Survival Kit: 12 Must-Have Items You’ll Need at Every Event
Imagine you’re in the middle of registering attendees at your company’s conference. Your phone rings and you look down to see it’s the caterer, who should have been at the conference an hour ago. As you go to pick up the call, you notice your phone is at 8% battery life. In a panic you scurry to find an outlet, only to realize the exhibit hall doesn’t have one nearby—and you can’t leave the registration table.
These scenarios can—and do—happen, but they don’t have to. With the right survival kit, you can equip yourself with everything you need to run a smooth and successful event.
At TaylorMade Experience (TME), we have a tried-and-trusted packing list for all of our events. We’ve managed so many, our list is nearly foolproof at this point and helps us remember the essentials during all the craziness leading up to an event day.
Here’s our list of the 12 must-have items you’ll need at every event:
Last-minute changes are inevitable, and can pose a threat to the most perfectly planned event. That’s why TME always plans ahead for backup:
- Nametags, table place cards and reserved signs
Keep extras on hand for those un-registered plus-ones, sponsors who want their table to be seated just so, and unexpected VIPs who need seats reserved up front.
- Printer and paper
We always bring a portable printer with paper and extra ink in case our seating chart gets updated, or a guest is leaving from the event and needs to print their boarding pass.
- Printed docs
The run of show and guest list may be saved onto iPads and computers, but relying completely on technology is always a risk. In case of low battery or bad WiFi, we always have printed day-of documents on site. The show must go on, even if your iPads won’t turn on.
While we may not have complete faith in technology, it does make our jobs much easier. That’s why our packing list always includes:
- Portable chargers
For phones and iPads, portable chargers are a necessity. Your tech needs to last through a multi-step registration, or until you’re ready to collect payments from the silent auction at the end of the night.
- Portable WiFi backup
So much of what we do relies on a good WiFi connection, and unfortunately that isn’t a guarantee from every venue. We bring our a back up (mobile hotspot) to all of our events.
As event professionals, we work hard to make sure that guests are always happy. Here’s what we always have on hand to better accommodate our guests:
Whether it’s to the ballroom, bathroom, or nearest Metro–it’s our job to know where we are, so we can direct our guests to the appropriate places.
- Taxi service information
At the end of the night, it might be good to know the numbers of a reliable taxi service for guests who didn’t drive themselves.
- Backup plan for extra/special meals
This isn’t necessarily something you can pack and bring with you, but it is important nonetheless. Caterers will often plan for a few additional plates, but make sure you have a plan in place for unexpected vegetarians and kosher meal requests.
Event days are all about guests and clients, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. We always make sure to include a few things for ourselves in our packing list. Necessities include:
- Comfortable shoes
Make sure to have a pair of presentable and comfortable shoes to change into when your feet just can’t take the dress shoes anymore. Our team often wears flats to the venue for set up, and then changes back at the end of the night for tear down.
When you forget your comfortable shoes, blister Band-Aids are the perfect Plan B and are helpful for a nasty paper cut from opening boxes and setting up.
Event days are long, and our team is often running around from start to finish. We always bring water and snacks to keep us going in case we don’t have time to sit for a staff meal. We also have Tylenol and Advil on hand to ensure we’re only dealing with figurative headaches during the event, not literal ones.
- Dress in Layers
Conference centers, event facilities, hotels can be cold! Preparing to not freeze or sweat profusely by wearing comfortable layers is key.
We recommend creating your own survival prep list or print out the above list and refer to it while packing for your next big event. Need help mapping out your needs for your next event? Contact us – we are happy to help!