For industry pros, the day of an event can feel like doing a week’s worth of work in just 24 hours. A lot of elements and people have to come together for an event to go off without a hitch and run successfully, from the coordinator to the kitchen to the wait staff. So, we wondered: What exactly does an event day look like for an event planner?
To find out, we went behind the scenes with Rachel Black, event coordinator for all Atlanta locations of Barcelona Wine Bar and Bartaco, to chronicle a typical event day for her, from when her alarm goes off until she finally hits the hay. Read on to see how she makes it all happen — and how Gather helps her do it.
My alarm goes off for the first of many times. After I’m done with snoozing my alarm (an embarrassing number of times), I take my French Bulldog, Leopold, out for a walk around Midtown. While on our walk, I check my email, including Gather’s Daily Digest, to glance at the day’s events. I grab coffee and a mini doughnut at Dancing Goats.
I head back in for a shower and to get ready for the day. I reply to any time-sensitive emails and text managers about early lunch events to make sure we’re prepared.
I head to Bartaco (usually the West Midtown location) to help the team put together the Party Pack for a corporate catered lunch. (Usually for one of our repeat clients like a marketing agency, national news network or film set). I use the Gather App on my phone to check the order and to pull the payment information that I can access from the saved docs.
Once I have the car loaded up with all of the food and the check, I look up the address in the delivery notes of the Gather App and navigate to the site of the luncheon. I load all the food in, set it up, check with the guest that everything is perfect and head back to Bartaco West Midtown to return the cooler, hot box and a signed receipt. I take a picture of the receipt so that it’s easy for me to find when I close out the event in Gather.
I drive down the road to another venue I coordinate events for, Barcelona Westside Ironworks, to meet up with a client for a tour of the restaurant for a potential event like a company holiday buyout or a rehearsal dinner. Afterward, I will get on my laptop and answer leads via Gather and catch up on emails for events. I also take calls, send proposals and finalize events. If I don’t have an event that night, I will send and respond to emails at home with my pup.
I walk over to Upbeet for a late lunch to eat quickly at the restaurant (the line is usually short at this hour).
I meet with the chef and discuss that night’s event BEO. We either course out the meal for a seated dinner or discuss the plating options for a cocktail-style event — we figure out things like what’s passed and what’s stationed.
I go over setup with the servers and answer any questions about the diagram of how the room should be set up, which is uploaded to Gather docs. I assign specific duties and responsibilities to servers and discuss the flow of the event.
I help set up the private dining space. I get with the bar or beverage manager working and have them pull the pre-selected wines, beers, and sangria for the satellite bar. Then I will print and cut any custom-made menus that I’ve uploaded to the documents section of Gather.
I conduct a final walkthrough and spot-check of the event setup. I have servers fix any uneven tables, ice down the white wine, rosé, and beers for the satellite bar, set up the water station, sweep the floors, light candles on the tables, and add a few knick-knacks to the bounty table for a touch of decor. I grab bar napkins for passed tapas and the satellite bar since servers always forget these 😊. Then we start preparing the charcuterie and cheese for the reception tapas so that the boards are ready when the guests start to arrive.
I welcome the first couple of guests and walk them over to the event space. We start on the first round of passed tapas. I have servers fill the water glasses. As more guests arrive, we fire up more food for the bounty table and passed tapas.
I make sure servers are clearing plates, pre-bussing and restocking any food on the bounty table. If the event is a seated dinner, I will get the kitchen started on each course and cross it off the BEO for the chef while making sure everything is coming out in a smooth and timely manner.
Once the event kicks off, the coordinating becomes pretty low maintenance. I use this time to catch up on emails and leads on my laptop if there’s room for me to do that in the server alley. If it’s a super busy night and there isn’t much room, then I can answer leads from my phone via Booking Templates in the Gather App.
At the completion of the event, once all the party food and beverages are rung in on the POS system, I’ll drop the check with the host and answer any questions they have. Then, I use the payment information uploaded in my Gather App.
I thank guests as they leave. Again, I take a picture of the receipt so that it’s easy for me to find when I close out the event in Gather. I might have the chef make me some food to take home (Chicken Pimientos is my favorite dish at Barcelona).
I head home with my food and enjoy a glass of wine with my sister, Megan, to go with my late dinner. I’ll give Leo a little bite of the chicken if he’s been good or especially cute (which is all of the time). My sister and I will take the pup out together one last time for the night, then catch up on a show or watch a movie.
Time for bed. Before setting alarms for the next day, I always look at the Gather App to review my schedule for the next day and the rest of the week.