Timeline and Checklist for Event Planning

Timeline and Checklist for Event Planning
# of Guests:
Three to four months before the event
Establish planning group and appoint chair
Hold planning meeting re event goals and details
Establish responsibilities
Determine funding and budget sources
Reserve date on key attendees’ calendars – follow protocol for
requesting Chancellor or Provost participation
Determine and reserve venue
Confirm speaker and speaker needs
Block hotel rooms for out of town speaker, VIP guests
Determine guest list, request alumni data
Two to three months before the event
Create and order save-the-date cards, invitations, response cards and
related materials (i.e. map, etc), OR meet with Director of
Communication or vendors to discuss print materials needed for
Meet with Director of Communication to discuss publicity
Draft program agenda
Determine signage requirements (pedestrian & vehicle)
Determine on-site registration procedures, including ushers
Book event with caterer and establish preliminary menu
Contact Transportation for parking assistance
Contact Campus Police for safety and security assistance
Contact Fleet Services for bus and car transportation
Contact vendors as required for: tent, stage, podium, chairs, tables,
AV equipment (sound, lighting, projector, computers, etc), flowers,
plants, other decorations
Mail save-the-date cards
Due Date
Six weeks before the event
If alcohol is being served, request necessary approvals and NC
permits – if “Cocktails” are noted on invitation, complete this step
prior to ordering invitations.
Arrange for photographer
Send print invitations
Four weeks before the event
Approve final program/agenda
Draft script or talking points for speakers
Work with Director of Communication on copy for internal and
external publicity
Meet with vendors on site, follow up on all orders
Consider site preparation (special cleaning, equipment and trash
removal) (Contact Facilities Operations for assistance)
Prepare event signage
Send electronic invitations
Two weeks before the event
Review staffing assignments for day of event
Meet on site with operational staff such as transportation officials
and ushers to discuss responsibilities
Meet with caterer on site to discuss setup and final menu
Send out attendance update to planning team/key players
One week before the event
Send caterer final count
Print programs, name badges, seating charts, place cards, etc.
Confirm arrangements with vendors
24 Hours before the event
Contact caterer to verify all arrangements
Confirm security requirements
Ensure tent, chairs, tables, stage, podium are in place
Due Date
Day of the event
Check location setup to include chairs, tables, podium, food
Arrange printed material, nametags, etc. on registration table
Check sound and lighting equipment with vendor(s)
Ensure space and hook-ups are available for media
Ensure decorations are in place
Place water at podium
One to five days after the event
Write thank you notes to speakers, volunteers, staff and others as
Complete written evaluation of the event with suggestions for future
Coordinate event story and photographs with Communications
Send address updates to Development Office for submission to
university database
Send final attendance list to Development Office so that contact
reports/notes can be entered into database
Due Date