The Flavours Catering + Events Event Planning Checklist

Here are a few things to help settle the nerves when planning any event – Large or Small

Have a look at our other checklists on our website here.

Burger Station 1

6 – 12 months before the event

  • Decide event purpose (raise funds, visibility, celebration, etc.)
  • Choose a theme and tone of the event
  • Visit potential venues and sites
  • Research/appoint an event coordinator/manager (this may also be your catering company)
  • Research/Select committees/chairpersons
  • Chairperson forms subcommittees
  • Get cost estimates (site rental, food, drinks, sound/lights, hire, etc.)
  • Get recommendations for entertainment; hold auditions
  • Organise quotes for entertainment
  • Obtain quotations for decorations
  • Organise bids for design/printing
  • Receive quotes for other major items
  • Finance Committee drafts initial budget
  • Decide on admission cost if any
  • Create sponsorship amounts/levels
  • List items to be insured and possible sources
  • Research/approach honourees
  • Compile mailing list database (individuals/businesses)
  • Check proposed date for potential conflicts
  • Get written contacts for site, entertainment, caterer, hire etc.
  • Contingency Plan – If outdoors, have a plan B for inclement weather
  • Consider pre-party event for publicity
  • Invite/confirm VIPs
  • Choose a graphic designer; begin invitation design
  • Create a logo for the event with the graphic designer
  • Order hold-the-date cards or other event announcements
  • Set marketing/public relations schedule
  • Develop press release and calendar listings
  • Select photographer/videographer; arrange for photos of VIPs, chairmen, honourees
  • Get biographical information on VIPs, celebrities, honourees, chairmen
  • Investigate need for special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.

Baby Burger

3 to 6 months ahead

  • Begin monthly committee meetings 
  • Write/send requests for funding or underwriting to major donors, corporations, sponsors 
  • Request logos from corporate sponsors for printing
  • Review with graphic designer invitations, programs, posters, etc.
  • Prepare final copy for invitations, return card, posters
  • Prepare final copy for tickets + Complete mailing lists for invitations
  • Order invitations, posters, tickets, etc.
  • Sign contract with entertainment company
  • Make list of locations for posters
  • Finalise mailing lists; begin soliciting corporations and major donors
  • Obtains lists from honourees, VIPs + get written confirmation of celebrity participation/special needs
  • Obtain radio/TV sponsors, public service announcements, promos
  • Set menu with caterer for food and beverages and sign contract to ensure that the date is booked
  • Secure permits and insurance
  • Finalise audio/visual contract
  • Select/order trophies/awards

2 months ahead

  • Hold preview party to coincide with mailing of invitations; invite media
  • Assemble/address invitations (with personal notes when possible)
  • Mail invitations
  • Distribute posters
  • Finalise transportations/hotel accommodations for staff, VIPs, honourees
  • Obtain contracts for decorations and rental items Confirm TV/radio participation
  • Release press announcements about celebrities. VIPs honourees
  • Follow up to confirm sponsorships and underwriting
  • Obtain logos from corporate sponsors for program printing
  • Review needs for signs at registration, directional, etc.
  • All major chairpersons to finalise plans
  • Hold walk through of event with responsible committees, chairpersons and responsible site staff
  • Review/finalise budget, task sheets and tentative timeline
  • Start phone follow-up for table sponsors (corporate, VIP, committee)

Salt + pepper cuttlefish

1 month ahead

  • Phone follow-up of mailing list (ticket sales)
  • Place newspaper ads, follow up with news media, on-air announcements
  • Confirm staff for registration, hosting, other
  • Write to VIPs, celebrities, program participants, confirm participation
  • Complete list of contents for VIP welcome packets
  • Get enlarged site plan/room diagram, assign seats/tables
  • Give estimate of guests expected to caterer/food service
  • Meet with all outside vendors, consultants to coordinate event
  • Review script/timeline
  • Continue phone follow-ups for ticket/table sales
  • Continue assigning seats; set head table, speaker’s platform
  • Confirm transportation schedules: airlines, trains, buses, cars, limos
  • Confirm hotel accommodations
  • Prepare transportation and accommodations (include arrival time, flight number, airline, person assigned to meet flight)
  • Confirm special security needed for VIPs, event
  • Prepare welcome packet for VIPs, chairmen, and key staff
  • Schedule deliveries of special equipment, rentals
  • Confirm setup and tear down times with event site
  • Finalise plans with party decorator
  • Give caterer revised numbers
  • Meet with chairpersons, key staff to finalise any of the above

1 week ahead

  • Meet with all committees for last-minute details
  • Finish phone follow-ups
  • Confirm number attending
  • Finish seating/table arrangements
  • Hold training session with volunteers’ Finalise assignments
  • Secure two or three volunteers to assist with emergencies
  • Finalise registration staff
  • Distribute seating chart, assignments to hosts/hostesses
  • Schedule pickup or delivery of any rented of loaned equipment
  • Double-check arrival time and delivery times with vendors
  • Reconfirm event site, hotel, transportation
  • Deliver final scripts/timelines to all program participants
  • Finalise catering and refreshments
  • Confirm number of volunteers
  • Make follow-up calls to new media for advance and event coverage
  • Distribute additional fliers
  • Final walk-through with all personnel
  • Schedule rehearsals
  • Schedule volunteer assignments for day of event
  • Establish amount of petty cash needed for tips and emergencies
  • Write checks for payments to be made for the day of the event

long-tables

Day before the event

  • Lay out all clothes you will need on the day of the event
  • Recheck all equipment and supplies to be brought to the event
  • Have petty cash and vendor checks prepared

Event Day

  • Arrive early (with your change of clothes)
  • Unpack equipment, supplies and make sure nothing is missing
  • Be sure all VIPs are in place and have scripts
  • Reconfirm refreshments/meal schedule for volunteers
  • Go over all the final details with caterer and setup staff
  • Check with volunteers to make sure all tasks are covered
  • Setup registration area
  • Check sound/light equipment and staging before rehearsal
  • Hold final rehearsal
  • BREATHE!!!!

flavours catering

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