Running an event on-site is already a stressful enough activity.  Following is a list of hints I developed for a major national event’s staff and volunteers a few years ago.  It still stands today.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring a second or third pair to the venue each day and change them a couple of times with fresh socks or hose.  You will be amazed at how refreshed your feet and legs will feel. The Convention Centre’s floors are hard, very hard (even where they are carpeted) and this is hard on most of us that don’t walk that concrete every day.
  2. Never miss an opportunity to eat. You never know what is going to happen next and may conflict with the next meal time. I am probably the most guilty of this so I know of what I speak.
  3. Drink lots of water. We get busy and we often forget and tend to get dehydrated and don’t even realize it.
  4. Keep your sense of humour – remember that everyone else is probably just as tired and stressed as you are. If you have to blow off some steam, make sure you take it out of the public areas both from sight and sound perspectives. Let’s always try and support one another.
  5. Never run. You may be in a hurry, but the media notice when organizers are running – it usually means there is a problem so let’s not give them a heads up.
  6. Whenever you run into a problem, remember there is always a solution, it just may not be in the direction you were initially heading.  Conventions happen in real time so to state the obvious, everything happens very quickly (especially when it’s not going according to plan). If there is something wrong that doesn’t seem to have a solution, take a step back, take a deep breath and consult your colleagues.  Together, the solution will come to you.
  7. Did I mention to change your shoes often?

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone I might have missed on my distribution list and who might be able to benefit from these tips.  If you remember which event this was written for, please feel to post in the comments section.

Written by Phil Ecclestone, CMP