Event organizers always seem to have the perfect fix when something goes wrong. Broken cables, torn banners, missing keynotes, paper cuts, you name it — they’ve got just the thing!
So how do organizers make sure they have the right tool, cable, or tape people are looking for? Also, what’s in their super-secret event planner bag? Truth – it all comes down to thinking about what presenters, attendees, or anyone else, might need in a pinch. To help you out, these are the essential items every event organizer needs in their bag.
In a rush? Check our quick checklist below:
Chargers, cables, calculator, dongles, batteries, thumb drives, tape recorder, etc.
Pens, pencils, post-its, Sharpies, etc.
Tools and tapes:
Scissors, screwdrivers, pliers, rubber hammer, duct tape, electrical tape, clear tape, sewing kit, safety pins, etc.
Food and comfort:
Snacks, gum, floss, water bottle, sunscreen, comfy shoes, etc.
Health and safety:
Hand sanitizer, masks, rapid covid test, mini first-aid, etc.
Something for fun!:
A good playlist, Bluetooth speaker, deck of cards, etc.
Note: You don’t need a literal “bag.” You may want to bring a plastic storage box on a small dolly, a classic metal toolbox, or maybe even a stylish duffle. All are good options!
Also, organizers might not need everything on the list, so feel free to pick and choose the things that work best for your event.
Now onto the stuff!
Bring any chargers you or your speakers might need. Phone, computer, tablet, Apple Watch, wireless charging pad, etc. Here are some of Wirecutter’s favorite universal USB-C laptop and tablet chargers.
Pack any cables you or speakers might need. USB-A, USB-C, micro-USB, and an extra HDMI cable (long enough for the speaker to connect to while presenting).
USB-C to HDMI, USB to HDMI, etc. Ask your speakers what their connection needs are so that you can be prepared just in case.
A rechargeable battery pack for phones and tablets can be a lifesaver. Don’t forget AA or AAA batteries for all your TV/AV remotes. Also, if you use any devices that need those tiny, hard-to-find coin batteries – bring those!
Keep keynote presentations or important videos on a backup thumb drive. If for some reason something isn’t streaming correctly, you’ll be ready with the hard copy.
Pro-tip: Mark all your items with electrical tape. You can get it in all different colors and it will help keep your stuff from wandering off on its own 🙂
Pens, pencils, post-its, etc:
Inevitably someone will ask you for a pen, or a pencil, or a post-it. And someone will absolutely ask you for a Sharpie. Be prepared. Have back-up!
On another note, stationery is a nice way to say thanks to your speakers. Speakers love to write stuff down and are always thinking of new presentation ideas. They will 100 percent appreciate a nice notebook, pen, or stationary bundle as a thank you gift.
Tools and tapes
Scissors, screwdrivers, pliers, rubber hammers, etc:
Bring any tool that you use regularly or think you might need. Take note of any odd tools that are necessary for adjusting tables or media consoles. You don’t want to be looking for a 5/16 torx-bit on event day. Trust us.
Duct tape, electrical tape, masking tape, clear tape, etc:
Duct tape can solve most tape problems, just ask NASA! But it does stand out and can leave a residue, so it’s best to have a few other tape options.
Sewing kit, safety pins, ect:
There’s nothing worse than a torn pocket or missing button right when you need it most! A safety pin or sewing kit can take care of that real quick.
Snacks, gum, floss, etc:
Nothing beats your favorite snack after a long morning setting up. Gum, mints, or a quick floss, are also a great way to reset after a snack break. Plus someone will certainly ask you if you have any they can have!
Sunscreen, umbrella, and comfy shoes:
Summer is upon us. You may be outside longer than you expected. Sunscreen is a must. An umbrella, too. Also, comfy shoes are perfect for the end of the day on the event floor. ProTip: Get some fun trainers in the mix!
Gotta stay hydrated. Seriously.
Health and safety kit
Hand sanitizer, masks, rapid covid test:
Covid is still out there. The best thing you can do is have all the essentials to keep yourself safe at the venue.
Someone will ask for a Tums or an Advil. Or you may even want one yourself. So pack a few OTC items that might come in handy.
Mini first aid kit:
Chances are you have a full-size first aid kit already, so think of this as an easy way to grab a band-aid, alcohol wipe, or Neosporin, and be on your way.
Something for fun!
Playlists and Bluetooth speaker:
The perfect “work” playlist can get your team in the right headspace during set-up. Also, even if you have a DJ, you never know when something will go wrong and you might have to grab the AUX cord. So be ready!
Anything fun for your team:
You know your team. Maybe there’s a special snack everyone would want. Or a fun game that people would want to play in their downtime. The key is that you have at least one thing for fun in your event bag!
Think about what you, or anyone, might need on event day.
We subscribe to the rule that you can never be overpacked when it comes to packing our event organizer bag.
Tech items like chargers and cables are essential to everything running smoothly. Tools and tapes are perfect for quick DIY fixes. And don’t forget all your essentials. First aid, pens, snacks, even a fun playlist and Bluetooth speaker for the crew! Basically, bring anything that you think you might need, and you’ll be ready.