Event run of show templates are perhaps the most important tool for event planners. Why?
It’s no secret that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. And with the uncertainty of how an event will go on the day and all the last-minute changes, it’s no wonder!
But imagine if you had an event run of show template. You could plan out every detail in a clear roadmap so that you and everyone involved knew exactly what, when, where, and how everything would happen. And if any hiccups did come up, you could jump straight in and adapt it.
We’ve spoken to our internal team of project managers who have supported 12,000+ event builders from leading companies with thousands of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events for 20+ years. And thanks to their expertise in a wide variety of industries – life science, professional services, technology, finance, manufacturing – they’ve put together the ultimate event run of show template and example.
You can download the event run of show template and example right away and then read this article to find out the benefits of using a run of show, how to create a run of show, what to include in your run of show, and much more!
But first, let’s see how our event experts explain the event run of show meaning.
Event run of show meaning: What is a run of show?
So, what is a run of show? A run of show is a simple guide that outlines the order and schedule of everything that will happen at an event.
In other words, it lays out the who, what, where, when, and how of every single aspect.
It breaks down every minute of an event from start to finish. It lists the cues that everyone behind the scenes needs to know so that they do the right thing at the right time. (So it’s not something to be shared with your attendees. After all, you don’t want to ruin the magic of your event!)
An event run of show template is usually in a clearly structured Excel or Google sheet with a landscape format. It’s easy to follow, so anyone can use it. From event planners and production teams to hosts, moderators, and speakers.
You may think a run of show is just for in-person events. But, some argue that it’s even more critical for virtual events or hybrid events.
Think about it: For your online audience, there’s no venue, catering, or physical entertainment to keep them engaged if the timing is off. And if they sense something’s not quite right, they won’t think twice before leaving your virtual event with one click!
That’s why a hybrid or virtual event run of show template is vital.
Now you understand the event run of show meaning, let’s take a look at why you should use a run of show template and example.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to keep your virtual audience engaged, check out our article with 20 virtual event engagement ideas.
7 benefits of using an event run of show template and example
There are many pluses to using a run of show template and example. Let’s take a look:
#1 Reduces stress and anxiety before and during an event
Nobody wants to walk into an event feeling unprepared. By having a run of show in place, you can make everyone feel at ease. That’s because they all know exactly what they have to do and when. This helps to minimize stress and chaos, and makes the event more enjoyable for everyone involved (including your attendees!)
#2 Highlights any problems before your event
When you’re filling out your event run of show template, you’ll instantly notice if there’s something that doesn’t quite add up. For example, the timing or order of the sessions and activities. And by going through your run of show during rehearsal, you can iron out any last-minute details.
By having this solid plan in place, you can hugely reduce the risk of any problems coming up on the big day. And you can rest assured that your event will run smoothly.
Another way to avoid any problems at your event is by creating a detailed event brief. Download the event brief template that hundreds of large companies are using to make their events a success.
#3 Ensures you keep your audience top of mind
No matter which industry you’re from or what service or product you offer, you want to engage and build relationships with your audience through your events.
To put on the best possible event for your audience, you have to think about all the tiny details of what will happen on the day. So, when going through your event run of show, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine what every moment will be like for them. This will help you create a customer-centric experience.
Remember to remain customer-centric after your events too. For ideas on how to build strong customer relationships after events, read our article on how to create post event engagement that lasts: 10 top tips.
#4 Helps the whole team stay aligned
On event day, it’s crucial that everyone is on the same page and knows what each other is doing. This helps to avoid any confusion and prevents people from stepping on each other’s toes.
Having a run of show with all the activities and timings in one place is the best way to keep track if everything. And using a digital event run of show template on Excel or Google sheets means that everyone involved can access it on any device, anywhere, at any time. That’s better than a paper version that could easily get lost.
#5 Allows you to make adjustments as you go
It’s almost impossible to predict every single thing that will happen at an event. You may need to make small changes as the event is happening. But your audience shouldn’t notice a thing.
Having a central event run of show template on Excel or Google sheets means you can secretly tweak it and only those behind the scenes will know. Just make sure you tag those involved in a comment, so they get a notification about the change.
#6 Brings you credit for running awesome events
If you use an event run of show template, your event is more likely to run smoothly. And if your event runs smoothly, it’s more likely to be a success.
Who doesn’t want to reach their event goals? And who doesn’t want to get credit for running incredible events? With a run of show, your chances are much higher!
