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How to Stay Organized at Your Event

When you are on-site at your event it can be a challenge to be organized. You need an office or base to work from. Yet for many events, that "office" may be in multiple locations. I have developed an "Office in a Box" that can move easily from location to location. Of course, every event will have its own unique requirements, but this can serve as a good starting point.

Here are some suggestions:

  •  Label everything! Stapler, laptop cord, power strip, everything.
  • Pack box cutters in your checked luggage (not your carry-on!) You will need them to open your boxes so don't pack them in your shipped office supplies. I like the flat ones that you can easily slip into binder pockets. Yes, they're labeled.
  • Binders are a great way to stay organized on-site. Gather the hotel BEO, rooming lists, pick up reports, etc. Just 3-hole punch and put in a binder. You will have everything at your fingertips.
  • Laptops and printers. If the computer needs a password make sure it is clearly labeled on the computer. Also, be sure you have the appropriate printer drivers loaded on the computer. It is a good idea to bring the CD with the printer driver with you on-site in case it needs to be re-loaded and you don't have Internet access.
  • Try to gather your meeting supplies at least 30 days out. Everything speeds up as you get closer to the event. Get this done early and out of the way. Good Luck!

Shelley's Office in a Box: (I keep this in a plastic container ready to go)
Stapler, extra staples, staple remover
Scotch tape and dispenser, extra tape
Rubber bands Several boxes of paper clips
Assorted sizes of binder clips
Push pins
Liquid paper (white out)
3 hole punch
Assorted markers (fine point, large point, black & red)
Supply of highlighters
Digital kitchen timer
Box cutters (I like the small flat ones. Just make sure you don't try to fly with them)
Roll of raffle tickets (you never know when you will need them)
Extra binders (for BEO, forms collected on-site, etc.)
Business card holder sheet (holds biz cards, room keys, etc.)
2 sided tape Duct tape
Acrylic sign holders (81/2 x 11)
Small tool kit: screwdriver with assorted blades, small box of screws, utility knife
Small first aid kit
Hand wipes
Laptops (w/ power cord)
Printer with extra ink cartridge (and printer driver)
Extension cords, power strip
Memory stick (Make sure all are labeled with your company name)

Paper Supplies:
Event/Company letterhead and envelopes
Thank you cards (to write on-site)
Printer paper (regular and 3 hole punched)
Colored paper and card stock
Supply of #10 and large envelopes
Several legal pads
Supply of sheet protectors
Paper cutter
Manila folders
Vertical folder tray-I like the plastic one by Staples
Packing tape
Shipping labels
Blank white address labels
Blank name tent stock

Registration Supplies:
Badge Stock (20% more than anticipated)
Badge Holders
Blank Badge Stock (to be used in a pinch)
Ribbons (President/Staff, etc.)
On-site Registration Forms (also PDF to make more copies)

Shelley E. Griffin, CMM, is the founder and president of Griffin Conference Group, which provides comprehensive meeting and conference planning services. Shelley is a respected industry leader with over twenty years experience. For more helpful tips, please visit our web site at