Special events make it possible to have direct, personal communication. The question, therefore, is whether this high level of communication is required or justified.

A second basic question is whether the message to be conveyed lends itself to a special event involving speeches, a select audience and particular timing.

A number of additional points should be taken into consideration:

  • Is there a specific audience to be defined and reached? Can it be assembled? Is there more than one?
  • Can the invited audience be identified as being sufficiently representative to ensure the transfer of the message to secondary target audiences?
  • Is the event suitable for media coverage? For example, is there a visual aspect to interest television crews?
  • Can other feature participants, dates, or locations be arranged?
  • Does the theme or purpose of the event relate to a specific location or area or is it too general for a localized event?
  • Does the event relate to a specific date or occasion? Is there another event that could compete for attention?


Within the lead department, the central unit responsible for special events (Treasury Board Regulations, Chapter 360, article 2.1.7) should meet with all individuals involved to discuss preliminary arrangements, to ensure that everyone who might have an input is invited, and to prepare a broad outline of preparations - all with a view to making early decisions.

The central unit should endeavour to ensure that sufficient lead time is available for printing, mailing, translation, etc., and that costs are in line with budget.

The central unit must ensure that no special guest or members of the media are neglected or overlooked.

The person in charge should be on-site early enough to make necessary changes, e.g. additions, deletions, re-arrangements.

Following the special event, the person in charge should submit a report summing up its estimated effectiveness. Any other pertinent comment which could lead to improved management of future events should be included.


The following checklist can be used for any type of special event. Not all elements are applicable to all occasions. Special items may be added when necessary.

  • Where
  • When
  • Who
    • host
    • master of ceremony
    • chairman
    • guests
  • Statements - speeches - advertising - publicity signage
  • Canada wordmark - promotional material
  • Advance texts, photos, etc.
  • Invitations to:
    • Special and honoured guests
      • minister(s) - senator(s)
      • other members of Parliament
      • members of the legislative assembly
      • provincial, regional and local authorities
      • religious leaders
    • Media
      • national press
      • regional - ethnic
      • local - community
    • Non-media
      • inter-departmental
      • inter-governmental
  • Photos, film projector
  • Press area
  • Communications
    • microphone, PA equipment
    • pool sound
    • TV outlets
  • Radio, record player, tape deck
  • Rehearsals
  • Final briefing
  • Agenda
  • Any special props
  • God Save The Queen (if a member of the Royal Family is in attendance)
  • Flags (canadian-provincial-local)
  • "O Canada" (record, tape, singer, or musicians)
  • Seating of officials and guests on stage
  • Protocol
    • reception room where special guests will be met before the event
  • Head table, size, exact location, etc.
  • Podium, lectern, etc.
  • Coffee, lunch, etc., number of people expected - menu selection
  • Transportation of special guests, from arrival to departure
  • Buses (if needed) to tour the area
  • Air or train scheduling, reconfirmation, schedules
  • Flowers
  • Escorts and guides
  • Registration of news media
  • Press kits
    • design
    • printing
    • material
  • All printed material
    • translation
    • proofing
    • release dates (clearance)
  • Plaques
  • Photographer
  • Simultaneous translation
  • Floor manager
  • Telephones
  • Security
    • guards
    • insurance
    • traffic
    • fire regulations
  • Budget reviewing
  • Monitoring and evaluation report

[From: Administrative Policy Manual, ch. 477, Treasury Board Secretariat]