Do you have Pre-Con before each event? We think they’re a crucial piece to ensuring the event runs smoothly, especially with larger events. We’re going to answer the question, “What’s a Pre-Con” and break down some important information we think every event planner should know.
What’s a Pre-Con?
A Pre-Con is a meeting with your vendors, event team & key stakeholders that takes place a few days or weeks prior to the event. It usually takes place at the event venue and includes reviewing final logistics as well as load-in and load-out schedule. It’s also a time for making any last minute vendor related changes.
Why does the Pre-Con matter?
- It’s an opportunity to walk through the load-in, load-out, and production schedule with everyone who plays a role to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- It gets all your vendors in the same room at the same time. You’ll be surprised how often just being in the same room can help unveil logistical problems. Did two vendors plan on using the same cargo bay? Does the venue have space for 4 trucks to arrive at the same time to unload?
- It helps you identify what vendors are interconnected. If catering needs to load-in their supplies by 8am, did you plan for the tent vendor to already have the catering prep tent set up? By walking through the schedule, it helps clear up any conflicts before arriving onsite.
- You can start putting faces to names. A lot of times you work with a vendor for months leading up to the event without ever meeting in person. Having a face-to-face Pre-Con gives you the chance to see who you’ve been talking to. This will make life easier if you’re running through the venue looking for a vendor.
- It calms your nerves! Hearing your vendors confirm their roles can be comforting. It can put some of your anxiety to rest knowing that every last detail has been talked through.
What should be done leading up to a Pre-Con?
- In the weeks leading up to the event, you should be creating a production schedule that outlines every key piece that needs to happen during the event. You’ll review and make changes to the schedule during Pre-Con (and sometimes even after!) but you want as many details sorted out beforehand as possible. There’s so much going on at the same time that you need to make sure you have it all assigned and under control. Here’s an example of our production schedule outlining load-in details:
- If you are using union labor, you’ll need to know out what items your vendors will need to use union crew for. Make sure to ask each vendor what labor needs they have so you can coordinate with your Union Labor contact. The LAST thing you want to have happen is to be short-handed onsite for set-up or load-out.
- Your vendor orders should be finalized before the Pre-Con. with a few last minute exceptions. The Pre-Con is not the time to decide how many chairs you need or how many screens go on each stage. The goal is to have that done before the Pre-Con. Minor changes can and will most likely be made, but the majority of the items should already be sorted out.
- Gather information on vendor needs like if they need power, access to running water, storage, wi-fi, special equipment, meals, etc. By reviewing these items during Pre-Con, you can make sure everyone is taken care of!
Event planners know that the last few weeks before an event are a crazy whirlwind of final details and last minute changes. Having a Pre-Con meeting can help save you sleepless nights! Technology makes it incredibly easy to work with vendors from different locations, but having that final meeting in the same room can make a huge difference. You’ll realize logistical hiccups you might have missed, work through final questions, and put your mind at ease.
Want to know what you should cover during Pre-Con? Sign up to snag a freebie of our trusted Pre-Con checklist! We’ll dive into how to format your schedule, the items you need to include and other useful tips to successfully managing those final weeks of planning.
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