What’s In Your Event Bag?

Flickr image from user cambodia4kidsorg

I’ve had event preparation on my mind lately, as I get ready for bridesmaid duties this weekend. All of the arrangements and decorations have been set, and what’s left for me is to try to anticipate and deal with unexpected problems. Most of what will arise are small issues like broken nails and blisters, and, while they won’t (usually) doom the event, they can significantly distract key people.

In addition to helping me be a good bridesmaid, these sorts of preparations have helped me in my nonprofit career. Whether I was assisting the development team with our auction or managing a large volunteer event, anticipating small problems well helped these days go over more smoothly and successfully.

While we can’t prevent these issues entirely – nails will always break – we can, like the good scout, be prepared to deal with the situation quickly. To that end, in addition to the boxes of items our team brings to the event, I always bring along a handful of extra items. Each event will have its own special circumstances that may require an extra tool or two, but here are the standard additions to my event day purse:

  1. A multitool with, at minimum, a knife and screwdrivers. This is frequently handy, allowing us to quickly open a boxes and tighten wobbly tables.
  2. Mini-first aid kit that, in addition to standards like bandages and painkillers, has a sheet of moleskin.
  3. Phone charger(s). One of those universal sets can be handy for helping out others, but I at least bring mine.
  4. A mini-sewing kit: Grab the next one you see in a hotel room, as it doesn’t need much to pin a broken zipper or replace a lost button.
  5. Clear nail polish, nail clippers and emory board: In addition to dealing with a broken nail, the nail polish regularly comes in handy for snagged nylons.
  6. Extra copies of important info: The best way to make sure you need a backup of your information is to not have it available. Even if the caterer’s number is on my phone and the attendee details will be pulled up on a tablet, I still bring it on paper. I also often bring it along on a thumb drive, so I can get copies at a print shop if needed.

How about you? What other items do you always bring along on event day?