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Checklist for Planning a Successful Crime Prevention Event

Adapt this comprehensive checklist for your event. Local businesses may be able to donate or lend items you will need. Good luck!

20 to 12 Weeks Ahead

  • Decide who is going to oversee (chair) the event.
  • Recruit a core volunteer working group.
  • Invite law enforcement, fire, and rescue personnel to help with safety and security.
  • Bring everyone together and decide the following:
  • How will you fund this event?
  • What do you want to happen at your event? When do you want to have it?
  • Where are you going to hold your event? Consider seating, parking, accessibility for people with disabilities, and access to public transportation.
  • How many people can you accommodate?
  • Are you going to need any permits?
  • Who is going to be on what committee? Committees usually include Awards and Prizes, Entertainment and Publicity, Information, Food and Decorations, and Invitations and Hospitality.

12 to Eight Weeks Ahead: Committee Checklists

Chair and/or Honorary Chair

  • Recruit an honorary chair to help publicize and draw people to your event. Local celebrities or TV and radio station personalities are good choices.
  • Identify potential partners and local celebrities with help from the honorary chair.

Invitations and Hospitality

  • Invite local celebrities.
  • Estimate how many people will be attending and tell the Food Committee.
  • Let the Decorations Committee know how many tables are needed for registration.
  • Reach out to recruit volunteers.

Awards and Prizes

  • Decide criteria for awards and recruit judges. Arrange for the honorary chair or other community leader to present the awards.
  • Ask businesses to donate awards and door prizes or select and order McGruff® licensed products.

Entertainment and Publicity

  • Draw up detailed plans for activities and entertainment. Arrange for stage, sound, and audio-visual equipment as required.
  • Call the news media to introduce yourself and the event.
  • Prepare a press release to send out one week before the event. Put together a kit that includes a press release, fliers, and a list of sponsors and participating celebrities.
  • Be available on the day of the event to meet and greet media representatives.

Information Checklist

  • Let the Decorations Committee know how many tables and chairs you will need and work with them on a seating chart.
  • Decide on what information you will distribute and order enough copies.
  • Recruit volunteers to help exhibitors set up, load, and unload materials.

Food and Decorations Committee

  • Decide what decorations you will have and where they will go.
  • Map where exhibits, food, entertainment, registration, etc., will be set up. Pay attention to the location of electrical outlets.
  • Decide if you are going to serve refreshments. If you don’t want to provide refreshments, you could invite local restaurants to sell food. Make sure you at least provide water.
  • Arrange for all required tables, chairs, napkins, cups, plates, and utensils for food; hospitality; exhibitors; and awards.

One Day Ahead

  • Test audio-visual and sound equipment.
  • Set up tables and decorate if possible.
  • Make sure that workers and attendees will be safe—check for hazards.
  • Purchase all perishable food items and/or ensure that all food is prepared.
  • Do a final review to make sure all checklist items are completed.

The Big Day!

  • Install or complete decorations.
  • Set up tables, stage, and audio-visual equipment.
  • Ensure that first aid kit, fire extinguishers, and emergency phone numbers are readily accessible, but out of the way.
  • Ensure that volunteer greeters and helpers are on site, briefed, and ready to go.
  • Don’t forget to thank all donors, workers, partners, and celebrities at the event.
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