5 things to think about when organising high profile events

When it comes to high profile events such as, the inauguration of a President, the whole world will be watching. This means the event will be heavily scrutinised by all parties involved, including spectators.

Here at Grapevine we have put together a few pointers to keep in mind if your event will have the eyes of the world watching: 

1.       Security

CNN are currently reporting that 28,000 security personnel will be present at the inauguration costing over $100m. At your event, your invited VIP's may have their own security detail, you need to factor in what their requirements are. Have a meeting with the security detail for them to brief you and to check the venue. Work with them to understand their concerns for the safety of their client. They might need to be included in a dinner seating plan or require all your guests to show ID on entry, a briefing meeting in advance of your event can work out the details required to ensure a smooth running of the event for all guests. 

2.       Be Prepared

Preparation for any event is key to its success, so the more time spent planning the better. Did you know that before Trump’s inauguration the army and secret service carried out a dress rehearsal with army band members standing in for Trump and all the other guests? They walked the route of the Inaugural Parade, followed by a stand-in motorcade.  

It might not be possible to do a full run through for your event but make sure that your planning documents are sent to all involved so everyone is briefed on timings and where they need to be.

3.       Knowing Who’s Who

There are some faces that are instantly recognisable, such as the President Elect, but when you are faced with hundreds of guests it’s not always possible to recognise everyone. As an event planner all your guests should be treated politely, however some guests might need to be addressed in a certain manner so it’s important to know who they are. Thank God for Google! If you are not great with names, search for your VIP's online, you could even print a sheet of pictures and names to carry on your clipboard so you can check as guests are approaching you.   

4.       People Management

High profile events are likely to draw a crowd, as well as your invited guests you may need to accommodate the public. Washington is bracing itself for 900,000 people descending on the Capital to witness the inauguration! To manage this situation there needs to be clear guidelines for everyone. Your briefing notes need to be written for all staff and instructions for the public need to be considered for all elements of the event. For Trump’s inauguration, there is a dedicated Twitter account specifically to let the public know what is going on during the day. This can also be used if a security message needs to be sent out to the public in an emergency.

5.       Contingency Plan

Every event planner should have contingency plans for their event and a high profiled event probably needs a few more in place! Plans for all aspects including weather, non-arrival of speakers, overrunning of timings, security threats should all be thought through in advance. In 1985 Ronald Regean’s second inauguration had to be moved indoors due to extreme cold weather and the fear for everyone watching the ceremony getting frostbite. 

Grapevine Events have organised lots of high profile events and would love to help you organise yours. Get in touch here.