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Event Planning Timeline

Use this information to help with your event planning.

April or sooner

  • Look through the entire National Hunting & Fishing Day Planning Guide.
  • Select an event coordinator to oversee entire planning process.
  • Establish an event planning team. Decide how frequently team should meet.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities to team members. Ensure they have a clear understanding of what their jobs involve. Establish goals with time tables for each team member.
  • Establish the goals and objectives of the event.
  • Determine event specifics. Choose event location, call to reserve and determine possible need for any special permits or insurance.
  • For outdoor locations, in case of inclement weather, identify back-up plan.


  • Committee meets to check on progress.
  • Finalize event specifics listed above.
  • Identify and contact potential partners, such as local and state conservation groups and other organizations.
  • Determine how you will measure success (number of youth attendees, press coverage, etc.)
  • Discuss ways to get youth and newcomers to attend.
  • Establish a preliminary budget.
  • Begin contacting potential sponsors, donors, manufacturers and suppliers.
  • Determine what activities and seminars you want to offer. Make sure your attendees will learn something about hunting and/or fishing and conservation, but, most importantly, make sure they have fun doing it.
  • Begin contacting and reserving qualified instructors.
  • Review ―Tips for Working with the Media to Garner National Hunting and Fishing Day Event Coverage.‖ Located under Marketing and Publicity section.


  • Register your event at:; be sure to order your posters and download graphics for banners and other signage.
  • Check with local officials concerning licenses and permits needed for signage, tents, fire codes or health restrictions/regulations. Some towns and cities may require a special permit if you are providing food.
  • Contact food service providers on availability and pricing.
  • If any special services are needed such as bands/DJs, clowns, celebrities, photographers, audiovisual services, call to reserve and negotiate prices.
  • Finalize instructors, establish a schedule for them, find out if there are any special requests for their activities or areas.
  • If additional help will be needed for activities and seminars or to monitor areas, now is the time to make phone calls and finalize those plans.
  • If there will be giveaways or gift bags, make necessary contacts for donations or purchases.


  • Review all plans up to this point. Do you need to add or change anything?
  • Map out where activities and seminars will be located. Keep safety in mind when determining activity locations.
  • Review your budget and adjust as appropriate.
  • Finalize suppliers you will use for soft drinks, snacks, etc.
  • Review ―Tips for Working with the Media to Garner National Hunting and Fishing Day Event Coverage.‖ Located under Marketing and Publicity section.
  • Decide where you will use your advertising dollars or who to contact for free media coverage.
  • If you have not ordered your free materials from, now is the time to place your order.
  • Think about ways you can stay in touch with your event attendees, e.g. collect names & contact info through a prize drawing or by offering them a chance to sign up to receive more information about your programs.
  • Begin the process of obtaining all required permits (signage, health, fire marshal, etc.) Some permits may require six to seven weeks, so allow plenty of time.
  • If event is located in an area with other shops or there are neighbors in the vicinity, contact all that might be affected by the event. This is an important courtesy and an opportunity to invite them over.
  • Contact your insurance agent to make sure the event is covered or to obtain an additional insurance rider.
  • If volunteers or additional staff are needed, begin recruiting and giving them clear information about their roles for the event.


  • Begin advertising event through free media outlets.
  • Develop and print handouts and direct mail fliers.
  • Identify local sign companies for additional signage you might need printed (remember to incorporate sponsor recognition).
  • Determine most high-traffic areas for signage.
  • Order additional restrooms that might need to be brought in for the event.
  • Order any additional trashcans or receptacles that might be needed.
  • If giveaways or gift bags are to be provided, ensure items will arrive on time and determine who will be in charge of the items.
  • Confirm with all activity or seminar instructors.

Three Weeks Prior –

  • Ensure all required permits have been obtained.
  • Contact suppliers and confirm all deliveries that are to be made.
  • Contact instructors to double-check that they have everything they need.

Two Weeks Prior –

  • Make sure all orders have been placed with suppliers.
  • Think through entire event from start to finish to ensure all bases are covered.
  • Schedule advertising insertion in local papers, radio, etc. to run the week prior to your event.

One Week Prior–

  • Clean area.
  • Put up signs.
  • Send press release.
  • Make media follow-up calls for event coverage and final publicity.
  • Confirm arrangements for DJs/bands, celebrities, A/V, etc.
  • Confirm supply of food, snacks, soft drinks, etc.
  • Confirm with volunteers that they know when to be there and what to do.
  • Double-check that advertising is running as scheduled and is accurate.
  • Make sure a first aid kit is available and emergency numbers are conveniently located.

3 Days Prior –

  • Double-check deliveries and inventories.
  • Double-check activity locations, schedules and instructors.

1 Day Prior –

  • Make reminder calls to media to see when they will be attending the event.
  • Coordinate event set-up, walk area, look at the layout with a critical eye and think through the entire event process.
  • Make necessary adjustments. (If possible, test out any technology you’re using,such as A/V to ensure it’s operating properly.)
  • Put up signs, banners, etc.
  • Put out extra trash cans.

During the event –

  • Make yourself available, walk event and be prepared to help when needed.
  • Be available to talk to media.
  • Take photos and make mental notes about what’s working well and what might need improvement.
  • Ask attendees what they’re enjoying about the event and what suggestions they might have for next year.
  • Be aware that something could go wrong but just do the best you can to adapt and don’t let it get to you.
  • Smile and have fun!

Following the Event

  • Prepare and distribute a post-event press release with photos.
  • Send thank-you notes to all sponsors, suppliers, staff, media and instructors.
  • Pay invoices, review budget.
  • Follow-up with your attendees if they’ve provided contact info – provide them additional info about other outdoor programs or calendars of outdoor events.
  • Meet with planning team to review what worked and what needs improvement.
  • Document and file what you did, how you did it, what you plan on doing differently and results to help with planning next year’s event.
  • Prepare a report with event results, estimated number of attendees or youth attendees, photos, press clippings, etc. This can be used next year as needed.
  • Complete NHF Day questionnaire and send in regular mail or email along with a great photo or two.