PART 1: Event Planning Timeline
We tried to draft a timeline that would be relevant to not only the Spirit & Place Festival, but other events you might be
working on. Use it as a general guideline to think about how far in advance you need to plan for a successful event.
6 weeks to 6 months prior to the event
Initial planning is largely determined by your capacity and the event in which you are coordinating.
For the Spirit & Place Festival, initial event planning should begin at least 1—2 months prior to the application
deadline so that you have time to line up partners and craft a strong application.
Determine size and scope of your event, including who is responsible for what.
Determine your audience—design your event with them in mind.
Reserve a venue.
Contact speakers to determine availability and to clearly and precisely articulate your needs and goals
for the event. (Remember to discuss details such as the time, date, and venue as well as any AV
requirements or other related fees.)
Determine the event budget.
Identify a collaborating partner (i.e., a group with shared values/complementary interests) who can assist
with event design, content development, promotions, and/or some other need.)
Establish a publicity plan for the event. (What will you do, who will do it, and when?)
Send “save the date” announcements to engage people early.
2—4 weeks prior to the event
On top of any promotional activities planned by Spirit & Place, it is CRUCIAL you begin heavily promoting your
event no later than this point. In the time between initial planning and heavy promoting, you should still be
looking for ways to promote your event through blog posts, social media, and other means.
Update your web site & ask your partners to do the same.
Increase social media messaging.
Create/make use of an RSVP system.
Distribute printed promotional materials. (Take fliers or other collateral to coffee shops, post on
congregational bulletin boards, ask to leave materials at your public library, etc.)
Send a reminder email to people and encourage them to bring a friend.
Send out a press release. (Long lead publications such as Indianapolis Monthly require a 3 month lead.)
Populate online community calendars with event information.
Meet with all involved event staff to confirm logistics.
Finalize catering arrangements, if necessary.
Begin recruiting volunteers.
3—5 days prior to the event
Finalize/confirm number of attendees with the venue and review room set-up and AV plans.