Breadcrumb Navigation:
Home > Timeline and Checklist for Event Planning

Timeline and Checklist for Event Planning

Four to five months before the event

Activity Person Responsible Due Date
Establish planning group and appoint chair
Initiate event planning and establish responsibilities
Reserve date on key attendees’ calendars
Determine and reserve venue
Determine funding and budget sources
Contact University Special Events

Three to four months before the event

Initiate program discussion
Determine guest list and create database
Design hold-the-date cards
Determine need for memento
Create invitations / RSVP Obtain approvals
Reserve parking for VIPS and establish plan for VIP seating at even
Block hotel rooms for out of town guests

Two to three months before the event

Confirm speakers and find out about presentation needs
Develop draft of program
Contact University Communications about internal and external publicity
Determine precise area at venue for stage and seating
Determine event signage requirements (pedestrian & vehicle)
Determine onsite registration procedures including ushers
Book event with caterer & establish preliminary menu and budget
Contact Transportation for parking assistance
Contact Campus Police for safety and security review
Contact Fleet Services for bus and car transportation
Contact vendors as required for:
  • Tent, stage, podium, chairs, tables,
  • Electronics such as sound system, lighting, LCD projector, DVD, laptop
  • Flowers, plants, balloons, other decorations
  • Memento
Mail hold-the-date cards
Begin design of memento

Six weeks before the event

If alcohol is being served, request necessary campus approvals and NC permits , see Alcohol Policy for necessary forms that must be submitted.
Place order for invitations and RSVP six to eight weeks prior to the event
Send invitations
Order memento

Four weeks before the event

Approve final program
Draft script or talking points for speakers
Work with University Communications on copy for internal and external press releases
Meet with vendors on site
Consider site preparation (special cleaning, equipment and trash removal) (Contact Facilities Operations for assistance)
Prepare event signage

Two weeks before the event

Review planning group and 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

One week before the event

Send caterer final count *catering deadlines may vary
Print programs, name badges, and seating cards for VIPs
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

Day of the event

Check location setup to include chairs, tables, podium, food
Arrange printed material, nametags, mementos 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 appropriate
Complete written evaluation of the event with suggestions for future events
Coordinate event story and photographs with University Communications