What is event logistics?
The term ‘events logistics’ refers to a wide range of complex processes that take place in order to ensure that an event, such as an exhibition, seminar, conference, or charitable auction, runs smoothly. It involves processes across the whole events lifecycle, including procurement, operational planning and scheduling, transportation, freight carrying, storage, distribution, tracking, management, retrofit and disposal. The term can be applied to physical events, as well as online ones.
What does event logistics include?
Events logistics encompasses the preparation that goes into an event (including contingency planning), as well as logistical management on the day (or days) of the event. It also includes post-event reviewing. Here we look in detail at the type of considerations that need to be taken into account when managing event logistics:
Hiring a venue can take up a lot of an event’s budget so it’s important to get this right. Creating a shortlist of venues may involve sending out Requests for Proposals (RFPs). An RFP may include details such as the proposed date and time, capacity requirements, catering needs, parking, overnight room requirements and transportation. This can help you to compare venues and their quotes like for like.
Large events can require a significant number of assets and these will need to be housed somewhere until the date of the event. It’s often not possible to keep infrastructure on site, especially as big events can involve year-round planning. In these cases, you will need to find and manage a warehouse.
Do people or equipment need to be transported to or from the event? Is transportation required during the course of the day? What kind of transportation is needed? These are some of the questions that will need to be answered to ensure everyone and everything gets where they need to be in a timely manner.
If you have exhibits, stands, promotional materials, AV equipment, large processing machines or other equipment, you may need to hire a specialist freight company to handle your transportation. At Freightline Carriers, we ensure that your shipments arrive at their destination safely and on time. With shipment tracking, customers can also get real-time journey information from collection to delivery so whether you are planning an exhibition in the UK or a concert in Europe, you can get on with the job of organising your event, knowing that transportation is taken care of.
Creating loading schedules
It’s important to ensure that your suppliers and freight handlers have the space and time required to unload goods and equipment. Avoid queues, parking issues and general confusion by creating a loading schedule for suppliers and freight carriers. This might involve a plan detailing each suppliers’ or freight carriers’ loading bay number, their unloading time, security clearance information and details of staff members they will be working with.
Sourcing and managing suppliers
From AV equipment and signage to catering and entertainment, there are a variety of things that you may need to source suppliers for. Once the right suppliers are found, they will need to be managed to ensure you receive optimum value and any performance targets and deadlines are hit.
Planning and reviewing schedules
At a corporate event such as a conference, for example, a lot of planning will need to go into scheduling and agenda. Decisions around when the event begins and ends, the total duration of the event, how long each speaker has, how many breaks there are and when lunch is served will need to be taken carefully.
Managing the flow of people
Large events pose challenges when it comes to crowd management. Careful planning needs to go into creating a steady flow from the entrance through the event to the exit. This plan needs to take safety, staffing numbers and event timings into consideration. Where possible, registrations should be streamlined to avoid queues and congestion.
Finding out how attendees feel about an event can help you to make improvements when it comes to your next function. There are numerous ways you can collect feedback from delegates. For example, you might decide to use comment cards, events apps, facial recognition, feedback buttons, email follow-ups, surveys, feedback walls or live polling.
Collating and reporting feedback
To really learn from your event, all feedback should be collated after an event and a report should be drawn up. This can help you to understand what went well, what didn’t go well and how you might be able to improve future events.
Balancing the books
Revenue and invoices should be reconciled afterwards to find out how successful the event was financially.
What does logistics do in an event?
Logistics helps to ensure that you achieve maximum value from your event and your wide objectives are supported. Whether you’re aiming to raise money for charity, create networking opportunities or get clients on board, the logistical planning of your function should help you to do just that. This kind of planning helps to ensure your event runs smoothly and that everyone is where they need to be at the right time and everyone has access to the things they need in order to get the most from the event.
Why is logistics in event management important?
If you don’t carry out proper logistical planning, you’re putting yourself or your organisation at risk in a number of ways. Not taking logistics seriously could result in financial loss, loss of reputation, equipment damage, accidents or injuries, resource wastage and overworked staff.