Event Scheduling Timeline

At ZCater, we believe that the success of each Southern California Catering event relies on flawless planning and graceful execution. ZCater is available to make your next Southern California Catering event a rousing success. Whether you are planning an intimate dinner, a gala event or a cocktail party, contact ZCater to ensure every detail is superb.

The following event schedule timeline is a checklist that you can print out and use to plan for your party.

Event Scheduling Timeline

6 to 12 Months Ahead
Yes No
___ ___Decide event purpose (raise funds, visibility, celebration, etc.)
___ ___Choose a theme
___ ___Visit potential sites
___ ___Research/appoint an event coordinator/manager
___ ___Research/select committees/chairpersons
___ ___Chairperson forms subcommittees
___ ___Get cost estimates (site rental, food, drinks, sound/lights, etc.)
___ ___Get recommendations for entertainment; hold auditions
___ ___Get bids for entertainment
___ ___Get bids for decorations
___ ___Get bids for design/printing
___ ___Get bids for other major items
___ ___Finance committee drafts initial budget
___ ___Decide on admission cost
___ ___Create sponsorship amounts/levels
___ ___List items to be underwritten and possible sources
___ ___Research/approach honorees
___ ___Compile mailing list (individuals/businesses)
___ ___Check proposed date for potential conflicts, finalize date in writing
___ ___Get written contracts for site, catering, entertainment, etc.
___ ___Develop alternative site (if event is outdoors)
___ ___Consider pre-party event for publicity or underwriting
___ ___Invite/confirm VIPs
___ ___Pick graphic artist; begin invitation design
___ ___Create logo for event with graphic artist
___ ___Order hold-the-date cards or other event announcements
___ ___Set marketing/public relations schedule
___ ___Develop press release and calendar listings
___ ___Select photographer; arrange for photos of VIPs, chairmen, honorees
___ ___Get biographical information on VIPs, celebrities, honorees, chairmen
___ ___Investigate need for special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.
3 to 6 Months
___ ___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 artist 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
___ ___Finalize mailing lists; begin soliciting corporations and major donors
___ ___Obtain lists from honorees, VIPs
___ ___Obtain radio/TV sponsors, public service announcements, promos
___ ___Set menu with caterer for food and beverages
___ ___Secure permits and insurance
___ ___ Get written confirmation of celebrity participation/special needs
___ ___Finalize audio/visual contract
___ ___Select/order trophies/awards
2 Months Ahead
___ ___Hold underwriting or preview party to coincide with mailing of invitations; invite media
___ ___Assemble/address invitations (with personal notes when possible)
___ ___Mail invitations
___ ___Distribute posters
___ ___Finalize transportation/hotel accommodations for staff, VIPs, honorees
___ ___Obtain contracts for decorations and rental items
___ ___Confirm TV/radio participation
___ ___Release press announcements about celebrities, VIPs, honorees
___ ___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 finalize plans
___ ___Hold walk-through of event with responsible committees, chairpersons and responsible site staff members at event site
___ ___Review/finalize budget, task sheets and tentative timeline
___ ___Start phone follow-up for table sponsors (corporate, VIP, committee)
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, personassigned
___ ___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
___ ___Finalize plans with party decorator
___ ___Give caterer revised numbers
___ ___Meet with chairpersons, key staff to finalize any of the above
1 Week Before
___ ___Meet with all committees for last-minute details
___ ___Finish phone follow-ups
___ ___Confirm number attending
___ ___Finish seating/table arrangements
___ ___Hold training session with volunteers; finalize assignments
___ ___Secure two or three volunteers to assist with emergencies
___ ___Finalize registration staff
___ ___Distribute seating chart, assignments to hosts/hostesses
___ ___Schedule pickup or delivery of any rented or loaned equipment
___ ___Double-check arrival time and delivery times with vendors
___ ___Reconfirm event site, hotel, transportation
___ ___Deliver final scripts/ timelines to all program participants
___ ___Finalize catering guarantee, refreshments
___ ___Confirm number of volunteers
___ ___Make follow-up calls to news 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
Day Before Event
___ ___Lay out all clothes that you will need 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

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