It’s easy to pick out an event planner’s car — it’s the one littered with a carefully curated collection of junk and just-in-case gear. Because when you live the fast-paced life of an event planner, you have to keep emergency supplies on hand, and the only time you have for self-care is on-the-go as well.

As a result, your car offers tell-tale evidence that you do your job well — but also that you spend way too much time driving between venues, vendors, and sponsors’ offices.

How many of these items are in your car right now?

Empty coffee cups

There’s the still-dark-out morning cup that you pick up on the way in, the midday pick-me-up cup you had as a stand-in for lunch, and even the burning-the-midnight-oil event set-up cup. Caffeine and event planning – especially when it’s super close to event day – go hand in hand. And the coffee cup graveyard that is your car floor is all the proof you need.

Duct tape

You never know when an event booth might need a little reinforcement, wiring needs to be secured to the ground so no one trips, or a speaker’s pants hem comes undone before he takes the stage. The common denominator? You can solve any of those problems by running out to your car and grabbing your back-up duct tape. Yes, duct tape really can solve all problems.

An unused gym bag

You have good intentions about hitting the gym before work, and then you get an urgent call from your assistant about a vendor bowing out or your event website going down. As for after work? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. There’s always tomorrow — or the day after your event wraps up.

Measuring tape

Event planners need to be able to measure things at a moment’s notice. You never know when you’ll have to measure how many registration tables will fit along a wall, or the distance between your workstation and the nearest outlet. That’s why you have your handy dandy measuring tape with you at all times.

Food wrappers

On-the-go venue scouting days sometimes call for stopping off at the drive-through. And even when you’re prepared with nutritious snacks of your own, those granola bar and cheese stick wrappers aren’t going to clean themselves. Unfortunately, no matter how organized your work desk is, your car will bear the brunt of your daily hustle.

Trash bags

It never hurts to have some backup trash bags in your car’s trunk, just in case you need extra ones on event day. Heavy duty ones can make post-event clean-up a cinch, while smaller ones are perfect for maintaining some neatness behind an event table or booth. (And if you ever have downtime, you can grab one for yourself to clean up all those aforementioned coffee cups and food wrappers.)

Parking tickets

Especially in a city with metered parking, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with a ticket while you’re out meeting with event partners and vendors. What you thought would take 20 minutes goes 40, and of course, your meter runs out just as a traffic officer happens to walk by with his ticket book. And sometimes,  despite your best efforts to find a legal spot, you double-park in front of a building to quickly drop off event supplies. Consider it an unfortunate cost of doing business.

If the majority of these items can be found in your car at any given time, then there’s no doubt that you’re an event planner. Don’t get down on yourself about the mess – it’s all part of the job. Even though some of the items in your car have saved the day, you’ll be better prepared if you follow our pre-event de-stress checklist.

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