Timeline for Event/Program Planning
Exhibit E – Timeline for Event/Program Planning
The following information is a general guideline to help you plan your network event. Addressing the details along the way helps ensure that your event will run smoothly and successfully – without any headaches on the event day.
Depending upon the type of event, you will need to make these arrangements 2-6 months ahead of the suggested timeline to secure marketing and communication for the event.
- Due to the nature of producing, editing, printing and mailing a marketing piece for an event, we require A MINIMUM of ten (10) weeks to complete invitations, newsletters, press releases, etc. As we work with other offices around the University and community for printing and mailing of such pieces, we must allow sufficient time in their schedules as well. If we have not received your Event Notification form in a timely manner and before specified deadlines, your event will not be marketed in outlets in which notification deadlines have passed.
3 to 6 months before the event
- In consultation with your Office of Alumni Relations liaison, choose type of event, decide on event goals and objectives, and choose event leadership.
- Research event location.
- Prepare and set your budget.
- Send in the completed Event Notification form.
- Draft and confirm registration procedures.
- Create timeline for event planning.
Ten weeks before the event
- Choose time and date and reserve location. Determine the final cost and what is included, including deposits, tax, gratuity, and service charges.
- Determine what services (i.e. food and beverage, audio/visual, etc) are available and if any additional charges are assessed for those services.
- Determine if the food service will be in-house or if an outside caterer will be used. Select the food and beverage menu.
- Secure sponsorship as needed.
- If print invitation is being produced, work with Office of Alumni Relations liaison to begin production.
- Prepare announcement for University website, AlumniWeb, network webpage and Bostonia Extra (if applicable).
Eight weeks before the event
- Confirm your guest speaker(s) and/or panelist(s).
- Confirm the date, time, menu and A/V with your venue and its coordinator.
- Arrange for photographer (if applicable).
Six weeks before the event
- Follow-up with Office of Alumni Relations liaison on necessary supplies, name tags, decorations, giveaways and gifts for speaker(s)/panelist(s).
- Distribute print invitations, if being produced.
- Request production of e-mail invitation
- Request addition to online event calendars
Four weeks before the event
- Prepare the event timeline and distribute it to all speakers and key participants.
- Arrange adequate staffing. Appoint network volunteers to handle registration and greetings. Appoint a network volunteer to coordinate media coverage at the event.
- Confirm with any additional volunteers.
- Develop staffing plan for event.
- E-mail invitation distributed.
Two weeks before the event
- Touch base with venue coordinator to iron out final details.
- Confirm your speaker(s)/panelist(s) and their transportation needs.
- E-mail reminder distributed.
One week before the event
- Confirm the room set-up, staffing, menu, and audio visual equipment.
- Confirm attendance and all arrangements with facility.
- Confirm all volunteer assignments on checklist.
- Confirm receipt of event supplies from Office of Alumni Relations.
- Prepare speaker introduction (if applicable).
- Final e-mail reminder distributed.
- Request additional marketing through Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In, if necessary and appropriate.
Day before the event
- Assemble event supplies and registration lists.
Day of event
- Arrive at least an hour early to set up.
- Set up site with registration/reception table.
- Publicly recognize/thank sponsors, speaker(s) and panelist(s).
- Troubleshoot onsite, if necessary.
One week after the event
- Telephone debrief with Office of Alumni Relations liaison.
- Finalize/update event attendance list, including walk-ins and no-shows.
- Send the Event Evaluation form with RSVP list, attendance list, and any photos taken to the Office of Alumni Relations within 10 business days of the event.
- Send thank you notes to the speaker(s)/panelist(s) and others who helped with the event.