Table Event: Planning Timeline

We learned a hard lesson this year when we waited until late summer to kick off our planning for the Bouquet of Tables. We were rushed, details were missed, and the organization of several pieces was lacking.

On our Post Event Evaluation Form out team noted that we must start planning at least 6 months out next year. Lesson learned.

I decided to come up with a planning timeline for next year’s event and thought it might be helpful for you as you plan for a Table Event or other large scale Women’s Ministry event.

For explanations of our teams, please see the post Eight Planning Teams You Need for Your Table Event.

This timeline assumes each step and decision is bathed in prayer. If God leads differently, by all means follow Him!

1 year – 6 months

Select theme
Research and secure speaker
Reserve event space
Research and select caterer

6 months

Recruit team leaders and meet monthly until event
Recruit worship leader
Determine publicity tactics and create
Select décor colors, etc. if needed
Make speaker travel and lodging arrangements if needed
Begin coordinating childcare arrangements

4 months

Finalize menu
Recruit table hostesses
Communicate expectations and responsibilities to table hostesses
Set program
Recruit tech team
Finish music selection
Begin publicity
Recruit and train registration volunteers

2 months

Register women for event (3 weeks of registration, ending 1 ½ weeks prior to event date)
Recruit servers
Recruit greeters
Recruit childcare workers (if needed)
Publicize registration info (dates, costs, how to)
Purchase door prizes and/or favors (our hostesses provide the table favors)
Communicate logistics to speaker (see What Your Speaker Needs to Know)

1 month

Continue registration for event
Send Table Hostesses reminder information (include set-up times)
Send postcards to Servers with time, dress, and other info
Meet with planning team to finalize last details and pray
Create and print program
Purchase needed paper goods
Purchase speaker gifts
Submit form for honorarium/payment to speaker
Make copies (door prize slips, response cards, etc.)
Make arrangements for dinner for servers and children in childcare (if needed)

1 – 2 weeks

Make any necessary adjustments (table seating, recruit additional volunteers, etc.)
Touch base with each team member
Print name tags (we put the table numbers on our name tags)
Finalize number of attendees with caterer
Extend grace whenever and wherever possible

Note: If you are trying to book a well-known, popular speaker you may need to book them 2 years in advance.

You may also want to read:

Tablescape Inspiration
Trendy Table Décor
Eight Planning Teams You Need for Your Table Event
Table Event: Hostess Responsibilities
Table Décor Ideas Part 1
Table Décor Ideas Part 2

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