If the Zombie Apocalypse were coming, you would make a supply kit. Extra ammunition, water and food along with flashlights, batteries, a knife and other assorted Zombie surviving stuff. Meetings and events are very similar, well, at least in the fact that you should have a supply kit and attendees can sometimes shuffle around looking for food.
What goes into a meeting and event supply kit is totally up to you, just like riding out into the Zombie wild, it all depends on what you think you are going to face. You can keep it consistent or change it up from event to event. I like to customize it by event but there are some staples that I always have on hand. The picture that accompanies this post is actually my supply kit, in its glory with the broken handle courtesy of United Airlines.
Here are my meeting planning kit staples (Pun Intended):
- Three hole punch – Great for adding those BEOs to the Binder
- Flashlights (two) – Yes, the power goes out sometimes
- Camera – Video and still because you never know when you will have a Kodak moment. This cannot be replaced by the personal camera you carry, this is its own thing
- Batteries – stuff needs power and power is what you will have
- Assorted cables – USB, firewire etc. Nothing worse than not being able to connect to a printer
- A Wireless router – Turn any internet connection into a wireless zone that staff and clients can log into. This really makes people happy
- Assorted charging cords – When the client forgets a cell phone or laptop cord, you can be a hero. I use iGo found at Radio Shack. One cord, zillions of different tips to attach to a zillion different devices
- A grommet hole maker – Don’t laugh. I wanted to ditch this thing out of the box for years and no one would let me. Last year, someone actually came into the conference office and said “I need to make grommet hole”….. guess what.
- Door stops – minimum four. These are always handy because doors are stubborn and always want to close. You can now put them in there place
- Extension cords and power strips. Can save you a bundle on getting one from the hotel
- Flash memory – USB and SD. Always, always have many extras that way if you loan one and it does not come back, who cares
- Assorted Office Supplies – A stapler, staples, white out, binder clips, rubber bands, post it notes, etc.
- Printer Ink – Always have three extra
- A lighter – You never know when something needs lighting on fire
- First Aid Kit – You should move this to the top of the list because people are people and do stupid things
- Breath Mints – Morning coffee, enough said
- Various Sundries – Suntan Lotion, Asprin, Advil, Tylenol, Tums, Wipes, Sanitizer, A Toothbrush and Toothpaste, etc. Don’t ask, just get
- Staple Gun – Great for posting missing attendee signs
- Tape – Get packing and gaffer’s tape… you will love having Gaffer’s tape and will tape cords to the floor just because you can
- 3M Spray Adhesive – Make your own signs or stick stuff together for fun
- Screen Cleaner and Microfiber Cloth – everyone hates a dirty screen
- Tool Kit – A hammer, nails, screws, powered screw driver (with flat and Philips heads), a micro screw drive set and an Allen wrench key. If you have these, you are all set, need something more, call a pro.
- Twine – never know what you will have to tie up
- Crazy Glue – You never know what needs un-breaking
- Markers – Sharpies are best
- Fed ex or other shipping labels – Don’t wait for conference services, shave hours off your day
- Clipboard(s) – Papers want to be stuck together and hung on a wall, when put up behind your conference office desk, they make you look and feel important
- Velcro – Strips and tabs – A million uses
- Stick On Badges and Labels – They come in handy at the pre-con or other places where someone expects you to know someones name
- Label Printer – Dymo is the brand, get one today, you can and will label everything
- Blank DVDs and CDs – Someone wants something burned to disk, no matter how assinine it seems. Also grab some holders
- Box cutters – just get a box of ten and remember to not put them in your carry on
- Sign easles – Those things that get stuck to the back of table signs to make them stand up
- A Ruler – Stright lines need to be drawn
- Tape measure – Now you know your hunch about that thing not fitting is a reality, time to move to plan B
- A Calculator – Things need adding and that calculator on your phone sucks and you look dumb using it
- Table levelers – because tables always rock and folded napkins are tacky
- Envelopes – Hotel staff gratuities are better handed out discreetly and you can put your logo on them so they know who gave it to them
- Logofied Pads – Your logo on notes is a great thing
- Pens and Pencils – Yes both, don’t argue. When you are out in the middle of nowhere and you need a pencil, you will thank me
- A knife – Butter and steak, again just put them in there. You will know when you need them.
- WD-40 and liquid wrench – Now you have the power to fix that squeeky door and get that screw out
- A list of important numbers – Fed Ex, United Airlines, etc taped to the inside lid of the box
It all fits, it does and you will be thankful you brought this stuff with you!
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