The 60-second event checklist

A couple of weeks ago I met with Claire, a senior member of a marketing team in an event management agency. She wanted to know how our event production services could support her agency who set up and manage around 40 events per year. These events, being varied in size and type, would need set, staging, audio-visual, lighting and production support.

Claire is part of an experienced live event production team but faced challenges concerning planning and organisation. She asked me if I had a quick event project management checklist that she could use before she started any of the event planning. This would help her cover the basics and sketch out an overview of the event quickly, before getting into the requirements for technical event support.

When we’re consulting on event production issues we run through a very quick checklist – almost like speed-dating for event companies, where we can easily pull together key information without thinking too hard about it. It leaves us with a template from which we can fill in the finer details later, with a wider team or event suppliers. It’s also a great way to expose any gaps there might be in your thinking about the event and its purpose earlier on in the process.

I sent the checklist below to Claire last week. Her feedback? She said she had run this on 3 corporate event planning projects the business is planning for later in the year. She took my advice and just went through a checklist for each one of the events, answering the questions as each one was read to get the basic overview out – each one took her less than a minute to complete.

I share this and encourage you to share it in the hope that it helps to crystallise initial thoughts. If you are involved in event project management or production, what have you got to lose? Give it a try on one of your events. 60 seconds now will save you hours later!

When completing this checklist, just answer the questions that you already know, and then come back to the others for which you might need more knowledge or information. Ready, set…go!

Check List

Who’s coming? (Internal or External audience)
What size is your audience? (100, 300, 1000)
What’s the main purpose of getting them together? (Conference, Seminar, Team Meeting, Product Launch)
Do you want / need a theme? (Something that “sits” with the message)
Where’s the best location for that audience? (Location or theme driven)
What catering is needed (if any?) (On arrival, during, after.)
Should the venue have accommodation on-site or close by?
Where is the parking at the venue and is there enough?
Do you need to reveal anything? (New product, new team members, new initiative etc.)
What do you want your audience to hear? (What are the key messages?)
How do you want your audience to feel during the event? (Excited, enthused, informed, engaged?)
How do you want your audience to feel after the event? (motivated, part of something, ready to act?)
Who is providing your event production services? (staging, AV, set, lighting etc.)
Who will brief the technical production team?
Who will run the event from a technical perspective? (In-house experience or external company?)
How will you measure success of the event?
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