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For Business, Home or Event
Make your event an affair to remember! From a private party to an annual fundraiser, creativity is the key. For example, many non-profit events feature silent auctions, but how many invite local artisans to participate in the overall theme and decor? Consider selecting six outstanding auction donations and conduct a live auction with a local or on-line personality who can stream at least part of the event on
local or internet media? Introducing a fresh twist on an established theme can provide the basis for modifying old decor or introducing new materials that will highlight display of corporate or educational materials! While the following checklist was designed for non-profit fundraisers, some aspects are applicable to any event.
1. REVIEW EVENT BASICS
~ How does it fit within your overall goals? Beyond potential revenue, what is its overall value?
~ Is it in harmony with, and does it strengthen your work toward your long-term goals?
~ Can you afford the event's up-front expenses?
~ What appropriate facilities, equipment and materials are available to you?
~ Do you have appropriate insurance coverage?
~ Paid or volunteer, do you have adequate personnel to operate the event?
2. SET THE DATE, TIME, THEME AND TEAM
~ Check local event calendars to avoid conflict with larger events and those with parallel themes.
~ Explore designing an inter-organizational project.
~ Invite local, regional, national or even international celebrity involvement.
3. DESIGN ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS
~ Event Planning Calendar with deadlines.
~ If having vendors, an attorney can determine if your contract forms are adequate.
~ Operational forms, including staff/volunteer scheduling.
4. RESEARCH & DESIGN PROMO MATERIALS REFERENCING UPCOMING EVENTS
~ This includes, but is not limited to: Fliers, posters, letters to community leaders.
~ Evaluate your event's newsworthiness for each possible media outlet.
~ Verify media event calendars, editorial and advertising protocols and deadlines.
~ Generate timely media releases [see our Media Release Samples page] and operational forms.
~ Excite your base by promoting internally with staff/volunteers, clients/members and other supporters. Offer them discounts for advance enrollment or purchase of tickets and other items, provided this will not undermine interaction with the public.
5. SOLICIT VENDORS AND AREA BUSINESSES
~ Provide supporting area businesses with promo packets; ask them to display posters, sell tickets.
~ Offer vendors, their staff, and family members internal advance discounts on tickets.
6. EVALUATE EVENT FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT & MATERIALS
~ Contact potential vendors, entertainers, and special guests about their needs.
~ Examine entrances/exits, parking, overall spaces; signage, electricity and sound systems.
~ Consider restrooms, waste disposal, food preparation spaces, appliances, and equipment.
~ List operational needs [from pens, tape, and name badges to tables, linens, and dishes.
7. DESIGN EVENT LAYOUT AND OPERATION
~ Diagram event displays, table layouts and signage (numbered plus narrative).
~ Determine points for: check-in for vendors, staff, special guests; reception area for last-minute gifts, donations, auction items; general ops and upcoming event promo material distribution.
8. CONDUCT A DRY RUN OF THE EVENT
Practice yields a smoother operation, especially with new events, personnel, procedures, and/or equipment. Even if you can't access the event facility, conduct a mock operation with key personnel using markers on a dry erase board or cutout symbols for people and materials on a detailed drawing of the layout.
9. CONDUCT A POST-EVENT SURVEY
~ Use a 5-point scale to solicit response from: attendees, vendors, performers, staff, media.
~ Include a general comments section to encourage suggestions for future events.
10. EXPRESS GRATITUDE
~ Call key donors, staff, volunteers, guests; mail personalized notes to other key contacts.
~ Mail general thank you cards to vendors, volunteer core, survey respondents.
~ Consider special recognition of some participants at future events.
REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR MOMENTUM ALIVE!