Choose the purpose of the event. Is it a celebration, a fundraiser, or something else? This will influence the kind of event you will hold.
Choose a theme that is relevant, but also interesting. Cliche themes won't attract many guests.
Look around for places that can hold the event. Meet with potential space providers.
You might need to appoint someone, or yourself, as event manager.
Build committees if they are required. With a big enough event, you might need several of them and need to appoint a chair for each.
Get estimates for food, drinks, space and rental equipment. This will help with budgeting.
If providing artistic entertainment, hire well-known entertainers or hold auditions.
Determine if you will require sponsorships. Build a sponsorship sheet, with the different levels, so that potential sponsors know right away at what level they want to participate.
Get an initial budget from the financial committee. This step is very important.
Check if you need any kind of permit or license to hold an event or serve alcohol.
Review proposals for decorations and printing.
If charging a cover, decide the price.
Build a mailing list with potential guests or businesses to contact.
Choose a final date and check for conflicts with your providers.
Choose your graphic designer and draft the documentation and invitations.
Order the printing for invitations, hold-the-date reminders and other early stationery.
Build your marketing timeline with your public relations specialist.
Hold committee meetings regularly, and request reports.
Send your requests for funding to your potential donors.
Ask your confirmed sponsors for their logos for publicity printing.
Meet with your graphic designer and confirm the design for all printed material.
Order the printing for posters and other stationery after the design is finalized.
If required, have the admission tickets printed and ready for distribution.
Write down the final mailing list for guests, and print the letters or send the emails.
Sign the contracts with the entertainers.
Build a list of potential poster locations. Send out people to verify the availability of space.
Plan your publicity and interviews with television and radio stations, and printed media.
If serving food, build the menu with your caterer. Make sure you consider the dietary requirements of your guests.
Request permits from your municipality if required.
Sign an insurance contract with your insurer.
Confirm celebrity participation in writing.
Organize a party that coincides with the sending of invitations.
Write personal notes for the invitations and have them mailed.
Have your posters distributed and placed at previously chosen locations.
Reserve accommodations for your VIPs, if required.
Arrange transportation for your VIPs, if required.
Confirm the presence of the media at your event. Assign journalist passes.
Confirm sponsorships and request logos for the final program.
Request final plans from each committee chair.
Review and finalize the event's budget.
Build a final task list leading up to the event.
Follow up on ticket sales. Call any guests that haven't responded yet.
Place your ads in newspapers, television and radio.
Hire staff for the day of the event.
Confirm VIP participation in writing.
Build space diagrams for the room or rooms, build a table plan and assign seats.
Provide guest estimate to your caterer, and request a final quote.
Review the timeline for the event, and confirm the scripts with participants.
Organize the traveling arrangements with VIPs.
Confirm security needs and appoint a security agency.
Schedule last-minute meetings with committees. Work out final details.
Confirm final attendance with ticket or table sales.
Confirm the staffing for the event. Hire any necessary extra staff.
Provide the timeline to all event participants.
Confirm final catering order.
Confirm final alcohol order if not provided by the caterer.
Confirm media coverage with journalists or stations.
Schedule and hold rehearsals if necessary.
Write the cheques that need to be given to providers on the day of the event.
Lay out your clothes for the event. Prepare a change of clothes in case of emergency.
Verify that all supplies are available or confirm with providers for their delivery time.
Arrange to arrive early to receive all deliveries and finalize last-minute details.
Make sure that all supplies are on hand.
Confirm scripts and timeline with VIPs.
Confirm positions and tasks with staff.
Make sure the lights and sound are working properly with your technicians.
If holding a final rehearsal, have it a few hours before the event, after the sound and lighting have been set up.
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