Logistics & Contingency Plans

Making sure everything is set up for your online seminar is one of the most time-consuming parts of virtual event planning. Ensuring the technology is working, everyone in the office has been briefed, etc. are just a few issues you will need to contemplate as the event date approaches. Over-prepare, have contingency plans and designate co-workers or others to help you with specific event logistics.

Event setup is very important and normally easy to prepare for in advance, so try to get as much planning out of the way as early as possible. Remember—you cannot have too much detail in a To Do list!

Staffing to schedule:

  • Receptionist – Make sure they are prepped with a cheat sheet if people call.
  • Technical Staff – Make sure they are standing by and know you need the servers to be free of any large processing.
  • Runners – Get a few people to help as needed. Train Runner and Receptionist AND create information cards.
  • Q&A Managers – Have someone assigned to handle the Q&A and chat.
  • Plants or audience seeds – Have someone dialed in and armed with a few questions to get the Q&A rolling if necessary.

Reserve the following:

  • Technology – Phone lines and Web technology for all calls (test before sending out. AND— make arrangements for the archive recording.)
  • Rooms – Made available for presenters and support team for all calls.
  • Equipment – Laptops, servers, phones, back-up equipment, etc. for all calls.

Contingency Plans:

  • Backup Equipment – Modem and remote.
  • Communication Line – Have a direct line with the operator at all times.
  • Send your team and speakers an e-mail with everyone’s contact information in case there is a problem.

The little things make a big difference:

  • Always do “one more check” to validate the logins and phone numbers.
  • Have water near each speaker.
  • Have notepads and paper available.
  • Print hard copies of all the presentations – One copy for you and one for each speaker.
  • Test backup equipment.
  • Create and post “quiet signs.”
  • Two days before the event check your registration numbers and confirm the number of phone lines with your conference company. A good estimate is that one third of your registrants will attend. Ask how many lines you can be under before receiving a penalty and how well staffed they will be during your event if you exceed your numbers.
  • REMEMBER – Over-communicating is better than under-communicating! Constantly send reminder notes during the event process and planning stages.