Timeline

Six Months to One Year in Advance (Compressed - one month)

  • Determine the purpose of the event.
  • Plan and set budget.
  • Select the date(s), but before confirming it, clear the date with important participants.
  • Check calendars for conflicts with other major functions within your department, on campus and in the community.
  • Create a printed materials timeline.
  • Create an event marketing plan and inform URCM of publicity requests.
  • Create a preliminary guest list or a list of committees/groups to be invited. Begin collecting addresses and entering them into the database for the save-the-date mailing.
  • Select the theme.
  • Select and reserve a facility. View a list of campus event spaces.
  • Discuss décor and arrangements; will you need audio/visual, dance floor, stage, etc.
  • Secure entertainment if you are to have any.
  • Develop a rain plan if the event is to be held outdoors.
  • Make arrangements for parking. Ginny Griffin 891-6772
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms, if necessary - State or University Rate. Remember we are tax exempt.
  • Interview and choose a caterer. Many venues have a list of designated caterers you must choose from. On campus, if the event is held at Apogee Stadium or the Gateway Center, you must use Dining Services/Verde. Please see the Union House Guidelines for more infomation.
  • Select and order recognition items.
  • Order favors, souvenirs, printed folders and other give-away items.
  • Identify a master of ceremonies and the program speakers. Send a letter of invitation.
  • Calendar appropriate university administrators (vice chancellor, dean, faculty, etc.).
  • Get all necessary administrative approvals.

Four Months to Six Months Ahead (Compressed - 3 Weeks)

  • Plan and get approval of all printed/electronic materials (invitations, save-the-date cards, programs, tribute books, brochures, commemorative language on awards and plaques, promotional and event-related advertisements).
  • Finalize and get approval of the guest list.
  • Design and mail save-the-date announcements.
  • Begin publicity. (e.g., HR Newsletter, UNT Event Calendar, deans meetings, etc.)
  • Confirm program participants. Obtain biographical information/publicity photos.
  • Make hotel and transportation arrangements for out-of-town program participants/dignitaries.
  • Make preliminary security arrangements with our police department.
  • Determine audiovisual needs. Select an audiovisual company if off campus. Many UNT meeting rooms have a/v equipment. Make arrangements through the Union at Scheduling Services.
  • Hire a photographer and or videotaping through URCM.
  • Determine transportation needs and reserve vans, buses and shuttles. Borrow a golf cart for easy transportation.
  • Select menu.
  • Choose a rental company and reserve tables, chairs, tents and all rental needs. On campus, contact Moving & Hauling.
  • Choose and meet with the florist to talk about ideas. You can also go to the local grocery to see what they recommend.
  • Determine music – live or CD. Confirm entertainment bookings. Secure performance agreements.
  • Print confirmation cards, tickets, credentials and parking permits.

Two Months Ahead (Compressed - 2 Weeks)

  • Print invitations.
  • Mail invitations (4-6 weeks prior to event).
  • Finalize decor and venue arrangements.
  • Mail an itinerary to speakers, supervisor and anyone who is key to the event.
  • Arrange for a gift to be presented to dignitaries/VIPs participating in the event.
  • Recruit volunteers to assist with registration and other tasks to be assigned - Eagle Ambassadors, NT 40, Green Jackets
  • Order directional and pedestrian event signs from Design Works.
  • Write and print the program.
  • Inspect the venue and request cleaning and repairs to hazards. (Check restrooms and elevators)
  • Contact the UNT Police Department if you're planning an event which might generate a large audience (student dance, concert, movie shoot, charitable benefit, athletic event, serving alcohol) or are inviting VIP/dignitary visitors.
  • Finalize the audiovisual presentations.

Two to Four Weeks Ahead (5-8 days prior)

  • Record and acknowledge RSVPs as they are received; send confirmation tickets, parking permits by return mail, if appropriate.
  • Prepare registration packets.
  • Prepare table seating assignments and place-cards for appropriate guests.
  • Coordinate speeches and remarks for all program participants.
  • If your event is taking place in another city, ship printed materials and other items to the meeting site. Call your contact person and ask how to label the shipment so that it will be accepted and not misplaced on arrival.
  • Call and confirm the materials have arrived.
  • Provide briefing materials (itineraries, agendas, biographiess of important guests) to all appropriate administrators involved with the event.
  • Assign a link person to contact administrators when specific guests (biography cards) have arrived. This is a very important connection at the event.
  • Check publicity progress with URCM. Revise and update plans if necessary.
  • Finalize security plans.
  • Send detailed final instructions to all speakers/dignitaries along with cell phone number, map, timeline and parking instructions.
  • Notify the caterer if the count seems to be significantly higher or lower than previously discussed.
  • Take delivery of favors or mementos. Check for correct amount.
  • Print table number signs for placement at event.
  • Enlarge a diagram of the room to be used as a seating chart.
  • Contact grounds services and custodial services as needed to prepare the venue and surrounding areas. If your event will be held outdoors, make sure the sprinklers are turned off. Arrange for extra trash cans and even recycle bins.
  • Consider whether you will need to use radios or cell phones to communicate with other event personnel.

One Week Ahead (Compressed - 3 days prior)

  • Ascertain the intentions of anyone who has not responded with an RSVP.
  • Print out the guest list in alphabetical order.
  • Prepare a seating chart and print out a seating list in alphabetic and table number order.
  • Finish table assignments, place-cards, special meal cards, etc.
  • Prepare nametags.
  • Brief and encourage volunteers.
  • Gather all presentation items such as gifts, plaques and trophies.
  • Plan an arrival briefing for VIPs, if necessary.
  • Confirm arrangements with all vendors.
  • Confirm security arrangements.
  • Deliver prepared introductions, citations and speeches to those who will read them.
  • Make catering guarantees.
  • Prepare your event box with any supplies, such as tape, string, zip ties, staplers, clipboards, baskets, etc. Charge cell phones and radios. Put everything in a convenient, secure place and designate one person to be in charge of transporting the items to the event site.
  • If out of town, prepare a list of cell phone numbers, flight schedules, hotel addresses and phone numbers for all directly involved with the event. Email the list to all attending and to the administrative assistants of VIPs attending.

Event Day

  • Arrive early.
  • Have all instructions, directions, phone numbers, banquet orders, seating charts, name tags, table assignments, guest lists and event box with you.
  • Print a card for all event staff that has contact information for the key individuals (event coordinator, catering, etc.).
  • Check all facilities (including restrooms) and grounds.
  • Set up event venue with place cards, signs, favors, awards, programs, etc.
  • Set up registration at least one hour prior to the start of your event.
  • Check parking attendants and ensure directional/pedestrian signs are in place.
  • Handle VIPs with above and beyond treatment.
  • Relax and smile! Your event will be a success!

Download a printable PDF Event Timeline or fillable Word Event Timeline.

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