by Martha Cooke | November 01, 2003

The following checklist was compiled with the help of Bill J. Harrison, CFRE, corporate director of fund development for Blood Systems, 6210 E. Oak St., Scottsdale, Ariz. 85257;


  • Name and purpose of event 
  • Date, time and location
  • Number of attendees expected
  • Estimated cost of event
  • Per-attendee registration fee
  • Projected revenue generated

  • Is the available space suitable in size and shape?
  • Is the room rental fee within budget?
  • Is there an adequate public-address system, if needed?
  • Are power outlets well placed and accessible?
  • Are there clear sight lines to where staging or entertainment will take place?
  • Can the space accommodate audiovisual needs? 
  • Will there be a head table? If so, where will it be placed? 
  • Is there a convenient area to set up registration tables?


  • Will the event include a reception, buffet or sit-down meal?  
  • What is the per-person budget, including gratuities? 
  • Will there be a cash bar, or will drinks be hosted by an event sponsor?


  • Will there be a guest speaker?
  • What is the nature and goal of the speech or presentation?
  • Will the speaker be paid a fee or an honorarium? 
  • Would a celebrity or an industry VIP speaker be appropriate? (If so, be sure to book early.)
  • Does the speaker or entertainer have books or tapes to sell on-site?
  • What kind of A/V will be needed? 
  • Will special staging or power hookups be required? 
  • How much time should be allotted for the presentation or entertainment?
  • Will hired talent need travel and hotel reservations? 
  • Has an attorney reviewed all contracts and guarantees?

    Consider the methods of promotion to be used before, during and after the event, and make necessary arrangements.

  • Press releases
  • Posters and flyers
  • Public-service announcements
  • Talk-show appearances 
  • Press conferences and media receptions
  • Local newspapers and TV news outlets


  • Will the organization be required to solicit sponsors, prizes and favors for the event? Who is responsible for handling these tasks?
  • How will checks for vendors be issued? When is payment due? Will the cash flow be adequate?
  • Are reporting channels clear? What are the limits of authority for each area of responsibility?
  • Do any contracts specify special conditions that must be met, such as first-class airline tickets for VIPs, the use of union labor, F&B minimums, etc.?
  • For an outdoor event, is there a contingency plan in case of foul weather?
  • How will names of attendees be gathered and archived for follow-up contact?
  • How will volunteers and sponsors be recognized?