Careful planning can help ensure your event runs smoothly from beginning to end. Use the following timeline as a guide to keep the planning process as stress-free as possible. You may also download a pdf checklist to assist in your planning.
Two months to one year before the event
- Reserve date on key players’ calendars
- Provide Public Affairs with notice of the event
- Develop guest list
- Reserve venue (on campus or off?)
- Arrange food and beverages (caterer?)
- Book entertainment if relevant
- Arrange for equipment:
- PA system
Four to six weeks before the event
- Develop invitations and other print materials - work with Public Affairs graphic designers John Wecels or Len Nickel to draft an invitation. See the following sample invites: Sample one, sample two, sample three.
- Send invitations.
One month before the event
- Provide Public Affairs and the President's Office with briefing note.
- Develop event plan.
- Confirm speakers and emcee (considerations for speakers and role of emcee, who will develop speaking notes, etc.)
- Finalize menu, review venue setup, arrival time, etc with caterer.
- Arrange photographer or videographer
- Make arrangements to provide parking
- Submit work requests to Facilities and IT Services.
One week before the event
- Place RSVP follow-up calls to confirm final number of attendees
- Connect with caterer to finalize arrangements and make any special arrangements (known allergies, food preferences). Review with caterer: serving order, outline of event such as the timing of remarks, etc.
- Print materials - name tags, program, place cards, certificates or seating assignments
- If media is to attend, connect with Public Affairs to send advisory, finalize any press releases, prepare media kits.
- Ensure clean-up requirements will be met.
- Develop seating plan.
Day of the event
- Do scan to ascertain if other events beyond your control will detract from your event
- Decorate and arrange materials at venue – flag protocol
- Test equipment such as audio/video
- Brief the event’s key players
- Review RSVP list to identify VIPs as they arrive and update list of “must-mentions” for emcee.
- Event coordinators ensure that all guests are accommodated
After the event
- Evaluate the event and request feedback from those that attended
- Send thank you notes and acknowledgements
- Send info and photo (if applicable) to Inside Okanagan College
- Clean-up and leave the space as you found it
- If requested Public Affairs will share media hits with you