Milestone Dedication Ceremony Planning

From IEEE Milestones Wiki

Checklist for Planning Milestone Dedication Ceremony

This checklist is intended as a guide. The exact details might differ from dedication to dedication. Some of these steps may not be applicable to your activity but will be a good reference whether you’re planning a large event, or a small informal gathering. Timing can be adjusted to reflect lead time to event. 

6 to 12 Months Ahead
___ Visit and inspect potential ceremony sites
___ Research/appoint an event coordinator/manager
___ Research/select committees/chairpersons
___ Chairperson forms subcommittees
___ Receive cost estimates (site rental, food, drinks, sound/lights, rental, special equipment, etc.) Catering worksheet.doc
___ Receive recommendations for entertainment
___ Receive estimates for entertainment
___ Receive estimates for decorations
___ Receive estimates for design/printing
___ Receive estimates for other major items
___ Draft initial budget (download Event budget template.doc )
___ Create sponsorship amounts/levels
___ List items to be underwritten and possible sources
___ Decide/approach honorees
___ Choose speakers, confirm their availability If there will be travel expenses, be sure all parties agree in writing ahead of time on who is covering the expenses.
___ Compile mailing list (IEEE leadership, members/potential members, industry professionals, politicians)
___ Check proposed date for potential conflicts, finalize date in writing
___ Receive written contracts for site, entertainment, etc.
___ Develop alternative site (if event is outdoors)
___ Invite/confirm special guests: directors, IEEE leadership, politicians, current and past employees of
        company which produced the milestone, the engineers/inventors behind the achievement (including family members and descendants), local supporters of IEEE events, and television, radio and print media. If there will be travel expenses, be sure all parties agree in writing ahead of time on who is covering the expenses.
___ Contact IEEE Presidents’ Office to invite the IEEE President, President-Elect, or Past-President (this is strongly recommended). Indicate which role the President will play: a main speaker, unveiling, etc.,

___ Contact IEEE Corporate Communications Fran Tardo

___ Contact IEEE Foundation ( with regard to possible collaboration or events in conjunction with dedication ceremony.

___ Invite the IEEE History Committee Chair

___ Invite the Director of the IEEE History Center
___ Pick graphic artist; begin invitation design
___ Provide hi-resolution image of IEEE Master Brand, others to graphic artist
___ Order save-the-date cards or other event announcements
___ Set marketing/public relations schedule
___ Develop press release and calendar listings
___ Select photographer; arrange for photos of special guests, honorees, directors
___ Receive biographical information on special guests, honorees, directors
___ Investigate need for special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.

___ Begin paperwork for visas or other travel documents for speakers or attendees who might require them

3 to 6 Months
___ Begin monthly committee meetings
___ Write/send requests for sponsorship to potential business sponsors
___ Request logos from corporate sponsors for printing
___ Order IEEE banners for display on podium or tables
___ Review invitations, programs, posters, etc. with graphic artist (here is a link to sample invitations
___ Prepare final copy for invitations, return card, posters
___ Prepare copy for tickets/finalize
___ Finalize mailing lists for invitations
___ Gather postal, email addresses for invitee list
___ Order invitations, posters, tickets, etc.
___ Order Milestone plaques from IEEE History Center

___ Order give-away objects or promotional items from IEEE merchandise
___ Sign contract with entertainment company
___ Make list of locations for posters and IEEE banners
___ Finalize potential sponsor mailing lists; begin follow-up corporations and potential sponsors
___ Set menu with caterer for food and beverages
___ Secure permits and insurance
___ Receive written confirmation of attendance from special guests/honorees
___ Finalize audio/visual contract
___ Assess and plan for security, if needed

2 Months Ahead
___ Assemble/address invitations (with personal notes when possible)
___ Mail invitations
___ Finalize transportation/hotel accommodations as needed
___ Obtain contracts for decorations and rental items
___ Release press announcements about special guests, honorees and event information
___ Follow up to confirm sponsorships and/or underwriting
___ Obtain logos from corporate sponsors for program printing
___ Review needs for signs at registration, directional, etc.
___ All major chairpersons to finalize plans
___ Hold walk-through of event with responsible volunteers at event site
___ Review/finalize budget task sheets and tentative timeline
___ Start phone/email follow-up for table sponsors
___ Identify media spokesperson
___ Print program (include milestone title, citation, history, photos, schedule of
       speakers/events/presentations, lists of sponsors, etc.)

1 Month Ahead
___ Conduct phone/email follow-up of mailing list
___ Follow up with news media
___ Confirm volunteers for registration and hosting
___ Write to special guests, honorees, politicians, program participants to confirm participation
___ Complete list of contents for potential member/ IEEE introductory information packets
___ Receive enlarged site plan/room diagram, assign seats/tables (if needed)
___ Give estimate of guests expected to caterer/food service
___ Meet with all outside vendors, consultants to coordinate event
___ Review script/timeline/agenda
___ Continue phone/email follow-ups to secure attendees
___ Continue assigning seats; Decide who will sit on speaker's platform
___ Confirm transportation schedules: airlines, trains, buses, cars, limos, parking
___ Confirm hotel accommodations (as needed)
___ Prepare transportation and accommodations (include arrival time, flight number, airline, person
        assigned to meet flight)
___ Prepare potential member/ IEEE introductory information packets
___ Schedule deliveries of special equipment, rentals
___ Confirm setup and tear down times with event site
___ Give caterer revised numbers
___ Meet with chairpersons and key volunteers to finalize any of the above

1 Week Before
___ Meet with all committees for last-minute details
___ Finish phone/email follow-ups
___ Confirm number attending
___ Print nametags
___ Finish seating/table arrangements
___ Hold event run-through with volunteers; finalize assignments
___ Secure two or three volunteers to assist with emergencies
___ Select which volunteers will conduct registration
___ Distribute seating chart assignments to volunteers
___ Schedule pickup or delivery of any rented or loaned equipment
___ Double-check arrival time and delivery times with vendors
___ Reconfirm event site, hotel, transportation
___ Deliver final scripts/talking points/agenda/timelines to all program participants
___ Finalize catering guarantee
___ Confirm number of volunteer staff
___ Make follow-up calls to news media for advance and event coverage
___ Distribute additional flyers
___ Final walk-through with all personnel
___ Schedule rehearsals
___ Schedule volunteer assignments for day of event
___ Establish amount of petty cash needed for tips and emergencies
___ Write checks for payments to be made for the day of the event

Day Before Event
___ Recheck all equipment, banners, and supplies to be brought to the event
___ Have petty cash and vendor checks prepared

Event Day
___ Arrive early at least two hours in advance to set up event
___ Finalize registration set-up
___ Unpack equipment, supplies and make sure nothing is missing
___ Check sound/light equipment and staging before rehearsal
___ Set up identifying signage or posters
___ Final check on arrangements and facilities
___ Ensure all special guests/honorees are in place and have scripts
___ Set up exhibits or displays
___ Set place cards
___ Re-confirm agenda with event volunteer staff
___ Check with volunteers to make sure all tasks are covered
___ Distribute and collect evaluation form

After the Ceremony
___ Pack up equipment, supplies and make sure nothing is missing
___ Remove all signage or posters
___ Distribute tips to facility staff
___ Return borrowed or rented equipment
___ Follow-up media coverage
___ Distribute thank you letters
___ Pay bills
___ Summarize evaluation forms
__Email photographs of the ceremony to IEEE History Staff at for posting to the
        ETHW and to be included in the History Center Newsletter articles

Back to Milestone Guidelines

Event budget template.doc
Catering worksheet.doc