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  • 6 to 12 Months before the event
    • Decide event purpose (raise funds, visibility, celebration)
    • Choose a theme
    • Visit potential sites
    • Appoint an event coordinator/manager
    • Sselect committees/chairpersons
    • Get cost estimates
    • Get offers for entertainment
    • Get offers for decorations
    • Get offers from designers
    • Finalize budget
    • Create sponsorship amounts
    • Create mailing list
    • Decide on time and date
    • Get written contracts
    • Think of alternative site
    • Invite VIPs
    • Hire graphic designer
    • Create logo for event
    • Order hold-the-date cards
    • Set marketing schedule
    • Develop press release
    • Hire photographer
    • Investigate need for special permits
  • 3 to 6 Months before the event
    • Send requests for sponsors
    • Review with graphic designer invitations, programs, posters, etc.
    • Prepare final copy for invitations, return card, posters
    • Prepare final copy for tickets
    • Complete mailing lists for invitations
    • Order invitations, posters, tickets, etc.
    • Sign contract with entertainment company
    • Make list of locations for posters
    • Finalize mailing lists
    • Set menu with caterer
    • Secure permits and insurance
    • Get written confirmation of celebrity participation/special needs
    • Finalize audio/visual contract
  • 2 Months before the event
    • Assemble/address invitations
    • Mail invitations
    • Distribute posters
    • Obtain contracts for decorations and rental items
    • Release press announcements about celebrities, VIPs, honorees
    • Follow up to confirm sponsorships and underwriting
    • Obtain logos from corporate sponsors for program printing
    • Review needs for signs at registration, directional, etc.
    • All major chairpersons to finalize plans
    • Hold walk-through of event with responsible committees
    • Review/finalize budget, task sheets and tentative timeline
    • Start phone follow-up for table sponsors (corporate, VIP, committee)
  • 1 Month Ahead before the event
    • Phone follow-up of mailing list (ticket sales)
    • Place newspaper ads, follow up with news media, on-air announcements
    • Confirm staff for registration, hosting, other
    • Write to VIPs, celebrities, program participants, confirm participation
    • Complete list of contents for VIP welcome packets
    • Get enlarged site plan/room diagram, assign seats/tables
    • Give estimate of guests expected to caterer/food service
    • Meet with all outside vendors, consultants to coordinate event
    • Review script/timeline
    • Continue phone follow-ups for ticket/table sales
    • Continue assigning seats; set head table, speaker’s platform
    • Confirm transportation schedules: airlines, trains, buses, cars, limos
    • Confirm hotel accommodations
    • Prepare transportation and accommodations
    • Confirm special security needed for VIPs, event
    • Prepare welcome packet for VIPs, chairmen, and key staff
    • Schedule deliveries of special equipment, rentals
    • Confirm setup and tear down times with event site
    • Finalize plans with party decorator
    • Give caterer revised numbers
    • Meet with chairpersons, key staff to finalize any of the above
  • 1 Week Before the event
    • Meet with all committees for last-minute details
    • Finish phone follow-ups
    • Confirm number attending
    • Finish seating/table arrangements
    • Hold training session with volunteers; finalize assignments
    • Secure two or three volunteers to assist with emergencies
    • Finalize registration staff
    • Distribute seating chart, assignments to hosts/hostesses
    • Schedule pickup or delivery of any rented or loaned equipment
    • Double-check arrival time and delivery times with vendors
    • Reconfirm event site, hotel, transportation
    • Deliver final scripts/ timelines to all program participants
    • Finalize catering guarantee, refreshments
    • Confirm number of volunteers
    • Make follow-up calls to news media for advance and event coverage
    • Distribute additional fliers
    • Final walk-through with all personnel
    • Schedule rehearsals
    • Schedule volunteer assignments for day of event
    • Establish amount of petty cash needed for tips and emergencies
    • Write checks for payments to be made for the day of the event
  • Day before the event
    • Lay out all clothes that you will need the day of the event
    • Recheck all equipment and supplies to be brought to the event
    • Have petty cash and vendor checks prepared
  • Event Day
    • Arrive early (with your change of clothes)
    • Unpack equipment, supplies and make sure nothing is missing
    • Be sure all VIPs are in place and have scripts
    • Reconfirm refreshments/meal schedule for volunteers
    • Go over all the final details with caterer and setup staff
    • Check with volunteers to make sure all tasks are covered
    • Setup registration area
    • Check sound/light equipment and staging before rehearsal
    • Hold final rehearsal
Event Planning Checklist
  Nicole Nichols-West


on December 29, 2011

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