As soon as a staff
person has been selected to serve as the event coordinator,
please provide that person’s name and telephone number
to your media liaison and to the Community Relations
ESTABLISH A BUDGET: The budget
should include items such as: printing of invitations
and programs, mailing, decorations, food and other
supplies, rental of equipment, etc. The proposed
budget must be submitted to the appropriate
person in your department for approval. Contact
the landlord to determine if he/she is willing to
provide financial support for the event.
DETERMINE YOUR PURPOSE:
Discuss/decide, together with the department head,
what it is you want to accomplish by holding the Open
House and set three or four objectives, with action
steps. For example these action steps could
be: obtain media coverage/exposure for your program;
and acquaint other departments with your services,
date and time, and an alternate date and time for
the event. Coordinate the date with the Board
of Supervisors members in whose district the office/event
is located, and other key department heads or VIP’s
you determine should participate.
DEVELOP A GUEST LIST:
The purpose that you defined earlier will assist in
deciding who should be invited. Ask the Board
of Supervisors or their assigned staff and the department
head to submit names and addresses of any guests they
would like to have invited. Area newspaper editors,
specific reporters and radio and TV station program
managers, local businesses and Chambers of Commerce
should be included in this list. Names and addresses
of local media can be obtained from the Community
One way to increase chances
of a good turnout and make more people aware is to
ask a local dignitary to serve as the guest host/hostess
for the event. Example: County Board of Supervisors
members, the mayor, council members, police chief,
local service agency director, popular radio announcer,
state senator or assembly member, etc.
The open house coordinator should assign chairpersons
individually responsible for establishing their own
committees to handle things like refreshments, hospitality,
takedown and clean-up, etc.
PRINTING: Determine the number
of invitations that you will need. Always order
at least 50 – 75 additional invitations over and above
your guest list to cover any last minute additions.
Establish a cut-off date for RSVP’s and someone to
County Printing Services
has generic blank invitations (with the County logo)
and envelopes. The local office should develop
the invitation content. The invitations can
be printed at County Printing Services upon receipt
of a completed Printing Requisition. Printing
requires one month. If the time you have
to obtain printed invitations is insufficient, you
can order blank invitations and type or print the
desired message. Blank invitations may be obtained
by calling Forms and Distribution, (909) 386-5104.
The invitations should read:
The County of San Bernardino
Board of Supervisors
Cordially invite you to attend
the grand opening celebration of
(Your department name/off)
If someone of note is speaking,
you can include this information here as:
Officiating will be …Supervisor
Remarks will be offered by…Congressman
should be mailed two to four weeks prior to the event.
The local office is responsible for preparing labels
and mailing the invitations. Be sure to check
with County Mail Services to insure that you are correctly
preparing the invitations for mailing.
Follow up phone calls should be
made by key staff to key people on the guest list
to extend a personal invitation to the event should
be made one week prior to opening. These calls
would only be made to dignitaries who had not responded
to the invitation.
If the public is invited,
a press release should be sent to all local newspapers
two weeks prior to the event. Public service
announcements should be sent to all local radio/TV
stations. These tasks should be coordinated with the
Community Relations Officer. If the public is
invited, an outline of Open House activities should
accompany the press release. If the public is
not invited, press releases should be sent out to
all local newspapers following the event. The
press release should announce that the building was
officially opened on “such and such” date.
REFRESHMENTS: The local
office shall identify the most appropriate local source
for food trays, coffee/tea/punch, paper products,
flower arrangements for centerpieces, etc. The
local office should submit a 003 form to Buildings
and Finance for the purchase of needed items.
Buildings and Finance Division will issue purchase
orders for the local office to obtain above items.
PROGRAM: As soon as
possible, establish your program/agenda and the “flow”
of the event. Determine who will speak and who
will participate in the ribbon cutting or any other
ceremonies you may want to have. Try to have
everything confirmed at least two weeks in advance
of the event so program printing isn’t done at the
last minute. County Print Services can usually
print programs as a “quick copy” if the program is
done on a readily available paper and in black lettering/graphics.
You will want to double check with Print Services
on the time it will take to print programs.
Ask the Supervisor or department
head to offer welcome remarks and recognize VIP’s
in attendance. If there is a speaker for this
type of event the speaker’s message should be brief.
Open house events typically include a ribbon cutting
with dignitaries and local Chamber of Commerce (if
deemed appropriate). These provide great photo
opportunities for photos to be used in newsletters,
Someone should be appointed to
thank departing guests for coming.
OPEN HOUSE ACTIVITES:
Open house activities should be designed to provide
guests with information about the programs offered
by the department. Activities may include guided
office tours, display tables with brochures, program
The coordinator should appoint
tour guides to lead guests through the facility and
explain programs and services. If the tour is
self-guided, knowledgeable, personable staff should
be stationed at each stop on the tour to greet guests,
pass out informative literature and talk about the
portion of services or program the tour stop represents.
The event coordinator should
appoint one or two staff to act as greeters to welcome
arriving guests, hand out programs/agendas and direct
them to the name tag table, refreshments, etc.
for dignitaries should be prepared in advance and
provided to them on arrival. Nametags and heavy
felt tip pens should be available near the guest book
for all other guests. There should be a guest book
and fancy pen at the entrance, and all guests should
be encouraged to sign the guest book. This list
is extremely important for two reasons: To develop
future guest lists and to send out an event evaluation
following the event.