The Event Manager’s ‘Survival Kit’ Checklist

Through my job I’ve come across loads of Event Managers on events and I’m always intrigued (and surprised) by the random objects they pull out of nowhere that can literally save the day – a bit like Mary Poppins and her bottomless handbag! When something goes wrong, I’ve noticed how experienced Event Managers will just deal it, using their own toolbox of ‘event essentials’, rather than chase the venue and wait for someone else to sort the problem out.

So I’ve created a checklist of event management essentials, inspired by their impressive organisational skills. My intent is that this list can be used by people who are new to event management and want to be well-prepared for upcoming events.(As a bonus I’ve included handy dandy check boxes)

Checkbox Batteries (assorted sizes)
Checkbox Bags (carrier, bin, sandwich and sick bags)
Checkbox Blue  and white tac
Checkbox Bottle opener and corkscrew
Checkbox Cable ties
Checkbox Camera
Checkbox Candles
Checkbox Calculator
Checkbox Clipboard
Checkbox Disposable table cloths
Checkbox Disposable razor
Checkbox Dustpan and brush
Checkbox Elastic bands
Checkbox Extension cord
Checkbox First aid kit
Checkbox Hand towels
Checkbox Hand wash/shower gel
Checkbox Hammer
Checkbox Insect repellent
Checkbox iPhone lead and plug
Checkbox J cloths
Checkbox Knife
Checkbox Pens and pencils (also highlighter pens)
Checkbox Post it notes
Checkbox Polish and duster
Checkbox Maps (Road, Train and Tube)
Checkbox Matches and lighters
Checkbox Markers (thick, black markers)
Checkbox Measuring tape
Checkbox Mints
Checkbox Multi purpose phone charger
Checkbox Multi purpose surface cleaner
Checkbox Multi plug socket adapter
Checkbox Music CDs (compilations)
Checkbox Nails and screws (assorted)
Checkbox Napkins
Checkbox Notepads (A5 for notes and plain A4 for signs)
Checkbox Pain killers (Aspirin/Ibuprofen/Paracetamol/[and for the ultimate hangover cure] Resolve)
Checkbox Paper clips
Checkbox Paper towels
Checkbox Phillips screwdriver
Checkbox Picture hanging wire
Checkbox Pins
Checkbox Pliers
Checkbox Pushpins/tacks
Checkbox Safety clips
Checkbox Scissors
Checkbox Screwdriver
Checkbox Sewing kit
Checkbox Shoe polish (weddings)
Checkbox Shower hooks
Checkbox Stapler and staples
Checkbox White sticky labels
Checkbox Stopwatch
Checkbox String
Checkbox Sun protection lotion
Checkbox Superglue
Checkbox Tape (carpet, clear, scotch, masking, electrical and duct tapes)
Checkbox Tape measure
Checkbox Tea spoons
Checkbox Tea towels
Checkbox Tissue paper
Checkbox Toothpaste and disposable toothbrushes
Checkbox Toothpicks
Checkbox Torch
Checkbox Water bottles
Checkbox Whistle
Checkbox Wipes (hand and face wipes)
Checkbox Window cleaner
Checkbox Wire cutters
Checkbox Umbrella
Checkbox USB stick (conferences)

I recommend printing this post out and using it as a shopping list to replenish items after an event. Hopefully this checklist will prevent you from worrying about forgetting something, so you can spend your time planning and managing successful events. Best of luck to all of the new Event Managers.

Please note that this post is very much a work in progress. I look forward to hearing from the more experienced Event Managers in the comments.



Michael Chidzey is the chief juicer of eventjuice and heads the digital marketing team at Chillisauce, an event company based in London, UK. He also blogs on several websites and is a visiting lecturer in events management at London Metropolitan University.Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelchidzey

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  1. Ellis: Mobile, Tablet, Solar Phone Charger, Spare Phone Battery because plugs are limited outdoors and event managers become inundated with calls, emails and messages. Reply
  2. KoR Events: Love this! Yes. What he said! Thanks for posting this. I have found myself using/needing many of the listed items on Event day. This list is the truth. Thank you. KoR Reply
  3. Clarissa: Blank Paper! I often find myself wanting to add a little extra signage here and there once I am setting up an event! Great post! :) Reply
  4. Dennis: Michael, Great survival checklist!! Consider these additions: Apple dongle for projection, business cards, cash box/credit card swiping device i.e. Square, Envelopes , GPS or app on mobile, Gift cards - AMEX/Starbucks, Keychain, Laptop lock& cable, Luggage tags, Letterhead, logo stickers, message pad, Network RJ45 cable, PC speakers/soundbox, Portable hard drive, Printer/copier, rulers, spot remover stick, (signs & accessories - tent cards, blank poster board or w/ company.event logo, directional arrows & velcro, table top plexi sign holder ), podium sign of company.event logo, Thank you cards & envelopes, velcro, wireless router/access point. Also remember to backup your laptop or save important documents to the cloud (Box, Dropbox, iCloud, Google) before traveling. Reply