Size matters when it comes to planning events.
The consensus among administrative assistants is that for smaller events, you can go solo.
But for larger ones, it takes a committee, a nod from and a zinger of a spreadsheet for keeping tasks and timelines on track.
According to one assistant, Amanda, the benefits of working with a committee are two-fold: “I used to do the big stuff by myself, but it was too much work. Plus, when you get a few viewpoints, you often come up with ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.”
- Expenses (create separate line items for speaker fees, entertainment, meals, beverages, etc.)
- Income (create separate line items for registration fees, contributions, other financing)
Establish meeting content
- Speakers and presenters
- Tentative agenda
Select venue if off-site
- Establish venue contact person
- Tax-exempt certificates if applicable
- Meeting rooms (create separate line items for square feet needed, lighting, desired amenities)
- Specify ADA accessibility needs
- Accessibility/local transportation
- Parking: free or rate
- Appearance: Rate inside from 1-5 (with 5=best) and outside from 1-5
- Business services available (fax, voice mail, etc.)
- Renovations planned during event
- Other events at the venue during event
Food and beverage
- In-house or outside catering
- Caterer contact information
- Format of each meal
- Select menus
- Special dietary needs
- Obtain menu costs
- Establish ticket system for meals and beverages
- Additional service personnel
- Plates and flatware
- Glasses or cups
- Table arrangements
- Flip charts, pens, etc.
- Audio-visual needs (LCD projectors, laptop, DVD player, etc.)
- Audio-visual contact information
- Presentations sent to AV person in advance?
- Signage and decorations
- Determine security requirements for VIPs, meals and outside functions
- Medical emergency plan
- Names and phone numbers for local police, fire departments and hospitals
- Airport greetings
- VIP protocol
- Host committees
- Welcoming ceremony
- Name tags
- Budget tracking system
- Master account billing
- Individual billing
- Final billing
- Budget vs. actual expenses recap
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