There are some major tools that event managers use everyday. Three of the main ones are: fast fact sheets, checklists, and timelines. They're all very important for keeping the planning and management of events on track. Different people use different formats, and some may even have different names for some of these documents. This blog will cover fast facts and checklists. A later blog will cover timelines.
Event Fast Facts
This is usually 1-2 pages. It is a very high level summary of all the general information. This should be short, to the point, and unambiguous about the information it covers. This document is very helpful for people in the organization who answer the phones and/or email. They often get a lot of general, high level questions, and rather than calling you for the answer to every one of them, they should have the information at their fingertips.
Here are some of the standard types of information I include in my fast fact sheets:
- start and end times and loctions (both for internal setup and for participants)
- maps and diagrams
- transportation options and directions
- broadcast information
- registration times and locations
- website addresses
- travel booking contact numbers
- volunteer information
- contact numbers and email for event staff, both on race day and before
Checklists can be used in pre-planning and for the day-of the event, but I primarily use them for the day-of. My timeline often acts as my pre-event checklist. For each area on event day (e.g., for a road race - start, course, finish, post-race, etc.), prepare a checklist of what needs to happen in each area by what time. Also, prepare an equipment checklist for the logistics team for packing and setup. For example, drop-off of specific equipment, volunteer arrival, participant arrival, etc. This helps the person managing that area help you by making sure nothing is missed.
These two tools will prove invaluable in your preparation for your events.