The food was amazing, decor=spectacular ..if you do say so yourself. And the timeline? Listen, a professional scorekeeper couldn’t have kept time better than you did at the event! BUT..before you pop the top on some bubbly and start patting each other on the back for a job well done, all experienced pros know that at this point we aren’t even close to finishing our work.
Let’s talk about the basics. I always say it’s easier to pack up a clean room. So even if it “isn’t your job” help clear the space of any trash. First you’ll make a big impression on other vendors working the event and second, wouldn’t you rather get it over with rather than standing around all night waiting?
By the way, if you have electronics you’ve utilized at the event, we strongly suggest turning off any lighting that isn’t LED. While you’re working on other tasks, this gives them time to cool down before you pack them away. No burned fingertips here!
Assess what needs to be returned and pack it away appropriately. Did you confirm the return of the cake stand? If not, as a Planner we always assume responsibility and will contact or return the stands to the cake vendor. Again, watching out for those trusted vendors goes a long way professionally.
If you have a few table cloths/linens to return here’s a folding tip. Create a beggar’s pouch. Leave one linen on the table and pile others onto it. Take opposing corners/edges of the linen laying out and tie them together. Generally you’ll tie them at least twice. Not only do rental companies prefer to pick them up this way because they’re easier to handle, you’ll also avoid any charges from placing wet linens in plastic which can create mildew and mold.
Empty the coolers and fridge. This is especially true if you’ve been gifted cold storage from your venue. Nothing is worse than opening a cooler with standing water and a fridge full of leftovers. If the venue is gracious enough to have storage, please be considerate enough to leave it how you found it. Creating a science project in their cooler is probably not on anyone’s wish list…and neither is pouring out leftover shrimp sauce from the fridge. Gross!
Make sure you’ve confirmed rental pick up details. Did you have to lock a door that was used during setup only to realize it might need to be accessed for table pick up the following day? CALL THE RENTAL COMPANY ASAP. Most have a voicemail or even an after hours number you can contact. The sooner you can let them know, the more prepared they’ll be when they arrive based on whatever directions you give them.
And finally, conduct a final walk through. We know..everyone told you they packed their area up and you HATE to be that person. BUT remember that one time when your significant other “walked through” your hotel room and left a pair of $400 glasses in Charlottesville? Yeah…I do too. While it might not take a minute to do, believe me when I say the amount of headache you can avoid by finding one left behind item can be immeasurable.
So now your Prius is packed like you’re going on a camping trip. Wait..maybe you should?! I mean, after all, you did to make that event amazeballs! Besides, who else deserves a little R&R?
Note to self…check the cooler before proceeding to camping trip…fun times folks!
This article was written by Brandi Woodall
As Principle of The Positive Approach Group, Mrs. Woodall directs all business operationsand is the lead contact and designer for all major events contracted by the firm. During her career, she has produced special events and implemented strategic marketing strategies for national corporations, non-profit organizations, and top-level social clients.