Prepare To Plan

Think Strategically And Logistically

Think like an event participant:

  • Will there be signs designating where restrooms are located?
  • Will activities be handicapped-accessible?
  • Will a list of planned activities be posted on a website prior to      the event?
  • Will print material be available on-site to help attendees      navigate the event grounds?
  • Will an ATM machine be available?

Next, think like a vendor, a sponsor, or event partner:

  • Does the vendor application provide details addressing possible      questions the vendor may have about participating in the festival?
  • Do partner agreements clearly define their role and the role of      the festival organizers?
  • Is a list available of sponsorable activities, locations, and      services, along with a list of deliverables from which potential sponsors can benefit?

Write It Down

The management section of the plan should carefully list the responsibilities of each staff member, contractor, and event partner. This is the place to create job descriptions for each person, to define volunteer roles, and to determine how many volunteers are needed.

A logistics section should outline how each activity will be implemented. Include a map of the site, setup and takedown instructions, maintenance responsibilities, safety and security management, the use or rental of any equipment, as well as a list of necessary infrastructure, such as water, electricity, and communications. If permits are required, include copies in the plan. A master contact list  should include names, addresses, email addresses, and business phone and cellphone numbers for every staff member, vendor, contractor, partner, supplier, and sponsor.

Another section of the plan should analyze all potential risks to patrons, the host organization, facility owners, and other stakeholders. Include operational, security, public-safety, environmental, and financial risks that might affect the event. A safety and security plan also should include the way in which the media will be managed and utilized in the event of an emergency.


Last, include in the plan an evaluation of the success of the event and with whom it will be shared, and also a solicitation of feedback, and how it will be used to understand the completed product. If an on-site evaluation is to be used, be sure to have enough staff scheduled and trained to collect useful data.

Whether an event is large or small, taking the time to strategically and creatively plan in advance will produce an event that delights guests and achieves the staff’s goals and objectives.

Jill Dray Korsok, CPRP, is the Recreation Program Manager for the city of Mentor Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Department in Ohio. Reach her at


Key Approaches To Planning An Event

Research and conceptualize

Establish the details

Analyze each component

Think strategically and logistically

Write the plan down

Communicate with stakeholders

Execute the plan

Evaluate and make recommendations for the future



Considerations For A Strong Event Plan

The purpose and concept of the event

Goals and objectives

A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)

Market analysis

Management structure

Activities implementation process

Event logistics

Risk and safety management

Community relations


Volunteer recruitment and use





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Related posts:

  1. A Park With A Pulse
  2. Plan Ahead
  3. Master Plan
  4. Aquatic Safety Audits
  5. A Dog-Gone Good Time

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