Planning is crucial to pulling off a great event, and keeping the stress levels down! We have put together some of the most important things to remember in a check list.
6-4 months before the event
- Establish event goals and objectives
- Select date
- Identify venue and negotiate details
- Develop Event Master Plan
- Get cost estimates (e.g., room and furniture rental, food & beverages, equipment, speaker fees, travel, etc.) and create a budget
- Create and launch publicity plan & brand for your event
- Identify and confirm speakers/presenters/entertainers
- Identify and contact sponsors/partners
3-4 Months Ahead of Event
- Finalize presentation/speech topics
- Get bio information, photo
- Travel & accommodation arrangements
- Have contracts signed if appropriate, etc.
- Registration fees
- Set up/enable online registration
- Sponsor levels/amounts
- Identify items to be underwritten and accounting tracking details
- Design floor layout and stand set ups.
- Hire furniture and other items for the venue.
- Investigate need for any special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.
- Determine and arrange all details re menu, A/V equipment, registration set-up, parking, signage, etc.
- Review security needs/plan for the event with venue manager
- Develop draft program
- Develop publicity pieces; newsletter articles and/or ads, radio spots, print blog posts articles for submission to other publications.
- Request logos from corporate sponsors for online and printed materials
- Develop and produce invitations, programs, posters, tickets, etc.
- Develop media list & prepare News Release, Media Advisory, Backgrounder and all media kit materials (e.g., speaker info, photos, etc.)
- Create event page on your website
- Enable/create email event notifications
- Create a Facebook event page
- Register your event on a variety of online event calendars
2 months prior to event
- Send reminders to contact list re registration/participation
Confirm travel/accommodation details
Request copy of speeches and/or presentations
- Sponsorship: Follow up to confirm sponsorships and underwriting
Release press announcements about keynote speakers, celebrities, VIPs attending, honourees, etc.
Post your initial event news release on your website and circulate to all partners, affiliated organizations, etc.
1 week ahead
- Brief any/all hosts, greeters, volunteers about their event duties and timelines
- Final seating plan, place cards, etc.
- Provide final registration numbers to caterer
- Make print and online copies of any speeches, videos, presentations, etc.
- Final registration check, name badges & registration list
- Determine photo op and interview opportunities with any presenters, VIPs etc. and confirm details with interviewee and media.
1 day ahead
- Confirm media attending
- Ensure all signage is in place
- Ensure registration and media tables are prepared and stocked with necessary items (e.g., blank name badges, paper, pens, tape, stapler, etc.)
- Ensure all promo items, gifts, plaques, trophies, etc. are on-site
- Ensure you have copies of all instructions, directions, phone numbers, keys, extra parking permits for VIP guests, seating charts and guest lists with you
- Financial status: gather all receipts, documentation, final registration data, etc. and update budget
- Send thank-you’s and acknowledgement letters to:
- Post-event publicity
- Conduct a Post-Event Survey – to learn what people enjoyed about your event, and where you have room to improve.
- Follow-up communication with event participants
- Reach out to event participants – thank them for participating and promote your ongoing programs and how they can support you throughout the year by joining, volunteering or making a sustaining donation.
- Conduct a thorough evaluation