Once you have chosen your event components, tasks, event coordinator, and committees, you will want to map out a backwards timeline. The timeline is a guide to make sure you include all the details and tasks to make the event successful.

Begin with the actual day of the event. This is week zero. Write down everything that will take place on the day of the event, including tasks, program, decorations etc.

Then, working backwards from week one, write down what needs to be done in the prior weeks to make your event occur as you have mapped out.

Make sure you map out the most important components first, and then add the less necessary components.

  • Some timeline components to consider Include:
  • Reservation of Space
  • Food
  • Alcohol Service; The alcohol service permit process requires a minimum of three weeks.
  • Decorations (themes, materials)
  • Tickets (design, sales)
  • Budget
  • Entertainment (contracts, equipment, facilities)
  • Committee business (meetings, communication, administrative tasks)
  • Program (sequence, materials)

Also, having your committees map out their own backwards timeline for their specific component can be a very effective way to make sure they are aware of everything they are responsible for.

Backwards Timeline Example:

  • Backwards Timeline
  • Day of the Event: March 24, 2006
  • Program Food Ticketing Marketing
  • Week 0 (day of the Event)-March 24
  • Week 1-March 17
  • Week 2-March 10
  • Week 3-March 3
  • Week 4-February 24
  • Week 5-February 17
  • Week 6-February 10
  • Week 7-February 3
  • Week 8-(beginning of planning)-January 27

Publicity Timeline starting 10 weeks before event:

Reserve:

  • Display cases
  • Bulletin boards
  • Easels
  • Counters

Place your event on the OSU Calendar

Recommended 5 weeks before event:

Finalize details of:

  • Print designs
  • Posters
  • Display ads
  • Fliers
  • Send notices to news "calendars"
  • Order and pay for Newspaper ads
  • Begin running classified ads
  • Submit your event announcement to OSU Today. 
  • Order posters (OSU Printing and Mailing)
  • Produce all materials
  • open ticket sales/RSVP process

Recommended 3 weeks before event:

  • have all fliers, posters distributed
  • Send press releases to newspapers
  • Put up displays

Recommended 2 weeks before event:

  • Run display ad
  • Run public service announcements

Recommended 1 week before event:

  • Begin special promotions
  • Hand out fliers around campus
  • Call newspapers to see if they will cover event

Recommended the day before event

  • Do special promotion activity to run through event day

Day of Event!

  • Make sure that people know WHERE your event is held
  • Signs or balloons or arrows or anything that points to your event location will be helpful.

Good publicity can make the difference between a mediocre event and a SUCCESSFUL event!