Comprehensive Event Organizer Checklist
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Festival Organizers' Guide to Outdoor Special Events
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Welcome, and thank you for organizing an outdoor special event with the City of Asheville! We are glad you are here! Your event helps to ensure Asheville’s place as one of the most vibrant, creative, and sustainable cities in the Southeast! We rely on your commitment to making the city a better place for all, and appreciate that you carry this vision with you as you plan for your event.
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We created this checklist as a tool to assist with planning and preparing for your event; attention to the smallest of details can help ensure that the event goes off without a hitch. This comprehensive list is designed to be inclusive to events of all types and sizes; not every item on this list will necessary apply to your event--it is intended as a companion to walk you through the special event planning and production process. To use this document, first select "Make a Copy" from the "File" drop-down menu. This will allow information to be entered on your copy of the spreadsheet.
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*If you would like to use the Automatic Due Date calculation column in the spreadsheet, first select "Get Add-ons" from the "Add-ons" drop-down menu in the toolbar above. Search for the Add-on titled, "Date Add and Subtract" to locate and add that free function. After "Date Add and Subtract" is added to your Google Sheets functions, you will be able enter the proposed date of your event into cell # C8, and all due dates for items will automatically populate! (For deadlines where dates fall on a Saturday or Sunday, please assume that the City's due date would be the Friday prior.)
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We look forward to working together on this event with you! Please reach out to us in the Outdoor Special Event Office (http://www.ashevillenc.gov/specialevents) if we can be of any assistance to you in this process.
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Completed?
Checklist Items*Automatic Due Date
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Enter event date in (C8) in MM/DD/YYYY format ====>
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One Year in Advance - Brainstorming#ERROR!
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What type of event will this be? What is the purpose of the event?
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Where will it be held? How many attendees can we reasonably expect and/or accommodate in the designated space? Is this a one day, multi-day, or event series?
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How will the event be funded?
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What types of vendors/performers/activities will be at the event? What hours will the event run?
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How much time will I need for set-up and tear-down of the event?
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Who is the target audience?
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Will there be activities for children, teens, adults, seniors, and attendees with disabilities? Will seating be available for attendees? Will the event be ticketed?
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Will the event serve food? Alcohol?
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Please call or email the Outdoor Special Events office to confirm whether the location that you are considering for your event is available.
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10 Months #ERROR!
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Preliminary outreach to businesses, property owners, and other stakeholders who may be impacted by the event. Seek suggestions and recommendations, address concerns, and look for opportunities to collaborate with businesses
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Submit 2-page OSE application with non-refundable application fee. This is not a guarantee of OSE permits, but rather a first step to holding the space for the event. Read the Outdoor Special Events Guide and the OSE Guide Quick Reference Tool. When you sign the 2-page OSE application, you are acknowledging that you have read and understand the OSE Guide. Knowing the rules and regulations can help you have a successful event and avoid unpleasantries like permit violations and fines
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Site Map Considerations
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What is the site perimeter - where are the boundaries of the event?
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Ingress/egress - what is the flow of pedestrian traffic?
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Where will vendors load in/load out?
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Will roads, sidewalks, or parking need to be closed?
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What is being added to the property? (e.g. tents, stages, structures, shelters, inflatables, portajohns, generators) Include the size, number, and placement on the property on the site map
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Where will attendees park for the event? If parking is far away, how will attendees access the event?
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For races--what is the route? Will roads or sidewalks be closed?
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Site Visit-before finalizing your event map, visit and walk the site to determine if the property will work as planned considering capacity, ingress, egress, load-ins, electricity and water access, and access for people with disabilities. Will you need electricity or water access? Locate points of access and electrical capacity during this site-visit
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7 Months - 8 Months#ERROR!#ERROR!
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Begin making reservations for vendors and performers
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Finalize application with City of Asheville. Application materials submitted, application sent for review. If no critical objections within two weeks, then you may start promoting events, securing sponsors, and making reservations with performers and vendors. Alcohol Permits, large events, and/or City Management Approval MUST BE SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN 90 days prior to the event
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Emergency Action Plan: In order to complete the Emergency Action Plan, you will need to indicate the size of your event, whether alcohol is being served, and points of contact for APD, AFD, and EMS. Be sure to indicate primary and secondary on-site contacts for the event.
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Documentation of Public Notification: Events that will have a road closure need to document that businesses, residences, and all other properties affected by the road closure have been notified in writing of the proposed closure
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Site Map: structural and electrical additions to the property, fire hydrants, grills and gas for cooking, street closures, parking closures, water and electricity access, race routes, parking plan, pedestrian flow and other key features of the event must be represented on the site map. Please include a key or legend as needed
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6 Months#ERROR!
