Event Set-Up Checklist
Intended for the day of the event
Prior to Guests’ Arrival
Once you arrive at your venue/location:
; Complete your setup including registration desk, nametags, signs, banners and anything else you are
providing for the event.
; Display equipment: Prepare or plan for display boards, tables, chairs, printed material and name
; Check AV equipment (laptop, projector, etc.) to ensure all cables, cords, laptop, screen, microphone
and mouse are present and everything is in a working order.
; Confirm that all décor and linen is in place.
; Conduct a walk-through to make sure that bathrooms are clean and stocked and public spaces
(hallways, other adjacent spaces) are clean and tidy.
; If you have contracted transportation (buses, limos, etc.) review the plan with drivers and those
stationed at the staging and loading area. Make sure you have a way to get a hold of the drivers if they
park away in case you need them early.
; Review the floor plan with the venue contact:
o Introduce yourself to the on-site contact from the venue.
o Count number of tables.
o Count the number of available seats.
; For catered event or reception:
o Review the menu and plan for serving with your caterer.
o For dietary substitutions, make sure you know the person’s name and where they are seated.
Inform the serving staff of the special need and how they can identify him/her.
o Make sure there are spaces around the room for people to deposit empty plates and glasses.
o Review the time of food presentations with servers, presenters and your AV staff, if necessary
o Decide if you want the servers to clear tables during the event program or to wait until after
o If you have alcohol, go though contracted times for the bar, and review what will be served.
o Let the bartender know if you expect underage attendees.
o Make sure the band/entertainment is there, getting set up, in proper attire, and has completed
a sound check.
o Show them where the green room is (where they can gather for their breaks).
o Go over the itinerary for the evening so they know when to take breaks and let them know who
will be cueing them on the breaks or the sound (too high/too low).
o Let them know if they can have food, and if so, when and where they can sit down with their
plates (if you don’t have a green room).
o If you have alcoholic beverages, make sure they understand they are welcome to NON-alcoholic
beverages but not the alcoholic ones
o Confirm price for overtime per hour before the event starts
During the Event
Circulate around to do the following:
; For a catered event or reception:
o Is the buffet being replenished adequately? Are there empty chafing dishes? Is there enough
silverware and dishes on the buffet table?
o Are there dirty dishes, beer bottles, glasses, and garbage lying around that need to be picked up?
If so, you and your volunteers can help police the area, especially during crunch time when food
and beverage staff are at their busiest trying to make sure everyone is served. Helping with this
can make or break a party. Usually after the initial crunch, the food and beverage staff can
adequately handle the bussing.
; Oversee the flow of the program. If there is entertainment, make sure breaks are taken at proper times
and the band is back on stage at the proper time.
; For the duration of the function, stay on top of service, bussing and the cleanliness of the entire
property, including bathrooms.
; If you have a time constraint (paying for two hours of service, or so) make sure the servers and
bartenders stop serving at the appropriate time so you will not incur overtime charges. ; Have someone at the door directing people to the parking area. If you are providing transportation,
make sure the person at the doors know the transfer time and loading area.
; Use each event as a knowledge base to make your next event better. Take notes during the event of
how much food is leftover. Did you have enough? Did you have way too much? Is there a specific item
that everyone liked/disliked? Was there something missing that people were asking for that you should
include next time? Ask people as they leave what they enjoyed most/least.
; Make detailed notes about the event for future years. Include the publicity used, the attendance, and a
general list of ideas that you would suggest to improve on for the following year. The individuals
planning the event in future years will thank you for it!
; Take notes on the flow of the event, the food, and the band so that you can use it to your advantage
the next time you have an event.
At the End of the Event
; Has everyone left the venue? Make sure no one is left behind in bathrooms, etc.
; Make sure that you have all of your equipment- any signs, banners, table drapes, etc. that you brought
over with you.