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Event planner’s checklist

 This Leadership Resource Sheet will
 help you or your group:

• plan and implement an event
• organize necessary tasks and
  responsibilities chronologically




Know your event

Select your planning team

The size and scope of your event will help
determine how large of a group is needed.
The structure of your committee will also
depend on your organization and your
event – you may decide to have specific
po-sitions, at minimum, most planning teams
find it necessary to have a chair
and treasurer.

First things first

Use the following questions to help your-
self establish why you are having an event.
•What do you want to achieve by having
this program?
•Is there a current need or an interest in this program area?
•Has a similar event been held in the
past? If yes, what was the response?
•Are your members enthusiastic about
organizing this event?
•Is there enough time to thoroughly
organize, publicize, and promote the
program so that it will be successful?

•Is your event:

– open to the public or exclusively for
club members?
– meant to inform (lecture, AGM,
workshop) or entertain (out-trip,
group meal, party, etc.)?
– formal or informal?
– small or large?
– a new initiative or an annual legacy

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you
do it, it’s not all mixed up.
When you’re organizing an event, it can be tough to think of everything
– in fact, you probably won’t! However, this resource sheet should give
you an overview of some of the most common things event planners
need to consider and can be used to help you prioritize your planning
team’s tasks. Timelines indicated below are suggestions only and may need
to be adjusted based on the scope of your event. If you’re unsure of an
appropriate timeline, the Leadership & Involvement office can assist you
with planning one – contact us!

Use your answers to the above questions
along with any direction you have from
your group or Club Executive to create
event goals. Goals will make decision-
making and planning priorities clear

Two months before
the event

Determine your event date. Think about
your target audience – what else will they
be doing? Avoid choosing a date that will
conflict with popular campus events such
as Storm the Wall, or that will conflict
with the academic schedule.

Develop a budget. Your budget should
be feasible. Include expenses, anticipated
revenue, sponsorship, and any donations
in kind. The event budget should be ap-
proved by the sponsoring organization.

Estimate your attendance. Be realistic.
Consider minimum attendance required
for the event to run, maximum event
capacity, and try to use past event atten-
dance to project your numbers.

Choose a facility based on your budget,
projected attendance, and space



Marketing campaign

Develop a marketing strategy.
Will your
event have a theme? If so, how will it be
incorporated into your marketing efforts?

Create a visual image
(logo, colours, text
styles, images, etc.) and stick with it. A
consistent message throughout your promo
material will help your event stand out.

Draft posters, handbills, banners, etc.
and have the designers bring them back to
the planning team for review and input.

Contact printing companies,
if applicable,
to get quotes on poster printing costs.

Keep the event website up-to-date
information about your event.

Human resources
Check in with all members of the planning
Does everyone understand his/her
role and responsibilities within the team?
Set up a meeting/planning schedule
those involved in the event.
Do all team members know where, when,
and why you’ll meet? Send out a meeting
schedule or planning timeline.
Incorporate some team building
into your first few meetings. 

STUDENT LEADERSHIP RESOURCES     Leadership & Involvement




Circulate a contact list (name, responsibilities,
email, phone, etc.) to all planning
team members.
Ensure that all planning team members
are informed about the commitment.

Guests (keynotes, bands, VIPs, etc.)

Book guests, performers, and keynotes.

If you’re inviting a speaker or entertainer
to your event, the earlier you research and
book, the better! Usually, you’ll want to
know your event date, theme, and venue
before contacting a guest. Depending on
how important the guest is to the functioning
of your event (for example, the
speaker at a lecture series!), you may need
to let your guest’s schedule determine
your event date.

Request a quote from all guests you will
need to contract. If a guest is not contracted,
it’s still a good idea to have the
arrangement in writing to help avoid any

Six weeks before the event

Finalize an event schedule. Start by breaking
down the day into 15-minute segments
and indicating who should be where,
when. Your event schedule may change as
the program comes together, but having a
clear schedule is crucial to effectively plan
for volunteers, speakers, caterers, etc.

Marketing campaign

• Ensure that marketing resources are
• Develop a plan for distribution. You’ve
created great posters – where and how
will they be circulated? What are the
best locations and times to distribute

Human resources

Revisit the goals for your event. Is your
team moving toward these goals? If not,
the process or the goals may need to be

One month before
the event

Marketing campaign

Implement your promotions campaign.
Get the word out! Now is the time to
distribute your promotions.

Schedule volunteers to sell tickets, hand
out fl yers, and staff information booths in
high traffi c locations like the sub or your
faculty building. Be sure to check with
sac, the dean’s offi ce, or the appropriate
building administration to book time and
verify promotion rules.
Classroom announcements can be very
successful at ubc. A quick way to do this is
to ask members of your club or committee
to make an announcement in each of their
classes. Be sure that your announcers know
to get the permission of the instructor fi rst.
Licensed events
If you’re having a licensed event at the
University, you need to obtain a Special
Occasion Permit and a liquor license from
the rcmp. Before the rcmp will issue a
permit, you need to have permission from
the University. Contact Classroom Services
to arrange an appointment to discuss
your event.


Contact catering companies. Check with
your venue to see if they have required or
preferred caterers.
Consider dietary needs. Will you have a
selection of alternative options for dietary
needs (vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, etc.)?

Two weeks before the event

Confirm venue, catering, keynote speakers,
guests, bands, the dj, or any other
service or individual you’ve contracted.
Check to ensure that you have enough
help. Are all the volunteer roles covered?
Have you allocated enough help for each
task? As the organizer, it’s usually a good
idea to leave yourself out of the task list as
much as possible.

Week of the event

• Prepare event signage.
• Make volunteer thank-you cards or gifts.
• Purchase supplies needed for the event
(snacks, nametags, decorations, etc.).
• Review the event schedule and volunteer
schedule and circulate this information.
• Arrange any necessary training for your
volunteers (handling cash for ticket sales,
dealing poker for a Casino Night, etc.).

 Day before the event

• Have a brief check-in meeting with
the key event planners. Review the
event plan/schedule and ensure that all
members have the resources they need.
• Leave time to pick up time-sensitive
or perishable supplies, guests from the
airport, etc.

Day of the event

• Arrive early. Double check that tables,
chairs, a/v equipment, food, signage,
etc. are as required.
• Decorate and/or put up signs and
directional information.
• Clean up – it’s one of the toughest parts
of scheduling an event, but one of the
most important if you’re hoping to use a
venue again in the future! Ensure you’ve
scheduled plenty of volunteers to help
with clean up.

After the event

• Plan a volunteer or planning team thank
you (dinner, small gift, card, etc.).
• Plan a wrap-up meeting. As a planning
team, discuss successes, challenges, and
recommendations for the future. If you
evaluated your event formally in any
way (surveys, etc.), this information
should also be considered.
• Reconcile the budget and present an
overall event budget back to your club
or organization.
• Prepare a report or group evaluation
for use by future event organizers! This
report should include:
– Recap of the event (who, what, where,
when, why)
– Evaluation comments
– Recommendations for future
– Contact information for services/
resources that were used
– Final budget
– An attached fi le containing sample
promotions, task lists, photos


For more information, contact us:

UBC Leadership & Involvement
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