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38 Things Every Planner Needs In Their Event Survival Kit

Events can get pretty crazy, and as event planners, we have to be prepared. That’s where the event survival kit comes in. To ensure we are ready for anything, we keep a few handy items...

Events can get pretty crazy, and as event planners, we have to be prepared. That’s where the event survival kit comes in. To ensure we are ready for anything, we keep a few handy items on our person at all times - like these!

As event planners, our ability to adapt to unexpected situations can make or break an event. It's not just about MacGyver-like thinking; it's about having the right tools to combat technical difficulties, VIP requests, catering issues, and more.

Many professional event planners can relate to this topic. We all have our own version of emergency or survival kits that are a strategic mix of past experiences and anticipated conundrums. Trust me, it’s better to be over-prepared. Not only does it add to our credibility, but it also builds our clients' trust in us!

Bags for the Event Survival Kit

When Do You Need An Event Survival Kit?

Is “all the time” an acceptable answer? But really. As professional event planners, it’s our duty to be prepared, and that includes showing up with everything it takes. After all, our clients paid for our help! Depending on the event, we can add or remove certain items. For example, you won’t need sunscreen at an indoor event.

Some of us even have two kits. One planner from Special D Events in Michigan said, “We have two ‘take boxes’ that we pack for every event. One has office supplies, and the other has beauty supplies. Between the two, we have just about everything someone could need.”

What kind of “kit” works well? Large, hardshell makeup cases work great because they’re spacious and durable. Some even use fishing tackle boxes! These options work well because they are designed with fold-out drawers and built-in compartments. It may be inconvenient to lug around at times, but in one or two events, this kit will become your best friend.

Technical Must-Haves

Cables

Even though some venues offer AV help, it’s always smart to have a few technical tools on hand for on-the-fly needs. Here are some items for your emergency kit to solve common technical problems.

  • HDMI cords
  • Adapter cables for both Mac and PC laptops
  • iPhone and Android phone chargers (or a USB with multiple heads)
  • Portable USB charger packs (p.s. These make great giveaways!)
  • Batteries (AA, AAA) for microphones or walkie-talkies
  • Extension power cord
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Portable WIFI hotspot device (or a great data plan on your phone!)
  • Light ring (to help make your event Instagram-able!)

Attendee & Speaker Necessities

Sewing Kit

Humans are… Well, human! We spill things, get bad breath, and accidentally rip our pants. Let's overcome mishaps and protect our attendees and speakers from unnecessary embarrassment with personal items like these:

  • Stain remover pen
  • Lint roller
  • Band-aid (because nothing clears a dance floor like blisters!)
  • Safety pins or double-sided tape
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Deodorant or body spray
  • Sunscreen or bug spray
  • General First Aid kit
  • Floss, disposable toothbrushes, or mouthwash
  • Breath mints or gum
  • Protein bars or emergency snacks
  • Feminine products

Planning & Organization Event Survival Kit Items

Pencils

There’s nothing like good ol’ fashioned office supplies. As event planners, the world is our office, so we need to bring it with us. Our kit should have some of these desk staples, plus printed day-of-event documents for simple referencing.

  • Day-of-event documents:
    • Attendee/guest list
    • Sponsors and vendors list
    • Event agenda (or use a virtual timeline!)
    • Contact information (venue, drivers, caterers, etc.)
    • BEO & other contracts
  • Pens, pencils, scissors, Sharpies
  • Paper, notebooks, or Post-It notes
  • Clipboard
  • Labels or nametags
  • All-purpose cleansing and glass wipes
  • Superglue and scotch tape

Miscellaneous Event Survival Kit Items

Tools for the Event Survival Kit

Unexpected situations call for random fixes! Here are some extra odds and ends to include in your event survival kit to cover all the bases.

  • Collapsible easel
  • Extra signage
  • Tape measure
  • Lighter
  • Zip ties
  • Multi-head screwdriver or other essential tools

Event planners are organized, prepared, and above all, problem-solvers. We are ready for anything because of careful planning and learning from our mistakes. So take this list to start your event survival kit and add your own unique items. Then, you’ll be ready for anything!

Amanda Larson, CED, is a Certified Event Designer, marketer, and content creator. With a degree in journalism and special events management, Amanda has worked in marketing and events for both international startups and Fortune500 companies. She specializes in digital branding, copywriting, and graphic design freelancing for clients globally.

You can read other articles by Amanda here:

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