When creating an event checklist, include categories such as logistics, theme and program, guest list and marketing, listing specific tasks within each category. Include a complete-by date for each task, identify who is responsible for task completion and highlight key deadlines. Create a checklist matrix by grouping together tasks within each category as pre-event tasks, such as finalizing the contract with the event venue; day-of-event tasks, such as placing the table decorations; and post-event tasks, such as returning rented equipment.
Site selection is a key event consideration and may involve requesting proposals from various venues, making site visits and engaging in negotiations. Checklist items related to venue may include, in addition to the cost of space, requirements related to permitting, audio-visual and food and beverage vendors, assignment of liability and accessibility of the event space to those with disabilities. Other pre-event logistics tasks include making arrangements for parking, room set-up and equipment rentals. Set-up and tear-down are day-of-event logistics tasks.
After clarifying the event's goals and theme, program-related tasks typically include completing the guest list, identifying current contact information for all invitees, designing and distributing invitations, arranging for speakers or entertainment, and designing the event program and name tags. Decisions and follow-through tasks related to event details, such as the menu, decorations, displays and gifts for the invitees, are also among program tasks. Tasks related to publicizing the event through news releases or media packets involve identifying media contacts, arranging photo opportunities and giving pre-event interviews. Post-event tasks may include reporting on event attendance, media coverage and donations collected, reconciling event revenues and expenses, and debriefing with the event planners.