at venues we've worked at previously yet the list has to be updated.
Simple answer is things change. The physical changes from remodeling, the infrastructure changes such as wifi and staff changes are all reasons why site visits are a key part of event planning.
As events begin to integrate technology, visiting a site and testing connectivity is crucial to a successful event. Here are a few things to add to your site visit check list:
1. Electrical outlets
It seems obvious but I have to say it. At some point those tech gadgets will need to be plugged in to continue functioning for the length of the event. It is important to know where the outlets are, this will impact where registration, checkout, kiosks and other devices can be setup.
2. Extension cords
While you may have several as part of your kit already, are they long enough? Harking back to my first point, the outlet could be a long distance away, hard to reach or obstructed. At one of our events last year we had to purchase super long cords to go around equipment.
3. Wi-Fi service
Some of the most beautiful venues have the worst wifi signals. Venues that understand how technology is being integrated more and more into events may offer a wifi booster, sometimes for an additional fee. It is important to know if it is needed, how many devices it covers and at what strength. If there is a data limit with overage fees, what happens if it fails, if a special password / key is needed for access. Have they had any outages recently ? Has any other event run with as many devices as you are planning? what was their experience?
So as you pick napkins, table cloths, set the guest flow path, don't forget to check the outlets and wi-fi signal.
Image credit: gjs / 123RF Stock Photo