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Event Logistics Nightmares and How to Overcome Them

Andy Robertson

There are so many things ready to trip you up when running an event. Each is an integral part of your planning process and with so many moving parts it pays to have a dynamic outlook and be prepared to make rapid changes as necessary.


Once you set the dates for your event and confirmed the acts you start your marketing activity to generate ticket sales. Of course sales will start slow and increase as the event date gets closer, however you should monitor sales on a daily basis so that you can ramp up marketing activity to boost ticket sales. At all times use previous experience to estimate total sales and ensure that the venue size matches the anticipated attendees. There is nothing worse than 200 people in a venue with a capacity for 2000. Equally don’t size down your venue and end up turning away customers.  In the planning stages choose a venue that allows you a certain amount of flexibility so that you can expand or reduce the size to match ticket sales.

If your ticket sales are great and it’s a sell-out crowd but come the day of the event very few people are turning up in good time. Always consider simple things like directions to your event, were these sent with the ticket sales confirmation? If the location, date or time changed did you remember to update your customers individually or rely on a social media post only.

Anticipating sales numbers can affect so many things, especially the catering. For many events you may have done a deal with caterers on price based on attendee numbers, get this wildly wrong and you could find bars running out of alcohol or suppliers billing you for unsold food. Work closely with F&B managers at event venues because they will certainly be able to assist in matching catering to anticipated attendees.

Have a contingency plan for customers turning up on the day. If you have increased the marketing activity just prior to the event you are going to generate crowds looking to buy a ticket on the door? How do you manage large queues? Is your payments system using the best most efficient technology to increase throughput? Have you informed the venue security to ensure marshalling is sufficient? All these scenarios can be avoided as long as you have contingency plans in place and work closely with the venue to provide them with the best estimate of ticket sales and anticipated door sales.

Are your logistics planning and scheduling in place and have suppliers confirmed delivery dates and times? The last thing you want is artists turning up for a scheduled sound check only to find equipment has not been delivered or the sound engineers have disappeared. Whilst considering equipment is there a back-up plan for technical failures on stage, if a microphone fails what do you do? Where is the spare and does it work?

Aside from poor ticket sales probably the worst nightmare for any event is an artist that disappears shortly before they are due to perform, did they get lost, forgot the time or just got last minute nerves. It is key to work closely with their managers to ensure the artist is comfortable (yes you do have to treat them like stars) and that they are where they should be at the right time.

This is just a snapshot of some typical nightmares you may come across in running your event. A well thought out event with thorough planning can help to avoid these. Use a great event planning tool like FestivalPro that helps you with each step. Speak to the guys at FestivalPro and find out how you can make your event efficient and flow smoothly, even better it costs nothing to find out more with their no obligation demo.

Andy Robertson
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