Event Final Preparations and Implementation
As event day draws closer, event managers should create a checklist of all the things that need to be done in order to create a successful event. It is particularly important to ensure that tasks are delegated to appropriate and multiple persons. This is especially necessary since some organizations will have events going on over multiple days including events that take place over the King Holiday weekend.
If your MLK Day initiative includes an opening and/or closing event, the following should be included on your checklist:
- Visit the event location. Do a dry run if you can.
- Prepare a kit with all phone numbers, lists, floor plans and other information you might need.
- If expecting a large crowd, particularly involving VIPs, speak with local authorities about traffic and security issues.
- Create a diagram of the location set-up and ensure that the people doing the set-up are aware of any special requirements such as reserved seating for VIPs and the location of refreshments. Also, ensure that the site is accessible for all of your attendees including those who may have special needs.
- Confirm the delivery of any food, equipment, furnishings, or other goods that need to be delivered to the event site early enough so you can make adjustments, if necessary. Also confirm entertainment, if applicable.
- Create volunteer and media sign-in sheets and assign different tables where each will be done. Volunteers sign-in should also include a photo release checkbox.
- Create media packets with information about your organization and your MLK Day event and service projects.
- Assign someone to confirm speakers/VIPs including time of arrival, length of address and key messages, and what is expected of them, e.g. are they expected to participate in the service project?
- Assign someone to greet speakers/VIPs and ensure that they have photos of the speakers so that they recognize them when they arrive.
- Decide when, where and how to distribute volunteer incentives e.g., T-shirts, buttons, etc.
- Recruit more volunteers than you think you need for event day and include volunteer runners to get forgotten items.
- Have written back-up plans on hand for things that might go wrong once the event starts, weather included.
- Make arrangements for the event location to be cleaned up at the close of the event.
- Plan for the worst case scenario – doesn’t mean it will happen, but having a Plan B will provide peace of mind.