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Event Planning: Post Event Wrap-up

In reality, the event may be over but there is still a great amount of work that needs to be handled before you can consider your event complete. Tying up the loose ends will ensure the proper paperwork is complete and all pertinent information regarding the event is compiled and stored for future reference.

  • Did you thank the appropriate vendors and University staff?
  • Has you attendee list been updated? Does it reflect “no-shows”?
  • Have you paid all your outstanding invoices? Have you reconciled your account?
  • Did you debrief with staff and volunteers that attended your event? 

The Importance of a Thank you

Neglecting to thank volunteers, vendors and important contact people sends the wrong message about you and your event - you aren't organized, you didn’t give value to the event and you don't appreciate your help.

Thank-you letters need to be warm, sincere, and quickly sent within 48 hours of the event. The letter should always be personalized to show the recipient that they are indeed important. A personalized thank you also establishes a feeling of partnership in the event which leads to relationship building, trust, and positive affirmation in you and your organization/department.

Completing all the Paperwork

Do not get into the habit of slacking on the paperwork after an event has taken place. Take the time to update your attendee list and note the guests that did not attend. Having an accurate list of attendees will help to build a reputable data base of information. And if there were notes that were taken during the event that requires follow-up make sure it gets done before it gets forgotten.

Also, pay any invoices that may be outstanding. Deposit any revenue immediately. If a gift is involved make sure to complete the Gift In-Kind Donation Form. It is also helpful to complete a statement (Event Detail Report) that accounts for all expenses and revenues. This statement will confirm at a glance how much you paid and to whom and your final total expense or revenue.

Also when completing final paperwork take the time to fill-out venue or customer service surveys. Be honest and fair in your rankings so the venue has the opportunity to correct any errors that were made or give recognition to staff that went above and beyond expected service. And if your event purchased a Gaming License from the State of Michigan, make sure all final reports are submitted on a timely basis.

A Sample Event Detail Report

Annual Alumni Association Golf Outing
Friday, May 16, 2010
Registration Fee – 188 golfers @ $150 $ 28,200.00
Hole Sponsorship - 16 @ $250 4,000.00
Mulligans/Lanyards 1,305.00
Square/Red Raffles 2,615.00
TOTAL REVENUE $36,120.00
Tullymore & St. Ives Golf 12,220.00
Gift Certificates (9) 225.00
Lunches 191.83
Dinners 804.39
Bar Expense 1,743.00
Greystone Printing – Invitation 738.93
Mailroom – 4,643 pieces 845.45
Motor pool 330.00
Katke Golf Course (raffle prizes) 1,286.38
FLS Banners - Actual Flag 353.14
Antigua – Golf Shirt Giveaway (188 @ $20) 3,760.00
Antigua – Staffing and Volunteer 535.50
Antigua Shipping 185.00
Hangin’ By A Thread – Flag embroidery 330.00
Media Productions – Tee Signs 62.41
Photographic Services 65.00
State of Michigan – License Raffle 50.00
Hole in One International 301.00
Team Trophies (welding program) 250.00

Why Debrief?

Immediate feedback from an event is a wonderful tool to measure the success of that event. Openly discussing the event with key people that attended will reaffirm what worked, what did not work and how to improve the event if it is to be repeated.

A debriefing meeting should be scheduled within 3 to 7 days after an event and should be facilitated by a neutral party that can record comments and lead the discussing in a conversational and unobtrusive manner. Use the Debriefing Procedures as a guide.