Print vs. electronic. Old school vs. new school... When it comes to having key files on hand at any event, meeting planners are known for having one or two (ok I'm guilty of having up to three) binders onsite to keep all of the event files organized. It can bring a level of comfort to be able to physically hold the paperwork that demonstrates all the work completed, especially since so much of event planning is not tangible. How to choose? Don't, use both!
Here's a list of how to best keep each file...
Print: Lugging around a bulky and heavy binder isn't efficient. Keep it at a convenient location, at the registration desk or in the on-site event office. Organize the binder with labeled tabs, to keep like items together:
Signed Work Orders/BEOs -- as a back-up to the electronic file
Exhibitor Contracts/Registration Forms -- being able to physically show someone the form they completed can be helpful
Attendee/Registration Lists -- sorted by last name, company name, and any additional way that a search may need to be done
Volunteer Schedules -- have multiple copies available for staff and volunteers to review
Scripts -- stakeholders get busy at events too, be the hero if they forget to bring their copy
Electronic: Place all the files in the cloud storage service of your choice, I prefer dropbox; add the dropbox mobile app to a tablet and make sure each file on the tablet is made available offline or marked as a favorite -- so even without wifi or cell service the files can be accessed:
Work Orders/BEOs -- searching for keywords in a PDF saves time, compared to flipping through pages of printed files
Venue and Vendor Contracts
Hotel rooming list and pick-up report
Certificate of Insurance
PowerPoints and presentations
Like to have a third and fourth back-up? Put all of the files on a jump drive for the event team and put all of the PowerPoints and presentations on a second jump drive for the Audio/Visual team.
...until we meet again!