Event Runner Basics
An Event Runner is vital for the smooth running of any event. You are the glue that sticks the rest of the larger aspects of the event together. Do not undervalue your role, and make sure you learn the content of any event documents you are given properly before the event itself.
During the event, your job is to provide assistance to anyone and everyone who might need it. You should be prepared to do tasks that vary from as simple as showing a participant where the bathroom is, to more stressful tasks such as buying a last minute screen projector, in the middle of nowhere, minutes before the event should start.
However, please note here, that if you have any questions or problems yourself, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, you are encouraged to do so, in order for the event to run smoothly. Do not attempt any tasks that you do not feel confident in. The people to ask for help are usually those who gave you the initial brief, the site manager, other runners, other event staff or the Event Coordinator/Manager.
You should avoid asking the Event Coordinator anything, unless absolutely necessary (e.g. an actual emergency has arisen) try instead to ask the appropriate head of whichever category your problem is in (e.g. ask the stage manager where to put the speakers). This will enable everyone else to continue doing their own job smoothly as well.
Simple things you can do to be a better Runner:
• Dress appropriately: you should be smart but comfortable. Do not wear shoes that you cannot stand in for the entire day. Runners do the most walking out of everyone during an event.
• Think about the weather: wear layers that you can remove or add on according to the temperature. Make sure you have something rain proof nearby and sunscreen is also a great idea if you are likely to be outside.
• Eat and Drink regularly: again, you as a runner are doing the most exercise, so it is very important to stay hydrated and full of energy! Keep a bottle of water on you at all times and make sure you’re sipping it, even if you’re not very thirsty.
• Be confident in your knowledge: as a Runner, you will be expected by participants and other event staff members to have a good general knowledge of the event. I suggest you read the documents given to you several times over before the event starts. Take extra care to remember where the bathrooms are, where the emergency exits are, and what the key speaker’s or acts names are.
• Be friendly and easy to approach: your main job is to help, so make sure that you look like you are actually willing to help. If you feel your mood dropping, ask for a break and make sure that you get some more food into your system. Something with sugar is ideal: keep some cereal bars in your bag if you can.
• Don’t forget that you have documents! You should print your own copy out of any documents given to you before the event and keep them in your back pocket. This will enable you to pull them out whenever you are unsure of something, or even to be able to show a participant exactly where you mean on the venue plan. (Having the Running Order on hand can be especially useful)
• Something unexpected will always happen at an event, so keep an open mind and be willing to help. The success of an event is often judged on how the event staff handle a setback.
• Lastly, a great runner is thoughtful and keeps an eye out for other struggling staff members. If you’re not currently doing something specific, see if your colleagues need anything. Sometimes a simple cup of tea or drink of fresh water can really go a long way.