How to make an action plan for an event?

A well-organised event cannot be done without an action plan. Even when you have everything in your head as an organiser, what happens if you’re ill and someone else has to take over?

The exact content of the action plan varies per event, but there are a number of basic things everyone must pay attention to. The golden rule is always:

Start writing up your action plan as early as possible.

This will help you during the preparations to see if you haven’t forgotten anything. You can always adjust the content in the meantime.

Here’s what it should include in any case.

Details and functions on the first page

‘Which dressing room does the band have?’
‘Do we also have gluten-free finger food?’
‘When can the volunteers have lunch?’
‘Can we tweak part of the programme?’
‘Who has contact with the party venues?’

There will always be questions during your event, regardless of how earlier you start, which is why it’s good to clearly note who is responsible for what and how you can reach them.

For bigger events, you can also consider creating WhatsApp groups in advance. For example, a general group and a group for each team separately, which saves time entering phone numbers.

Start with the programme

After the first page, you can put the rest of your action plan in chronological order. Start with the first act and finish with the last one.

When several activities take place at the same time, you can also divide the action plan per venue, if need be, with a useful schedule where you can see what happens where.

Per event or performance you want to know:

  • What’s going on exactly
  • Who is performing (details!)
  • Where
  • From what time to what tome
  • Who is responsible at a specific place

Besides a paper version, you can also provide an action plan online. Make sure it’s easy to read on a smartphone.

Do you find it difficult to estimate how much time the acts need to go from one location to the next? You can also ask the event location for help with this (for example, venues in London).

Describe every action point

Not everyone was taking care of the preparations for the event, which is why it’s good to indicate what you expect from each employee or volunteer as clearly as possible.

Describe the action points as precisely as possible.

  • Assist the group from place X to place X.
  • Go at a specific time to place X with X refreshments.
  • Check at a specific time whether the sound is good.

A disadvantage of specially drawing up action points is of course that your action plan quickly looks like an encyclopaedia. You can therefore also choose to write a separate action plan per role. Moreover, a separate action plan for the build-up and tear down will avoid this problem.

Make a summary for the suppliers

As well, suppliers don’t want to read a novel. Chance are, the information they want is not in your bible and they will still call with questions when you’re busy doing something else.

A clear summary per supplier will greatly reduce your stress on the day. Here’s what it should contain in any case.

Where does the supplier have to go (not just the address, but also the entrance or the place on the terrain with a card), what gear they need to deliver to whom from the organisation (with of course, relevant details).

Better on time than without error

Of course, during the last days, there can be a lot of changes to the programme or responsibilities, but do not postpone sending your action plan!

Instead of a perfect action plan, it’s much more important that everyone be informed on time. The rule is:

Send the action plan of your event at least a week in advance.

This way, everyone has the time to read about their own role during the event. Chances are that following the action plan, there will be additional questions. Based on these questions, you can send a revised version on the morning.

Quickly find your perfect location