As an event industry pro, you’re often tasked with putting out fires (literally and figuratively) over the course of managing a private event. While you can’t predict what will happen, you can do your best to expect the unexpected.
A great way to do that is by creating your own go-to event survival kit. This kit should feature items that’ll save you from event disasters and provide quick fixes, from spare phone chargers to backup batteries. Check out the full list below — because you’ve got to be prepared to save the day for your event client, and you never know what tools you’ll need to do just that!
☑ Shipping or gaffer’s tape
Having a few varieties of tape will save you tons of headaches that can come from improperly securing decorations, keeping out of guests’ way, posting directional signs and anything in between. Shipping tape is strong but clear, while gaffer’s tape is sturdy but colored (usually black) to blend into the floor or other surroundings.
☑ A grill lighter
A long-necked grill lighter works for a variety of event situations and is safer to use than matches and regular lighters. You’ll be surprised how often you need one, whether it’s to ensure candles never lose their glow to lighting wedding-exit sparklers to (carefully!) relighting a stove or reheating Sterno for buffet setups.
Don’t be stuck prying open packaging and plastic wrap with your fingers. Scissors are basically a no-brainer for any seasoned event coordinator who’s had to make signs on the spot, snip off wilting flowers, or cut off the loose thread on a piece of clothing.
☑ Tape measure
Particularly during the planning stages and walkthroughs, you’ll look prepared and save yourself plenty of time with a sturdy tape measure always on hand that you can whip out to measure things like window sills, door frames, patio widths, and table sizes.
☑ Phone charger
This should be a no-brainer since an event host with a dead phone can derail an entire event (imagine being a wedding coordinator who can’t find the groom for the cake cutting). Having an extra phone charger that works with multiple devices, along with one that’s portable and charged (so you don’t need to plug it into a wall), will make sure everyone can stay in touch.
Don’t let a power outage leave you in the dark! Whether it’s a flash storm or a tripped switch, a flashlight will shed some much-needed light in a lights-out situation — plus, you won’t have to rely on your phone and drain the battery. Which brings us to…
Yes, you need batteries — in many different sizes! Technology can be unpredictable, and you never know when a piece of A/V equipment, fog machine, speaker or remote control will go on the fritz.
☑ First aid kit
Medical emergencies happen, and (sadly) we can’t predict them. It’s crucial to have a first aid kit to keep a small situation from becoming a bigger one. Having items such as bandages, band-aids, rubbing alcohol, sterile gloves, tweezers, and pain relievers will bring peace of mind to you and to your event host.
☑ Writing utensils
No, we don’t just mean Sharpies (but you definitely want some of those, too). When working offsite (particularly outdoors), you’ll be glad you have a variety of writing instruments like markers and pencils in addition to plenty of pens. Use them for signage, name tags, last-minute place cards, identifying food buffet items and plenty more.