Community events CHECKLIST

Running events for your community can feel daunting.

There is so much to think about!

It’s easy for things to get out of hand if you’re not organized or have no idea where to start.

Time to make your life easier… 

I have created a FREE checklist of all the things to consider before running a community event.

This is based on my own experiences running community events for the past 7+ years.

Before we get started with the checklist, make sure you can answer the following questions:

  1. Why is this event important for community members to attend? (PURPOSE)
  2. What are you hoping the outcome from this event will be (INTENTION)
  3. What makes this event unique/special for its participants? Include thinking about co-hosts, guest speakers and community members…
These questions are important to answer, as too often I see people running events just for the sake of running them. 
 
Just because you run 100 events/ month doesn’t mean you’re successfully running a community…
 
With that in mind, let’s move forward to the checklist…
 
If you prefer, here’s the below checklist in Google sheets format.
 (Go ahead and make a copy for your own records). 
 
 

Community Event Checklist

Event “strategy” 

  • Determine event theme, title, description 
  • Determine event hosts, co-hosts, guest speakers
  • Determine the audience: who should attend this event?
  • Determine how community members will interact with each other and connect 
  • Determine pricing for tickets if applicable
  • Determine event budget if required

Event “logistics” before publishing

  • Confirm event date, time and location (if applicable).
    • Make sure to check for date/time clashes especially with public holidays
  • Determine how the event will be hosted (if physical: the space, if virtual: the platform) 
  • Determine how participants will register for the event
  • Determine how the event will be announced/marketed and if there are any advertising requirements
  • Determine suitable social media hashtags for participants to help promote your event before and during the event
  • Determine payment options if the event will be paid (including early bird pricing etc)
  • Confirm event format and timeline (create run-through sheet)
  • Collect all guest speaker bios and photos to publish with the event
  • Determine if participants need to prepare anything before the event
  • Prepare any graphic design materials required (such as event banners, graphics, sponsor logos, photos etc that will be used to promote the event)
  • If it’s a physical event: catering, lighting, sound/music, decorations, tables/chairs etc
  • Swag if applicable
Publish your event (ideally at least 2-3 weeks beforehand)
  • Publish the event to all agreed channels to reach your event audience and make sure to include all necessary information including
    • Event title, theme, description 
    • Date, time, location (zoom link or physical space address)
    • Event format/ agenda
    • Speakers information
    • Details if participants are required to prepare anything before the event or bring something to the event
    • How participants can register for the event via button/link (if applicable)
    • Event banner/ other graphics
  • Advertise if required
  • Reach out to VIP guests, other communities, social media influencers etc to promote your event and keep an eye on attendance numbers

Prep for your event (ideally at least 1-2 weeks beforehand).

  • If it’s a physical event, you’ll need to confirm the physical space, caterers and any other suppliers to ensure you are on track
  • If it’s a virtual event, make sure your event platform is working fine, and prepare any presentation decks/materials that will be shared during the event
  • Double confirm availability of your hosts, speakers, moderators, recording crew (if applicable), any other volunteers 
  • Prep hosts, speakers, moderators beforehand to make sure they understand their role, how to use the event platform, confirm their presentation decks/materials if required
  • Check attendance numbers and increase marketing efforts by re-sharing or finding new channels to promote the event if needed (assume a 50% drop out rate from registrations as those who will attend)
  • Ask guest speakers if they would be willing to promote the event through their own network
  • Make sure you have all presentation decks/materials from speakers lined up if required
  • Practice using the platform with the hosts

Day of your event

  • Have a list of attendees and look through this to see who will be participating in this event (often there are valuable insights to share with your guest speakers etc so they can have a better understanding of “who is in the room”
  • Remind participants of social media handles to use to share about the event on their own channels
  • PHYSICAL event: Test microphones, cameras, lighting, stage set up, music etc and set up catering, chairs/tables etc

Just before your event starts…

  • VIRTUAL: Test event platform, make sure all guest hosts, speakers etc are on the platform and test microphones, video, share screen etc
  • Make sure recording is all set up
  • Put hosts, speakers and moderators minds at ease by HYPING THEM UP for the event, tell them this will be an awesome session and excited to kick things off
  • Play music and get ready to KICK OFF YOUR AWESOME COMMUNITY EVENT!!! 

Did I forget anything? Let me know via:

Twitter @acommunitycoach or Email: carmen@communitycoach.me

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