Coordinating An Event: A Checklist
When coordinating an event of any sort, it’s very helpful to have a checklist of things you can quickly run down. This gives you a nice overview of what’s been done and what still needs to be worked on. It also helps you see who is responsible for what task, when task deadlines are, and what might need your personal attention.
To create this checklist, all you need is a simple word-processing program or a spreadsheet program. Spreadsheets can be particularly useful because you can create a table of tasks and make boxes to check off when things are done or to write dates or other information in. It also helps to make several different checklists, including one for early planning, one for planning, and one for the day of the event.
Here are some things you may want to include on your checklist:
-Where will the event be held? This includes deciding on how much money can be spent on a venue, if there are any venues that you can get a discount on, how early the venue must be booked, and what amenities your chosen venue needs to offer your guests.
-Food. Will you serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or is your event small enough that finger foods will suffice? Will you and your organization pick up the tab for all of the food, or will attendees pay some sort of registration fee for each meal? Don’t forget that guests and other people you invite will most likely expect their meals to be paid for. If you decide you do want food, then you’ll need to decide on menus, a caterer, and table setup. This not only includes major things like what kind of main course to serve but also small details like table centerpieces and napkin color. It can get overwhelming, but your caterer will help keep it under control.
-Entertainment and speakers. If you’re bringing in outside entertainment or professional speakers, you’ll need to decide on a budget, select an entertainer/speaker, and make arrangements with their management. It’s a good idea to make a list of three or four personalities in case your first choice is already booked or is out of your price range.
-Parking: if guests are traveling to your event, where do they park? Do they need a special permit? Can you reserve an entire lot of spaces?
-Event schedule: this can involve a lot of juggling, especially if your attendees are presenting papers or presentations. Creating a schedule that meets everyone’s needs (not to mention their travel times) can involve some major coordination, so you’ll want to get a draft of this done and sent to everyone involved as soon as possible.
-Registrations: if you’re having attendees pre-register, you’ll need to keep a list of who has registered for what events and how much they paid, if there is a fee.
Yes, it looks like there are hundreds of little details to handle, and there are, but it’s not overwhelming. Just remember to delegate if you can, and if you can’t, simply deal with one thing at a time. Keeping your cool and systematically ticking off each item on your event checklist will make your event come together with little or no problem.