Last weekend, I had the pleasure of staffing Solomon McCown client Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ event, Celebrate Israel Boston—an outdoor festival of Israeli music, art, dance, fun, food and community.


The event drew thousands of people and featured internationally renowned musical talent, children’s performers, interactive art projects and activities for everyone. Our client, CJP, along with the Israeli American Council and the Consulate General of Israel to New England, joined with hundreds of community organizations to make this unique Israeli experience a reality.


Needless to say it was a blast, especially when Julian Edelman, New England Patriots wide receiver and Super Bowl champion, greeted the crowd. He threw out mini footballs to fans and took pictures with kids from Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters.


As PR professionals, we are expected to plan events, get press to cover them and facilitate interviews before, during, and after the event. This was the first high-profile event I have participated in since joining the Solomon McCown team, so I was really excited to see how I would handle the pressure and any issues that might arise. Here are the three most important things I learned:


Strategize a plan B, C and D: Our event ran from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. However, a torrential downpour decided to grace us with its presence for the last few hours. Thanks to careful planning, CJP was prepared with tents and indoor activities. It’s important that you think through every possibility that may affect the event and prepare to handle it.


You can’t do it alone: There were several camera crews, a radio station producer and newspaper photographers all covering the event at the exact same time. It was crucial that our team had a sufficient number of people at the event to manage media and facilitate interviews while simultaneously helping the client with whatever it needed.


Arrive prepared: Even though Celebrate Israel did not start until noon, our team arrived at 10 a.m. I made sure to pack each team member a folder, which included copies of the media advisory, holding statements, our plan for the day (including who would handle which media outlets) and our media list. The media list was especially important for making follow-up calls while at the event. If I did not have a list of numbers and emails, I would have wasted valuable time looking up the contact information for news desks, reporters and photographers.


Be creative: TV stations have a limited number of camera crews, especially on a Sunday, but we wanted to make sure we got media coverage for the event. With Julian Edelman attending, we pitched TV and print sports departments in addition to news desks, Jewish publications and feature reporters. This strategy turned out to be a success—our client was mentioned on major sports networks in Boston!


Events can be overwhelming, especially when you’re expecting thousands of people to attend. But if you think ahead prior to the event, you won’t fall behind while you’re there.