As you near the end, ask God to help you remember and pay attention to the details – especially the little things. It can be the small details that can grow to become the biggest problems.
2 weeks out
Luke 6:48 – It is critical that you have all your final details in order as they will be the foundation for the entire evening. Sweat the details – don’t expect what you don’t inspect.
Prepare and finalize PowerPoint presentations – Overall Dinner Coordinator or Volunteer Coordinator
Make sure to put lots of effort into creating this. Today’s audience is much more visual than prior generations. How your PowerPoint, videos, and transitions look will speak volumes to the people in attendance about how professional you are as a ministry. Things to consider:
Branding - Make sure everything looks similar and harkens back to your organization's branding
Transitions – Make sure your PowerPoints and videos are all in one presentation (don’t let the attendees see your desktop image or see you pulling pictures out of a folder or email)
Make sure text and videos in the presentations only fit in the upper two thirds of the screen so everyone will be able to see (unless your screens are on a stage or can be raised for sight lines)
Check with the main speaker, ministry update speaker, and financial appeal speaker to see if they need slides made for their presentation.
Configure room diagram – Registration Coordinator
Request room diagram from the venue
BE SURE to create the Ministry Sync table diagram to match the table layout of the venue’s diagram (Browse help of Ministry Sync to find videos to help you).
When diagramming your tables, remember that your sound and AV technicians need to be in the back. Plan screen and projector placement so no one's view is blocked. Consider using a small VPU stand near the front, so no one will walk in front of it.
Make sure to number your tables in a serpentine pattern even if the hotel has given you a non-serpentine style.
Work on assigning tables – Registration Coordinator and Table Host Coordinator
Put program participants, major donors, and big-name guests toward the front of the room.
Also, make sure the person holding up time cards to keep speaker time will be directly in view of the podium with as little distraction as possible to the guests.
Take into consideration connections, relationships, and Table Hosts with multiple tables.
You can also use color coding in the table diagram of Ministry Sync to help you keep things straight.
Combine smaller tables: Make sure your tables are filled as much as it possibly makes sense. Table Hosts who do not fill a table will need to be combined with other smaller groups. For example, if one table host has 3 guests and one has 4 guests, they can all sit together with a total of 9. You can then fill in the one space left at the table with staff who are coming but not bringing anyone or walk-ins or students giving testimonies. Please note, when merging tables make sure you indicate to which host the guests are connected. This will be used if you have to rearrange tables, if you need to get in touch with that guest and you don’t have their number and/or money disbursement if you have multiple ministries at the same dinner.
5 days out, send the email reminder to MinistrySync Attendee List
Get your final guarantee into your venue contact
This is the number of meals you are promising to pay for after your event. Remember that most venues will have something called “overset”- a certain percentage (usually 3%-5%) of meals that they keep on hand in case of unexpected walk-ins and you typically will have a 10-12% no show/walk-in rate. Be sure to subtract the overset amount from the no-show/walk-in rate.
Make sure the final BEO is correct
It may or may not need to have final guarantee listed depending on your venue. Return your numbered table diagram to the venue.
Send an email to all staff and participants confirming details
All key coordinators, set-up volunteers and A/V techs must be at the venue 3 hours before your event. Other participants should be there at least an hour before. Figure out what groups need quick meetings before the event (i.e. speakers, ushers, student greeters, registration workers, A/V staff). See Teams for Night of Dinner. Decide who will run these meetings and make sure you communicate with them about the meeting time and what needs to be covered. Put these meetings into your Program Runsheet. Remind your staff of arrival times and meetings at the venue. You will most likely be sending out groups of emails to accomplish this. Don't forget address of venue, dress code and parking instructions.
Review and finalize Program Runsheet (minute-by-minute)
Plan to keep your schedule to the minute. A good practice is to build in time. Plan to end 5 minutes early. Think through ahead what you will cut if you start running behind (a video, a few minutes off the main speaker's time, etc.) Even though all your content is good, every minute over is statistically $1,000 lost.
Create timecards (15, 10, 5, 1, Stop)
Make sure the timekeeper is pointed out at the speaker meeting, that speakers know where the timekeeper is sitting, and how important it is to finish on time.
Finalize Details for Emcee
Double check details in Emcee Script - bio for the speakers, testimonies, and pastors. Send a revised script as well as a minute-by-minute schedule (program runsheet).
Prepare Thank You’s and Gifts
Write (or at least have supplies for) personal Thank You’s and assemble gifts for your coordinators and program participants.
Equipment - If using Live Attendance, make sure you have enough iPads/iPhones with the Ministry Sync app downloaded prior to arriving at the venue as well as chargers and the hub that was mailed to you. If not using Live Attendance, make sure to have two or more computers to check people in. Plan to split up the alphabet.
Registration Process - Print and review the relevant registration process documents. See Lap 3 Registration Coordinator section. Make sure you have more than one person registering attendees. You can’t have one person looking up attendees, finding nametags and handing out table host packets - try to spread out the tasks to different people, different lines. If you’re not using Live Attendance, someone could make the printout of attendees into a Google Sheet, have it on the computer (if you don’t have reliable internet at the venue, most smartphones could be a hotspot so your google sheet can be shared live). This way, it’s searchable and you can highlight everyone who’s a table host so they are obvious.
Registration Notebooks - Includes attendance sheets listing each attendee's contact information and table number assignment. If not using computers, the attendee will be marked as present by the registration worker. Have these as a back up even if using Live Attendance.
Practice Registration - Plan to do a practice run the day before your event with those who will be working registration. Some will need to know all the features beyond check-in - like handling special cases, changing table assignments, walk-ins, etc. Others may only need a quick tutorial (could be emailed video link) of how to do basic check-in. If you are using MinistrySync with Live Attendance, make sure to "Erase and Reset Hub" at the end of your practice.
Make sure you have the proper AV Equipment ready to go. Plan to have an audio input cable for videos.
Create nametags and table numbers
Make sure you have table numbers large enough to read. Have cups of pens for the tables and confirm your centerpieces. Print nametags (should be printed through MinistrySync) with assigned table number and an indication if they are a table host.
Make a List for Packing
Think through everything you will need to bring including registration items and make a list or start gathering it in one place. The day of the dinner is stressful enough. Forgetting something critical only adds to the stress.
Gift Count Planning
After the dinner, you will to record and process all gifts given. For detailed instructions on how to do this quickly and correctly, see the Vision Dinner Gift Counting document. Some other documents that will be needed include:
Vision Dinner Gift Count | Template - this Google Sheet is where you will record all gifts and donor information.
Vision Dinner Donation Processing Form - this is a form that you will attach to all non-cash gifts from your dinner.
Cardholder Security Agreement Form - this form is required for all Cru Vision Dinners and must be signed by all gift counters, printed out, and sent down to Orlando with gifts.
Once your staff has read and signed the Agreement Form, you can find an abbreviated explanation of how to deal with credit card info by referencing the Minimum Information for Credit Card Security document.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These documents are master copies. To make a copy for yourself, you will need to click 'File' followed by 'Make a Copy'.
Between these 3 documents, you will have everything you need to successfully process gifts. A couple of other helpful tips as you plan your Gift Count:
Make sure you have at least 4 counters, each with their own computer and charger.
Know beforehand how you will be accessing the internet.
Make sure you have shared the 3 documents above with everyone helping you with the Gift Count before the event.