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Event planning: Any guidelines?

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Question: "What types of policy/guidelines do you have for office events during business hours? For example, does the admin plan the event or should a committee plan it? How involved is the senior management staff in planning an event?" — Anonymous

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria June 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm

If you can not hire an event planner then, when planning an event you need to consider the size of the company, the atmosphere among participants (know your audience) and the budget. Is is beneficial to have other employees participate in the planning and execution of such event. It will promote participation/sharing among employees. The administrative assistant can be the chair for the event and have a focus of the event(What you want to accomplish?), preparation (how)and execution (where and when) on a time table with dates for completing each task and who owns it. This will give accountability to everyone in the group. Ideas and discussions should be only in the early stages. Once you know the date work backwards to assign each task. Make it a point to have everything ready-to-go a couple of days prior to the event. Make checklists for everything! Have a list of savings$$. Don’t leave anything to chance and make sure to acknowledge everyone that work to make the event possible. Need more info? Let me know.


Lisa June 22, 2009 at 11:38 am

I am the event/scheduler where I work as well as the secretary. Additional items you may wish to include are: table arrangments, seating, linens, special dietary needs, audio visual needs such as LCD projectors, CD player, speakers, laptop, DVD player, flip charts, pens/markers, signs to direct people to the location of the event. Also include the phone numbers/extensions to those individuals who are assisting with making your event successful, especially the caterer and the person handling the audio visual. Another word of advice, if there is a presentation be sure to have it sent to the person handling the audio visual so they can check the presentation is compatable.


Tori June 22, 2009 at 10:36 am

The Excel Spreadsheet we use is nothing spectacular. It’s rather simple. We just have the following listed across the top:

Employee Name
Participating: Y or N
Paid: Y or N
Food (If someone is bringing something in, enter it here.)

Another spreadsheet lists the following down the right side. You can get as elaborate as you want on this one.

Date of Event
Decorations (List what type of decorations you need underneathe this.)
Supplies (Do the same thing as in the Decorations category. List the sub-items. Paper plates, forks, knives, napkins, tablecloth, cups)
Conference Room

Hide the rows you don’t need.

Hope it helps.


Kim Waszak-Guenther June 22, 2009 at 9:34 am

Please send me a copy of the Excel Checklist. Thank you so very much!


Annette June 22, 2009 at 8:58 am

I would love a copy of the checklist/excell spreadsheet as well! Thanks in advance!


Maggie Kaplan June 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Could you please send me a copy of this checklist. Thanks


Jacqueline June 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Can you make your checklist available? I would love to have a copy …


Jocelyn June 15, 2009 at 10:02 am

It depends. Office events like Christmas Parties etc. I actually research and provide detail ideas to the medical director/owner and then he approves an idea and gives instructions to any change in the idea and then I work with a small team to get everything done. Throughout the planning he is kept informed of what I have done and spent. For small thngs like office potlucks, we have teams because we have a team game. A team will decide to have an event and then they plan it after getting approval from management, which also is under my umbrella. If it is out of the ordinary I give guidance and suggestions but the higher ups are not involved since it doesn’t include company finance.


Freda June 15, 2009 at 9:01 am

It depends on the event. If it involves clients in any way, normally the E.A. or Admin handles it with the involved mgt. providing guidance. If it’s an employee, we have an Employee Recreation Committee that handles it – again w/mgt. & HR input.


Tori June 15, 2009 at 8:33 am

We have a checklist created for those who want to participate and those who don’t because we need to collect about $12 from those who join in. There are some people who will try to ride the coat tails of others and participate even though they didn’t pay.

This Excel checklist also includes what needs to be completed for the event. Create the checklist in Excel so you can hide and show the rows you need. Otherwise, if you have to go through all the steps in the checklist every time, you can just create it in Word with the checkboxes.

Here, we have a small group of people who plan these events. The Assistant is usually involved. In some departments, they just take care of it themselves.

Here, Senior Management never gets involved and doesn’t really care about it.


Amanda June 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm

For us, it depends on the size of the event. If it is something small, it usually falls on me to organize. If it is a bigger event (for example, each year we have a week long celebration in our department honoring Healthcare Week), I form a committee. I used to do the big stuff by myself, but it was TOO much work! So now I solicit volunteers to be on the committee. Even though I still end up doing most of the work (I am the only admin and the others do patient care and aren’t as able to take on extra tasks), it still makes it more manageable. Plus, when you get a few viewpoints, you often come up with ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. Our management does not get involved with any of it other than to approve the activities and ask about how we are meeting budget.


Fellow Admin Asst June 12, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Depends on the size of the event. We had a 200 participant event and everyone in the department was delegated responsibilities and followed a timeline with weekly meetings to make sure everyone was meeting their obligation. We also have a 100 participant event that I handle mostly myself but I am able to do this with my experience from the larger event and a very good check list with advance time to arrange everything and double and triple check everything is in place.


BEBE June 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Well, on my department I am the one coordinating every event. But, I do have help from co-workers. I tell them how to help me. I have to admit that with everything I do I need their help. Each event has been a success. Last month, I had to plan a resident’s graduation, a yearly company’s picnic and all of this while having my own graduation and a family emergency that i end up traveling out of state. I did it all!


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