Your 24 hours pre-event planning checklist

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Planning an event is stressful, many details are at play, things are bound to fall through the cracks at one point or another. A forgotten laptop charger here and a missing delivery there could end up having disastrous effects on your event. That’s why we gathered these checklists to help you run your event day as smoothly as possible.

24 hours before your event, send these 3 sets of emails

1. Attendees reminder email:

This set of emails is aimed at your attendee’s list and any invited VIPs.

Why you need it?

A last-minute email blast is an invaluable tool to ensure attendance at your event. It helps you capitalize on the people who might have missed your early promotional emails, or those who’s schedules miraculously opened up all of a sudden, or maybe it’s simply so you could share some new details that will facilitate reaching your event. You only need to make sure that your email is effective enough for it to be serving its purpose. 

Tips for effective reminder emails

Make sure to include this in your email:

  • Include your event’s key details (date, time and location)
  • Include any relevant information about the venue (parking, entrance gate, transportation) 
  • Disguise your announcement as a reminder where you reveal new information about your event (whether a new speaker, performer or activity)
  • Make sure your email has a clear call to action, what are you aiming for an RSVP, last-minute sales, or is it a simple reminder for your already confirmed guests?
  • Make it personal, send your email as a plain text email from your CEO or founder to make it more about authentic engagement with the event rather than about marketing the event.
2. Media attendance reminder email: 

This set of emails is aimed at your media coverage including reporters, paid/non-paid media outlets, influencers, bloggers and the likes.

Why you need it?

Your media attendance is a valuable asset for your event, but the email blast for them can act as more than just a reminder for the event itself. It’s also there to be a confirmation of their attendance, a friendly reminder about the agreed-upon deal or expected deliverables of your agreement with them. If there were no specific agreements about the coverage, try to use your email to nudge them into the direction of the content you would like to promote and highlight. 

Tips for effective reminder emails to the media

Make sure to include this in your email:

  • For short lead media outlets: Use media alerts to remind them of your event, for better results try to send it 3 to 4 days before the event.
  • For paid media coverage: Include the agreed-upon terms in bullet points.
  • Remember to include the name and number of the contact person that will be following up with these media personnel.
3. Confirmation emails: 

This set of emails is aimed at your suppliers including catering, equipment rental companies, private security, and the likes. You can also use confirmation emails to communicate details of your event day to your team, volunteers and speakers

Why you need them?

Confirmation emails are there to help you make sure that your printed material, catering, and any deliverables you are expecting on the morning of the event day are running smoothly and will be there in your event’s venue at their appointed time. With some suppliers it’s better to do this through a call rather than an email, so make sure you are using the most effective tool to confirm your deliveries. 

Tips for effective confirmation emails

Make sure to include this in your email:

  • Send them your event’s run sheet: “A run sheet is a document that lists the action steps to take during a specific process. When it comes to organized programs, the run sheet will also list out the events or cues to run through in chronological order.”
  • Confirm directions and arrival times

Read also: How to get more sponsors for your event

24 hours before your event, pack your event day kit

Why you need it?  

Consider this your survival bag, your event day kit is there to ensure that you don’t forget anything and are prepared for everything. To cover all your needs on various basis throughout the event, divide your Event day kit into 3 checklists (Electronics, general toolbox & personal wellbeing).

What to pack?

For your electronics checklist:

  • Make sure you have all your speakers’ presentation slides on 2 different USBs.
  • Check that all powerpoint documents are the same dimensions as the presentation screen. Make sure they are both 4:3 or 16:9.
  • All fonts used in the powerpoints are compatible with your device. Powerpoints can look different on a computer that doesn’t have your fonts installed. To overcome this, save your powerpoint as a PDF.
  • If you are the one providing your own sound or light equipment for the event make sure to make a separate checklist for that. 

For your general toolbox checklist: 

  • Printout your running orders and distribute them among your team & volunteers. In case technology fails you for some reason, this will ensure that everyone has a timed step by step action sheet of how everything is supposed to run down. 
  • Something people often overlook is to bring their business cards. Never miss a chance to promote yourself or your company even if the event is basically under your name. 

For your personal wellbeing checklist:

  • If you are wearing formal choose for any presentations or stage appearances you will make during the event. Make sure to pack a set of comfortable shoes to change into. 
  • Make sure you have gum and water. This will be a long tiresome day, you must remember to stay hydrated and refreshed. 

24 hours before your event, make your own minute-by-minute timeline: 

This will act as a detailed rundown of each and every single thing you need to do, from the start of your event up until the last minute. 

Why you need them?

It might sound redundant to you but this is to ensure that no detail is left unchecked, everything from vendor arrival, set-up, and run-through should be included in your timeline. 

Minute-by-minute timeline

When you arrive:

  • Arrive at the event’s venue with volunteers and team members hours before the event registration time
  • Check whether all the electronic equipment are working properly (microphones, lights, speakers)
  • Set up registration tables & name badges
  • Setup your banners, media wall and helpdesk
  • Allocate space for sponsors to place their banners
  • Confirm that your catering supplier is properly set up
  • Ensure that the host/anchor has all the details they need about the speakers & the rundown schedule. 
  • Test your powerpoint presentations to make sure they are working
  • Do a (second) final Audio/visual check

Throughout the day:

  • Greet guests & VIPs.
  • Ensure that all guests and VIPs have received your event’s gift bag and agenda. 
  • Assist your speakers and sponsors as needed.
  • Make sure that your speakers are at the appointed room or stage for their talk at least 15 minutes before their talk.
  • Check on your caterer.
  • Check with all your team leaders & volunteers at various equal intervals throughout the event.
  • Don’t forget to eat!

For Social Media:

  • Make sure your host is asking people to use the event hashtag and your event app to get the best out of the event. 
  • Make sure that the team member covering your event on social media is doing all the must-do mentions of sponsors, speakers..etc, sharing pictures and quotes from the event and using relevant hashtags.
  • Ensure that your photographer is sticking to your agreed upon required shot list.

Read also: How to use social media to promote your event

Get started

Now that you have sent your emails, packed your event kit and wrote down your event timeline, It’s time for a restful night of sleep. Your event is tomorrow but you’re prepared, you have thought of everything and put it all down into checklists and timelines. This will all pay off, giving you a smooth experience.

Click here to download a summarized checklist of what you need to get done 24 hours before your event.

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