The Essential Run of Show Checklist with a Free Template

What Is a Run of Show?

Imagine hosting an event – a concert, conference, or even a wedding – without a plan! Now, think about the chaos that could unfold. That’s where a run of show comes in. It’s like the GPS for your event, mapping out every step from start to finish.

A run of show template for events is not just a document; it’s the behind-the-scenes master that ensures everything from the event timeline to participant instructions and technical requirements unfold without any error. The run of the show is your go-to guide, making sure everyone’s on the same page and ready to hit the stage. 

Importance of a Run of Show Document

A run of show is the game plan, the event program outline, and the ultimate roadmap that keeps everything on track throughout the event. Without it, things can get chaotic. People might not know when it’s their turn, the tech stuff could go wrong, and the whole event might feel like a puzzle missing some pieces. It’s not just about avoiding mistakes; it’s about making the event feel smooth, coordinated, and enjoyable for everyone.

What to Include in Your Run of Show Document

1. Event Information

Include basic event details such as the event name, date, and venue. Provide a concise overview of the event’s purpose and the desired outcomes. This section sets the stage for the entire run of the show.

2. Event Timeline

While planning an event, outline a detailed timeline covering the entire duration of the event. Break it down into specific time blocks for the run of show document, indicating when each segment or activity is scheduled to begin and end. This gives a clear roadmap for the flow of the event.

3. Key Activities and Segments

List and describe the main activities and segments planned for the event. This could include presentations, performances, panel discussions, or any other noteworthy elements. Assign specific time slots to each, ensuring a well-organized and engaging program.

4. Participant Instructions

Clearly communicate instructions to all participants, including speakers, performers, and staff members. Specify arrival times, roles, and any pertinent information they need to know. Clarity here minimizes confusion and contributes to the smooth execution of the event.

5. Sponsors, Partners and VIP Details

Provide details about sponsors, partners, and VIPs involved in the running sheet for the event. Include information such as their roles, scheduled appearances, or any special acknowledgments. This ensures that key stakeholders receive the recognition they deserve during the event.

6. Technical Details

Document technical requirements for audiovisual equipment, lighting, and any other technical elements. Ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place for a flawless event production. This section helps prevent last-minute technical glitches that could disrupt the event.

7. Transitions and Breaks

Account for transitions between activities and incorporate breaks into the schedule. Clearly define how these transitions will occur and how long breaks will last. This maintains a smooth flow, allowing participants and attendees to navigate the event comfortably.

8. Contingency Plans

Anticipate potential challenges and develop contingency plans. Consider scenarios such as unexpected delays, technical issues, or last-minute changes. Having a backup plan in place ensures adaptability and helps manage unforeseen issues effectively.

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in an Event Run of Show

1. Overlooking Contingency Planning

Contingency planning is often underestimated but plays a crucial role in the success of an event. Overlooking this aspect can lead to chaos when unforeseen circumstances arise. Contingency plans act as a safety net, providing a structured approach to handle unexpected challenges. 

Whether it’s a sudden change in the schedule, technical malfunctions, or unexpected delays, having a well-thought-out backup plan ensures that your event can adapt smoothly without causing panic.

2. Incomplete Participant Instructions

Clear and comprehensive participant instructions are the backbone of a well-executed event. Incomplete instructions can result in confusion, delays, or participants being ill-prepared for their roles. Include detailed information on arrival times, specific duties, and any essential details participants need to know. This not only ensures that everyone is on the same page but also contributes to a seamless event execution.

3. Ignoring Technical Requirements

Overlooking the technical requirements of an event can lead to disruptions and technical glitches that impact the overall experience. It’s crucial to thoroughly document and address the technical aspects, including audiovisual equipment, lighting, and any other technical necessities. Ignoring these requirements may result in malfunctions during the event, affecting presentations, performances, or the general flow. To prevent such issues, you should collaborate closely with technical teams, double-check equipment setups, and ensure that all technical aspects align with the planned execution.

4. Rigid Scheduling

While a detailed schedule is essential for event organization, adopting a rigid approach can be counterproductive. A schedule that is too inflexible may not account for unexpected delays or changes. It’s important to strike a balance between structure and adaptability. An excessively rigid schedule may lead to stress and discoordination if any element deviates from the plan. Consider adding breaks in-between sessions and key events in the schedule to accommodate unforeseen circumstances, ensuring a smoother and more resilient event execution.

5. Lack of Rehearsal

For large conferences of corporate events, rehearsals offer a chance to spot and fix any issues before the big day. They let speakers, performers, and tech teams get used to the venue, equipment, and each other, making sure everyone is on the same page. When there are no rehearsals, things might not go as planned, and miscommunications can pop up, causing disruptions and throwing off the sync during the actual event.

Free Event Run of Show Template

Here’s a run of show sample that you can use for your next event.

The Essential Run of Show Checklist with a Free Template

Hira Yousaf

Hira is a content writer at vFairs. She has been working in the SaaS content market for around 3 years. Hira believes writing is her true calling, so she looks forward to exploring different niches. When she's not writing, she's either on a trip making new friends or probably spending quality time with her cats, Rio and Dusty!

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