How to Create an Effective Checklist for Overall Event?

Creating a thorough Overall Event Checklist is the first thing to do before taking any other action in the planning and coordinating process for a meeting, function or event.  It will serve as the launching pad for getting everything off to a well organized start.  It will also be the starting point for setting timelines and assigning responsibility for all tasks to be accomplished from beginning to end of the planning and production process.

An Overall Event Checklistwill remind you of all major tasks that need to be done, and an Overall Event Timeline will remind you of the start date and deadline to keep each major task running smoothly, on time, well-integrated with other tasks.

Once the Overall Event Checklist is drafted (it will remain a work in progress as changes in the program occur), you will quickly see the scope of the entire project and be able to identify areas where additional staff and other resources will be needed to get the job done perfectly and on time. 

Start by listing all the major tasks to be completed before the date of your meeting or event is to begin.  Then break each major task into sub-tasks, add more detail and pencil in assignments that could be given to other staff members or volunteer teams as illustrated in the audio visual example below.  Each team, once assigned, would then break down their area of responsibility into even more detail and create their own checklist to follow.

 Major taskCONTRACT FOR AUDIOVISUAL SERVICES Assigned to
 Sub-tasksConfirm program format with Program Committee Team A
 Contact each speaker to verify type of presentation and AV equipment required Team B
 Verify meeting room capacities will accommodate all AV setup and broadband width is adequate for all type of presentations Team C
 Begin research and get referrals of AV companies in the area   Team D
 And so on … Team E

Each individual person or team assigned a component of the overall program should have the freedom to work independently, but the framework needs to be in place for them to communicate back to you regularly on their progress.  After all, if the team assigned to any one component of the planning process runs into problems that cause delays, it will affect the capability of other teams to perform their tasks effectively.  

It’s only as good as you make it –Be thorough!  Regardless of how much or how little advance notice you have been given to plan an upcoming meeting or function of any type, large or small, a thorough checklist that you refer to on a weekly or even daily basis is a must.  As you move through the tasks, you will discover items that need to be added or moved to a different category, so view it as a work in progress.   

A head start, a time saver, very often a lifesaver –
Once an Overall Event Checklist for multiple functions of an event has been created and saved on file, it will be available whenever it’s time to begin planning a new conference or function.  It can easily be revised to apply to the new set of circumstances without having to “reinvent the wheel.”  It will be especially valuable to you when one of those dreaded, last-minute meetings is scheduled and your entire planning process has to be compressed and accelerated. Although it takes time to create, in the long run you will find it a huge time saver.  

NOTICE –
The checklist samples provided by Planning Helper are incomplete and meant for use as guidelines to help you create checklists of your own that will apply to the unique needs of your meeting, event or function.

Overall Event Checklist.PDF

Overall Event Checklist.DOC

About the Author

Susan has managed high-profile events for IBM, GE, and other Fortune 500 companies. She has organized fundraisers, large festivals, and promotional events. Now, she is a blogger and speaks about event planning topics

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