Compiling An Event Planning Checklist

As with any large project, a great plan is key to ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible. Compiling an event planning checklist and timeline will help to make your event a success.

Consider the complex logistics in arranging a series of continuing medical education (CME) dinner meetings. Here’s a sample timeline designed to guide and assist you in the planning and implementation of a prototypical CME dinner meeting series. We recognize that the structure and demands of your organization will vary from this example, and you may or may not be involved in every component.

Ideally, you would have approximately four months to plan a series of dinner meetings. In reality this timeline is often compressed. However, the order of the tasks will remain the same and in many cases overlap.

 

Sample Timeline

Four Months Prior to the First Meeting
  • Receive grant funding and budget
  • Identify Course Chairman
Three Months Prior to the First Meeting
  • Invite Chairman
  • Upon acceptance of Chairman – send confirmation packet
  • Arrange planning call with Chairman
  • Confirm return of Chairman’s completed confirmation packet
Three Months Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Send RFP to venue
  • Invite Faculty
  • Upon acceptance of invited Faculty – send Faculty Confirmation Packets
  • Confirm receipt of Faculty’s completed confirmation packet
  • Begin development of invitation and other attendee recruitment initiatives
  • Develop design for signage and other printed materials
Two Months Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Prepare a schedule of tentative meeting dates
  • Confirm Faculty availability for specific meeting dates
  • Select venues and confirm dates
  • Send invitation to print
  • Send signage to print
  • Post invitation on website if applicable
  • Order mailing list for first meeting
  • Receive clinical content from Chairman or your clinical team
  • Make travel, ground transportation, and lodging arrangements for faculty
  • Make menu selection for each venue
  • CONTACT GCG EVENT PARTNERS for a quote for On-Site Management
  • Arrange for Audio Visual Equipment (GGC Event Partners can make these arrangements)
One Month Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Request Faculty and Chairman honoraria checks (must have completed W-9 forms)
  • Mail, e-mail, and/or fax invitations for meetings that are 4 weeks out
  • Using the GCG Event Partners On-Line Ordering and Tracking System, request On-Site Management for meetings that are 4 weeks out
  • Send presentation materials i.e.,handouts and evaluations to print
  • Send travel arrangements to faculty
Three Weeks Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Begin confirming pre-registrants
  • Send slide kits (i.e., presentation materials) to confirmed Faculty
  • Prepare honoraria packets – include thank you letter and check
Two Weeks Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Continue confirming pre-registrants
  • If attendance is low, conduct additional recruitment i.e.,fax blasts
  • Prepare instructions for On-Site Professionals
One Week Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Remind Faculty of upcoming speaking engagements
  • Ship meeting materials to the venue or the On-Site Professional (a meeting checklist is helpful in ensuring that all materials have been sent)
  • Arrange conference call with On-Site Professional
Four Days Prior to the Each Meeting
  • Provide final guarantee to the venue
  • Conduct conference call with On-Site Professional
  • Provide reminder calls or e-mails to registered attendees
Following Each Meeting
  • Receive materials returned from the meeting
  • Reconcile attendance
  • Compile evaluation summaries
  • Reconcile invoices
  • Provide reimbursement to faculty

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