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BTS: The Plan EVERY Event Needs

It’s officially January 2024, which means that chances are, you and/or your team are deep in “planning mode”. The beginning of the year is an exciting time as we set...

It’s officially January 2024, which means that chances are, you and/or your team are deep in “planning mode”. The beginning of the year is an exciting time as we set goals, make plans, and anticipate all that the following 12 months have in store. 

If we want to be successful (whatever that means to YOU), planning is a vital part of life. In fact, there’s a line we say quite often around here at Elevate - because it’s true:


If you want to look back at the end of 2024 and feel a sense of accomplishment, pride, and peace, making a strong plan is exactly how you’ll get there. 

Similarly, just as planning for everything you hope to accomplish throughout a new year is crazy important, PLANNING is also *the* most critical thing you can do when preparing for an event.

In other words, if you want to arrive at the end of an event and have that same feeling of relief, joy, peace, and accomplishment…you’ve simply got to have a strong plan in place.

Now, maybe you’re thinking “duh! How would we have an event WITHOUT planning!?”

Believe it or not, many event organizers fall into one of the following categories…

  • They *think* they have a plan, but it has a lot of missing pieces.
  • They wait until the last minute (they’re busy people, for goodness sake!) so the plan is half-baked.
  • They aren’t sure how to create an effective plan, so they “wing it” on the day of the event (yes, we’re cringing too).
  • They have a plan, but didn't fully communicate all the details to all the players involved.

If you or someone you know land in one of these categories - it’s okay. The start of a new year ALSO represents the opportunity to start fresh, and committing to leveling up in your event planning process is a great thing to set your mind to! 

That’s why in today’s blog which also happens to be the FIRST in our new Behind The Scenes Series, we’re sharing 5 tips to make sure you have a STRONG event plan, aka a RUN OF SHOW!

Even if you are an event planning ninja (we see you!), there’s probably a tip below that you might find helpful. A refresher of sorts! Let’s dive in. 


Have you ever been to a Broadway show? 

If so, you know what an incredible production it is. You also probably know that in order to put on a seamless, engaging, and truly remarkable show, it takes immense preparation both on AND off the stage.

In fact, most preparation happens LONG before the first rehearsal even happens. From writing the script, planning the music, preparing the set for each scene, costumes…the list goes on and on and on. 

The same is true for ANY great event: we must intentionally plan (with as much detail as possible) for every single moment of the show…including pieces that will never even be seen by the audience! 

The BEST and most effective way to make an event plan is through something called a RUN OF SHOW. 

If this is a new term for you, a run of show is a cue by cue detail of a live event production. It's the primary document that an event crew uses to learn about what the flow of the show is and what the technical production cues for the various audio, video and lights will be along the way (thanks, Google)!

No matter the size or scale of your event, having a run of show is an excellent way to ensure that the event goes smoothly, transitions are perfect, and no details slip through the cracks.

Here are 5 Tips to help make your next Run of Show a slam dunk! 

  • Use a template. Great news - there are already a plethora of great tools out there to equip you with simple, editable templates for creating your own custom run of show. At Elevate, we use a platform called Planning Center which allows our team to customize different sections of an event, make notes, assign key event people, and more. *If you would like to see an example ROS from our team, send an email to with “ROS” in the subject line, and we’ll hook you up! Starting with a template will make this process less stressful, and also point out different areas/things you might not have considered, otherwise. 
  • Do it from the beginning. It’s natural to think you don’t need a run of show until you have most of the details worked out, but it's quite the opposite! We recommend creating your ROS from the second you decide an event is going to happen. You can start out with it being blank in most sections, and add/edit as you go! This is a great way to simply get the plan going, and to start understanding the different pieces/sections needed to pull the plan together. 
  • Reference it at every meeting. While this may seem a little redundant, referencing your ROS at every planning meeting is the best way to make sure communication is intact, everyone’s on the same page, and details are getting filled in as time goes on. Even if it’s a quick look over the ROS, be sure to schedule this time in at every meeting!
  • Be as specific as possible. Specificity is KEY to creating a great run of show. We encourage you to be specific in all areas! A few questions to ask yourself that will help with this: Who’s talking/on stage when? What music is playing? What’s needed for each section? What’s being communicated to guests? How long should each section take? What props/tools are needed for each section? 
  • Think through and fill in ALL the cracks. This goes hand-in-hand with number four because when it comes to planning remarkable events, details are EVERYTHING. Just take our word for it - there are so many nooks and crannies that need to be filled in on your ROS that you may or may not notice (more on this in the closing, below). Spend time really thinking through every single detail like transitions, seating, bathroom breaks, etc. A great way to do this is to imagine moving through the event, one section at a time, and pointing out every detail like transitions, speakers, and more!

  • The truth is, that creating and executing a solid ROS is a lot of work. The good news is that we believe in you! The even BETTER news is that you don’t have to (and we don’t think you should) do it alone. We’ve spent over a decade creating event plans that leave our clients feeling relieved, focused, and prepared - all the things they want to feel leading up to their event! In other words, we think through all the details (nooks and crannies included) so you don’t have to. 

    If you think support in this area sounds like something you want to plan for in 2024 (see what we did there?) - click here to drop us a line.

    And hey - why not take a few practice rounds and start by creating a ROS for your next team meeting? 

    Here’s to the new year - and all the great events to come! 


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