Why Mary Poppins is the ultimate Event Manager: The Event Emergency Kit

As Event Managers we generally spend a large amount of time ‘on site’ or during an event firefighting, problem solving, and having all the answers.

Our clients expect the best and we expect the unexpected and prepare for the worst.  Although travelling light is what we try to do, having all the answers doesn’t really happen empty-handed, so we’re often known to have a few tricks up our sleeves to help solve problems right there and then.

Just like Mary Poppins.

This career is hardly one you can liken to a Disney movie, but it’s hard to find a character more prepared.  Which is why I think we could all use a bit of Mary Poppins-esque planning in our lives next time we’re getting ready to lead a big event.

Having an event manager ‘Survival Kit’ or ‘Emergency Kit’ to hand when running and event is something you do once for the first time, and then suddenly realise you’ll never be able to run an event without! As I gear up for an incredibly busy week of events, I thought I’d share some of my top ten ‘must-haves’ in my Mary Poppins bag on site…


  1. Post-it-notes

Perfect for labelling tables, planning a layout or food station or highlighting jobs left to be done

  1. First aid kit

YES plasters are for first aid – but they are also for new shoes.

  1. Sewing kit

It sounds like a retro idea, but you never know when you or a member of your team might lose a button or snag an item of clothing.

  1. A tape measure
  2. Hair grips and ties

My personal pet peeve with event staff and often the first thing I’ll notice is hair – they might not be waiting staff and it might not be a formal event, but hair grips can make or break it sometimes if a team member hasn’t fully prepped before their shift or turns up a little less groomed than you’d like.  On a similar note, shoe polish can also come in very useful!

  1. Cable ties

They. Fix. Everything.

  1. Spare chargers or power packs
  2. Gaffer tape

Perfect for fixing trip hazards, securing cables and plenty of other things you will realise as soon as you don’t have it to hand!

  1. Scissors or a pocket knife

Useful for opening deliveries of boxes and packages, cutting loose threads or tape.

  1. Water

It’s easy to turn to the energy drinks when the going gets tough and you’re lacking sleep, but keeping hydrated is always the answer.

Do you carry an event emergency kit? Please feel free to comment on your must have items!

Of course there are always going to be things you can’t prepare for… but being one step ahead, just like Mary Poppins, can go a long way on event day.

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