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Establish volunteer plan--which points of the event need to be manned? How many people at each location? How long will each shift last? Extra volunteers to cover last minute cancellations or no-shows? Who is coordinating the volunteers on event day(s)? Will volunteers and staff be able to communicate remotely? Create a break schedule for volunteers and staff
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Make initial contact to review plans Police, Fire, Emergency Personnel, or any security services that you will be using for the event
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Apply for ABC permits-If you will have alcohol at your event, the OSE office will provide you with a temporary space lease which you will need to apply for ABC permits at the State level
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Social Media Marketing: Facebook, Instagram, website--make sure that all social media sites are up to date with event info. Encourage use of public transportation such as carpooling, busing, biking, or walking. Not only is it good for the environment, it helps reduce some of the pressure on parking availability for the event
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Payment on City services and fees associated with the event. All fees must be paid in full in order for Outdoor Special Event permit to be issued
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Deadline: OSE applications requiring City Management Approval (>3000 attendees, alcohol) - 90 days prior to event date#ERROR!
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2 Months#ERROR!
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Recruit and train volunteers. Events with peak attendance over 1000 will need to have crowd manager certification. If you have a general volunteer pool, make sure your volunteers are up to date on their crowd manager certifications. If alcohol will be present at the event, training will also need to include Responsible Sellers training through ABC.
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Confirm plans with Police, Emergency Personnel, or security services that you will be using for the event
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Design a participant survey or exit survey for the event. Knowing your audience and how they participate in the event can really help with refining the event over the long term
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Design a plan for waste removal from the event. How often will trash and recycling cans need to be emptied to keep pace with the event? What kinds of waste will be generated? Compostable? Recycling? Landfill? Where will waste be stored during event hours and how will it be removed at the completion of the event. How can the event limit the amount of waste designated as landfill?
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Book contractors for event including but not limited to those installing tents, portajohns, electrical equipment, waste removal and others as needed
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Deadline: Emergency Action Plans - 42 days prior to event date#ERROR!
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Deadline: OSE applications not requiring City Management Approval (<3000 attendees, no alcohol) - 42 days prior to event date#ERROR!
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Deadline: Contact Buncombe County Health Department to verify participation of food vendors - 4 weeks prior to event date#ERROR!
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2 Weeks - 3 Weeks#ERROR!#ERROR!
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Submit list to OSE office of all safety-sensitive contractors and vendors who will be part of the event.
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Verify law enforcement and emergency medical support contacts for the event
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Submit copy of approved ABC permit to OSE office
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Submit crowd manager certificates to OSE office (for events with 1000+ peak attendance)
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Pick up parking meter bags and labels from the OSE office.
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Submit written confirmation to the OSE office that all persons selling and/or serving alcohol with the event have completed a responsible alcohol sellers program
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Deadline: Submit Certificates of Insurance to OSE office. - 3 weeks prior to event date
-General liability policy
-Liquor liability (as applicable)
-Policy for each safety-sensitive contractor, including food vendors.
#ERROR!
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Deadline: Any final amendments to permit application - 2 weeks prior to event date#ERROR!
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Deadline: Payments for all fees and City services - 2 weeks prior to event date#ERROR!
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1 Week#ERROR!
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Permits issued to organizer electronically.
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Schedule inspection for building/fire/electrical permits as applicable.
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Have in place contingency plans to deal with incidents and situations as varied as overcrowding of part or all of the site, severe weather or power failure.
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Review transportation plan--how will vendors load in/load out? Where will vendors park? Where will attendees park? How will attendees transport themselves to the event? Shuttle service?
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If event is on the street, obtain waste receptacle keys from OSE office
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Day of Event!#ERROR!
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Check local weather!
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Check in with staff/volunteers/security and delegate event set-up tasks as appropriate
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Contact City staff for access to utilities as needed
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Check facility set-up and verify that load in and site set-up is proceeding according to approved plan on site map (part of application packet). A representative of the Fire Marshal’s office will arrive to inspect the site before the event is opened to the public
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Contact Law Enforcement to remove any unauthorized vehicles from public property (if applicable)
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Ensure that barricades, barriers, and traffic control signage is property set up and manned. Remind staff that fire barricades must be manned at all times to allow access for emergency vehicles. Install traffic control and directional signage BEFORE installing barricades
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Before opening event to the public, verify that tents, canopies, cords, and propane tanks are adequately secured. Check that sidewalks are not blocked by signs, portajohns, cars or other obstructions and tripping hazards
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Advise staff of communication protocol. Designate a relief contact person to assist staff and volunteers with breaks, questions, emergencies
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Lost and found area? Lost child area and procedure? First aid station? Information booth?
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Are all areas of the event accessible to patrons with disabilities? If not, have alternate accessible areas been provided to patrons and indicated on maps and signage?
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During Event
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Payment to any off-duty APD officers is due on-site
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Barricades manned with staff/volunteers/security as is appropriate
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Traffic control signs property installed and maintained--wind and other weather can easily disrupt the placement and visibility of signs and other directional materials. Be attentive!
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Monitor weather according to the emergency action plan
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Check in with staff, volunteers, and security
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HAVE FUN!!
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