#7 Saves you tons of time and effort
You’ll save lots of time and effort if you download a ready-made event run of show template and example. Because you don’t have to start from scratch!
No need to think about what to include and how to create a run of show. It’s all there for you. You can simply fill out your event details and that’s it! And when you’ve used it once, you can re-use it for future events.
Download our fully customizable event run of show template and example now and use it as an Excel or in Google sheets to prepare for success at your next event.
How to create a run of show: 5 steps
There’s no doubt about it. Using an event run of show template brings so many benefits. But how do you create one?
You can (and should) use an event run of show template for any type of event – virtual, hybrid, or in-person. Remember, it’s a detailed guide for every little thing that will happen during the event. From the moment participants arrive to the moment they leave. So there’s a lot to think about.
But, here are 5 simple steps you should follow:
- Enter all the important details about your event at the top of your event run of show template in Excel or Google sheets. Include the name, date, and links to key materials.
- Brainstorm all the activities that will take place (including sessions, topics, speakers, polls, Q&A). For this, we suggest using a visual collaboration platform like Miro.
- Organize the activities in the order in which they flow best and note down how long each activity will take.
- Slot them into your event run of show template in Excel or Google sheets.
- Number each activity and add the timings and any other notes.
Once you’ve confirmed your speakers and all the other people involved in your event, share your event run of show with them digitally well in advance. Give people time to make suggestions based on their experience. Then, set up a call with everyone to go through it together and check the flow.
What to include in your event run of show template: 21 things
Your event run of show template should include all the details you need to run your event smoothly and ensure that everything goes according to plan.
Here are 21 things to include in your template:
- Event name
- Event date
- Event type
- Event location (if there’s an in-person part)
- Event organizer contact
- Event platform support
- Customer support contact
- Event platform link
- Event brief link
- Event script link
- Event content link
- A numbered list of the activities that will happen at the event
- The name of each activity
- Whether it’s virtual or in-person (for a hybrid event) or the stage / area (for an in-person event)
- The start time, end time, and duration of each activity
- The speaker(s) of each activity
- The scene for each activity to explain what you want to see on screen (for a virtual event or the online part of a hybrid event)
- The content for each activity
- The Q&A or poll content
- Preparation status
Of course, depending on the size and type of event, you may need to include more details. For example, if your event will last more than a day or have sessions happening at the same time, you may even need several event run of shows. We recommend keeping all your event run of show templates in the same Excel or Google sheet so that everyone involved can access all the information easily.
If this looks like a mammoth task, don’t worry! Our event run of show template has everything you need. Simply choose the right worksheet depending on your event type – virtual, hybrid, or in-person – and fill it out. Download it now.
Run of show example for a virtual event
If you’re feeling a bit lost and don’t know where to start with your run of show, here’s a snippet of a virtual event run of show example to get you started. You can find the full version in our downloadable virtual event run of show template.
Troubleshooting tips for your event run of show
Ah, troubleshooting. The unavoidable part of any event plan.
Having an event run of show template helps you prepare as much as possible. But, as any event planner knows, unexpected things can happen.
If you run into any hiccups on the day of your event, there are 2 key things to do to get back on track:
- Go through your event run of show template and identify what is and isn’t working. For example, if a vendor or speaker is running late, adjust their portion of the timeline. If something isn’t working as planned, use your resources to come up with a solution quickly and efficiently.
- Communicate regularly with your team. Make sure everyone knows which portions of the run of show have changed – and why – so that everyone is working from the same information. That’s why we suggest having a digital event run of show template in Excel or Google sheets. You couldn’t do this with a paper copy.
Adjust expectations to ensure that changes are seamless and don’t negatively impact attendees. With clear communication, creative problem-solving skills, and some quick-thinking, you’ll be able to troubleshoot quickly and keep everything running smoothly!
To tackle any issues in the best way, we recommend doing a comprehensive event debrief after your event and making an action plan of what to do if this kind of thing happens again. Download our free event debrief template now and improve processes at your future events.
Plan your next event with the ultimate event run of show template and example
Your event run of show is the backbone of your event planning. Without it, you’ll quickly lose track of what’s happening and when.
Our easy-to-use, customizable event run of show template can help keep you stay organized and on track, so you can focus on putting on a great event. And it contains a run of show example that you can take inspiration from.
Download it now and start using it alongside an engaging event platform like SpotMe to build events that audiences love.