Hosting a PCRM Event: Timeline

The Physicians Committee

Hosting a PCRM Event: Timeline

Hosting a PCRM Event | Getting Started | Sample Timeline


  • Determine the purpose, format, and feasibility of the event
  • Create an estimated budget
  • Select the date, but before confirming it clear the date with important participants and double-check for conflicts with other major functions
  • Recruit event team/volunteers
  • Draw up preliminary guest list. Begin collecting addresses and/or e-mail addresses for save-the-date information
  • Select the theme
  • Select a venue and reserve if necessary
  • Develop a rain plan if the event is to be held outdoors
  • Choose a caterer if you will not be doing food yourself
  • Reserve rental equipment if needed
  • Determine if you will do an audiovisual presentations
  • Apply for any needed permits
  • Add event to any online calendars, listservs, or social network sights if this will be a public event
  • Plan promotion and publicity


  • Send save-the-date announcements to guests (3-5 months prior to the event)
  • Design online or printed invitation. Order printed invitations
  • Select menus an make sure all food is vegan
  • Make contact with any program participants and
    • Supply suggestions for their remarks
    • Gather their biographical information
    • Request a photo of each participant for publicity
  • Finalize the audiovisual presentations
  • Plan the decorations and color scheme
  • Order props, novelties, foods, or other special needs
  • Choose and meet with the florist
  • Ask someone to act as photographer and, if you would like, videographer
  • Begin creating a logistical outline to document all arrangements as they are decided on and confirmed


  • Send out invitations 4-6 weeks prior to event. Hand addressing looks best, but if you are pressed for time, you can use printed labels
  • Finalize decor and any venue arrangements
  • Assess volunteer needs and assign tasks: greeters and check in, checking coats, help with food, set up and clean up, photographer
  • Continue publicity on schedule
  • Keep an eye on social media and event calendars and revise if necessary


  • Record and acknowledge RSVPs as they are received
  • Send detailed instructions to all program participants
  • Finalize details with caterer and/or other vendors and determine delivery and set up times
  • Write speeches and introductions


  • Ascertain the intentions of anyone who has not sent an RSVP
  • Print out the guest list in alphabetical order
  • Make name tags
  • Brief the greeters and volunteers on their duties
  • Gather all presentation items such as gifts, plaques, trophies. Collect ceremonial items. Designate one person to be in charge of transporting them to the event site
  • Plan an arrival briefing for VIPs if necessary
  • Prepare the briefing packet and send along with the guest list (with full names, titles, business and professional affiliations, and other specific interests), biographies, and the final schedule of events to the academic or administrative leadership or official host
  • Call security and double-check all arrangements. Provide them with final itineraries and VIP information
  • Deliver prepared introductions, citations, and speeches to those who will read them
  • Make catering guarantees
  • Prepare your event box with any supplies, such as tape, string, zip ties, staplers, clip boards, baskets, etc. you may need


  • Arrive early
  • Make sure to have logistical outline, production schedule, instructions, directions, phone numbers, name tags, guest lists, and the event supply box with you
  • Set up and decorate event venue
  • Conduct sound and equipment checks
  • Set up registration. Be sure it is ready no later than 45 minutes prior to the start of your event
  • As host, it’s good to greet people as the arrive
  • Begin presentation, if any, about 45 minutes after event starts
  • Relax and smile


  • Send thank you notes/emails to attendees, volunteers and vendors
  • Conduct event debriefing to determine success or ways to improve in the future
  • Send guest lists, photos, and donations to PCRM