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by By Christopher Welch | July 01, 2010

The following checklist was compiled by Christopher Welch, the event coordinator and corporate communications manager for Glowpoint (glowpoint.com), a videoconferencing company in Hillside, N.J.
 
Preproduction • Create a production binder that includes your company's private schedule, the event's offered schedule, a page of roles and responsibilities with contact information, an overall budget, all receipts, layouts for all locations and a weather report for the venue dates involved.

• Determine a backup event coordinator in case you become unavailable.

• For major trade shows, establish a series of predictable, weekly event meetings with all key personnel to keep everything on track.

• Have your legal department read all major contracts, and determine cancellation clauses, before locking in event space and hotel rooms.

• Notify attendees to book their flights as soon as possible.

• Choose event and party spaces that provide for indoor and outdoor options in the event of weather-related surprises.

• Become well acquainted with event venue operators, and ask them for insights regarding unique local challenges.

• Order giveaways well in advance, and have them delivered to your office for approval before sending to the event site.

• Clearly communicate all time zones.

• Maintain a one-sheeter of vital contacts, including 24/7 IT personnel and decision-makers.

• Work with your IT director to determine an online, collaborative workspace and calendar system that can conveniently provide vital show information, on demand, to local or remote attendees. Make sure systems work with the latest smartphones.

• Determine a video communication backup plan (such as hosted videoconferencing solutions and public video rooms that meet executive-level expectations) in the event of travel disruptions (volcanoes or otherwise).

• Provide an exact copy of the production binder to a trustworthy on-site coordinator who can make minor decisions in your absence.

• Make certain that the on-site team has an event toolbox that includes a first-aid kit, cable ties, tape, pliers and the like.

• Send a final preproduction e-mail to everyone involved, reiterating objectives and including primary production contacts (the event coordinator, backup coordinator and on-site coordinator).

Production • Keep the printed production binder on hand at all times.

• Keep your smartphone on -- and in range -- for e-mails, instant messaging and calls.

• For local emergencies, always dial 911 in the U.S. -- ideally from a landline, which provides vital information more efficiently.

• Be mindful of local, national or international news that could affect the event.

• Stay in touch with the backup coordinator and on-site coordinator at least twice daily.

• Be prepared to ship/receive any required items daily throughout the event.

Post-Production • Survey or meet immediately with attendees to determine what worked and what could be improved for the next show. Distinguish chronic issues from one-offs.

• Note all suggested improvements in the production book, and account for them when coordinating future events.