Event Planning

Class held on August 25th at our Annual Kick Off

Event Planning Files - Downloads



Vnet Kickoff Training August, 2012



**Event Planning Kit (you must register with PTO Today at no charge to download the kit) http://www.ptotoday.com/event-planning-kit

Kit has great ideas on planning an event; event suggestions; flyer ideas; and a great evaluation sheet to fill out after your event!



Up to a Year in Advance:

  • Choose the right event
  1. Consider factors of support, economy, goals of your group
  • Event goals-Share goals and build excitement!
  1. Build community? Fund a trip? Buy equipment?
  • Get everyone on board. Without support, it isn’t going to happen! This includes administration, your board, parents, teachers, everyone involved.
  1. Meet with your principal/coach/director to determine if this is still something that is needed/wanted.
  • Select date.
  1. Check school and district calendar for conflicts. High schools may have conflicts with district testing; community events on campus; other clubs.
  • Get permission. Get administration and district approval way in advance. No point in planning something that doesn’t get approved!
  1. At high school, submit events for next year before the end of this year (May). Get a jump on other clubs on campus.
  2. Submit proper paperwork so your event can be approved and covered by district insurance
  • Secure location. Annual events (camps, carnivals, music festivals, etc.) can be booked the day after this year’s event! Lock in your location.
  1. If it is a high school campus, you may have to rent facility, field, lights (if at night), pay for custodians and security; share campus with another club?
  2. Will you need sound equipment? Microphones? Projector? Ice?

6-9 Months In Advance (do any of the above not done yet)

  • Secure permits
  1. Movie, food handlers, facility requests, etc.
  • Budget. Be sure you have the money for expenses and it is in your approved budget. Chairmen should know their budget and how to submit receipts
  1. EIN number and donation letter to request donations.
  • Secure vendors. Don’t wait! They book up fast during busy times of year
  1. Do they have proper permits? Are they experienced? Referrals?
  2. What do they need to set up for event?
  3. Get their logo and contact information for advertising in your programs, newsletter, etc..

6 Months In Advance:

  • Have a planning meeting. Set up committees and committee chairmen. Hopefully previous year chairmen have left good notes!
  1. Event planning checklist. Brainstorm other ideas. http://sua.umn.edu/groups/forms/event_planning.pdf
  2. Create timeline of when things need to be done and who is in charge of each area
  3. Give your chairmen clear direction of their duties and their budget
  • Give them any names and phone numbers/emails of people willing to help. Every volunteer should be contacted and used!
  • Solicit help and donations from local businesses and community.
  • Secure photographer to take photos. How will they be displayed?

3-6 Months In Advance:

  • Advertise. District; mass emails; newsletters; flyers; website
  1. Verify district advertising policies

1-2 Months In Advance:

  • Have a follow up meeting.
  1. Is everything on time? Within budget? Fix any problems.
  2. Determine what each chairman needs at their station
  • Tables, chairs, shade/Cashbox, tickets/Signage
  • How many volunteers and what shifts?
  • Copy of volunteer and event schedule
  • Decide what your volunteers will wear. Order shirts if needed.
  • Start working on anything non-perishable (signs, tickets, labels, packets, menus, schedules, etc.)
  1. Tickets work well for food
  • Set up separate table to collect tickets and orders. More sanitary since your food people are not handling money
  • Set up volunteers to staff event
  1. The committee chairman should contact everyone on their list. Never turn away a volunteer!
  2. Use students! At high school level, split the group. Half set up. Half clean up. Work shifts throughout the day. Staff booths.
  3. Use an online volunteer system (Charms/Volunteer Spot, etc.)
  4. Don’t forget a setup and cleanup committee!
  5. First Aid station (verify district policies)
  • Cot, bottled water, bandaids, gloves, feminine products, sunscreen
  1. Be sure you know rules for food volunteers. Will they need food handlers cards?
  • The Health Inspector has been known to show up at events and shut them down if proper food handling procedures are not followed!
  • Southwest Ambulance will park in the parking lot of your event if they are notified.
  • Order awards
  • Order any items you will be selling. Prizes.
  • Signs. You can’t have enough signs! Laminate what you can to use again
  1. Bathrooms, parking, menus, prices, entrance/exit, sponsors, schedule, tickets/checkin,
  2. Arrows that can be place anywhere to direct traffic

1-2 Weeks In Advance:

  • Final committee meeting. Be sure everything is in order.
  • Check weather and have a backup plan
  • One last advertising push. School marquee, mass email, newsletters, local businesses, etc.
  • Order food items.
  • Follow up with your vendors.
  1. Confirm arrival time. Name of their contact. Name of your volunteer that will meet them. Where to meet. Where to park.
  • Follow up with school custodian what is needed:
  1. Expectations. Will they clean all day? Bathrooms? Kitchen access?
  2. Custodians and security can be your best friends during large events! Treat them well and thank them tons!

Day of event:

  • As event Chairman, personally meet and greet your key people. Custodian, security, special guests (speakers, performers, etc.).
  1. Consider blocking out parking for them, free meal, bottled water at their station, etc. Ask in advance what they may need at event.
  • As event Chairman, keep yourself available for the day. Walk the event frequently. Fill in where needed or get help. Put out fires.
  1. Carry a cell phone and phone numbers. Walkie talkie to contact custodian, security, and key chairmen (concessions, tickets, checkin, volunteer chair, parking lot, principal/coach/director)
  • Provide goodies for those setting up early. Donuts and juice, etc.
  • Have a large map laminated laying out your event. As volunteers, vendors, etc. arrive, direct them where to go
  • Clean areas as needed. Students go around with trash bags.
  • Get your vendors set up. Exchange cell numbers, or check on them often
  • Check in area for volunteers. Schedules, name tags, cell phone numbers if they need to contact someone, maps with their locations highlighted, schedule of events, free meal voucher, name tags
  1. Have someone staff the volunteer/information booth all day. Can also be your lost and found.
  • Plenty of trash bags to restock throughout the day (from custodian)
  • Treasurer should prepare cashboxes. Follow bylaws!
  1. Labeled envelopes work well for large events (separate envelopes for tickets, concessions, etc.). Volunteers at booth count money, sign and seal envelope to be picked up by treasurer.
  2. Treasurer and another adult should deposit money immediately after event (banks will give you night drop envelopes in advance)

After Event:

  • After event, be sure you have a crew and vehicles to take down event and remove excess supplies (food, equipment, decorations, rented items, etc.)
  • Debriefing after event.
  1. Each chairman should evaluate their area. What worked and what didn’t. Make suggestions for next time.
  1. Photo thank you’s with a photo of your event or group. Especially nice for vendors who can display at their business



Your Time Is A Precious Gift To Us!


Thank you for volunteering to coordinate:________________________!

The budget for this event:_________________.


Please keep all receipts for reimbursement and submit to:_________________.


After your event is completed, we’d love to know how you did it!


Please share the following information to assist coordinators in the future.


v Who served on your planning committee?


v How many people attended (adults/children)?


v How much did the event cost to run? (Please give a general breakdown.)


v Did you feel you had an adequate budget? If no, why?


v How was the event communicated?


v How many volunteers did you have? Were there enough?


v What methods did you use to get volunteers?


v If food was served, please list items and quantities bought and used (be specific).


v What worked well?


v Any suggestions to improve things that could’ve gone better?


v Any other information that could be of assistance to next year’s coordinator?



Thanks again for your help!