It’s been a hectic 2 months for me but even more so in the last couple of weeks. I am an Administrative Assistant for a local government agency, so a lot of the daily tasks fall to me. Whether it’s as mundane as making coffee to as complex as making arrangements for health education seminars or making travel arrangements for all my staff, I’m involved.
My most complex task was the most lengthy one: arranging and coordinating the Agency’s Annual Expo for the Elderly. There were times I felt like I was going to have a heart attack and other times, it felt as if things were floating on by without a care. I thought it would be a great idea to share what I’ve learned in coordinating this event so that if ever such a task falls to you, you’ll be prepared and know what to expect in the future.
A large 3 ring binder
Set of at least 8 divider
A Reliable PC with an Office Suite
3 Months Ahead:
- Determine what your theme, cause and venue will be.
- Become familiarized with your venues and their rules. Some of the questions that you may want to ask are:
Will Food Be Allowed? What is the occupant capacity of the place? Will amenities such as water, electricity, WiFi be included? Is there a curfew?
- Name your Event…create something catchy and fresh that can easily be remembered for media, participants and guests.
- Start thinking about your logo or icon. You want to create a sense of continuity, so your logo should be used on all media and on any communication that you make with potential participants and attendees.
Two and a Half Months Ahead:
- Start making a list of the local agencies and organizations that would be interested in promoting themselves at your event.
- Think outside the box. Include in your list other groups who may not be traditionally involved in such events but may have a common goal. In this instance, I started thinking about cosmetic surgeons, health food stores, wellness and Reiki experts and so on.
- Now that you’ve brainstormed your potential participants, create a spreadsheet in Excel or a well made table in Word. You’ll call this your ‘CONTACT LIST‘ and you’ll need to include the following fields for each:
Organization Name/ Contact Name / Phone Number/ Email / Physical Address / Contacted by: Mail, Email or Phone / Follow-up?
- Always contact about 4 times as many people than what you realistically expect. If you get more participants than you projected, you can usually accommodate them at the last second, as this means more money for both you and the booth set up company.
Two Months Ahead:
- Start researching and making arrangements with a booth set-up vendor. Here in El Paso, there aren’t a whole lot of these companies so we usually go with the same company for set-up every year.
- Get an estimate of about how much the display set up company will charge you to set up your booths. They will charge by the booth and by the amount of stuff being used (tables, chairs, side skirts and so on) so you’ll need to have a projection of about how many participants you are realistically expecting.
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