What Are Run Sheets?
A run sheet is the official document used when you list down how a show or event runs from start to finish. Expect to write a list of tasks including their schedule. That way, you can arrange each process in chronological order. And run sheets play a great role in different industries to ensure no particular procedure is forgotten and that whatever has been planned will be processed smoothly in the end.
According to Venues and Events Whangarei, it is recommended to include a contingency time of around 10–15% for every listed action above the estimated time.
Meanwhile, another report confirmed that the 2019 American market size of party and event planning totaled $4.89 billion.
Why Is a Run Sheet Needed?
A run sheet is important to ensure your planned events and activities will work exactly as planned. Without knowing what happens first until the last part of a program, you would doubt your event’s success rate for sure. For example, one of the major sectors that benefit from run sheets is the party and event planning business. Statista’s research survey confirmed that their market size reached $4.89 billion in 2019. And do you think such businesses would continue their booming sales in running events without a chronological plan? That sums up why run sheets are necessary.
Also, a run sheet works for all sorts of industries. You could depend on a run sheet if you are managing a conference, gala, or television. So do not simply limit its function to a few sectors. Nonetheless, you can already tell how essential a run sheet is from the word ‘run’ itself. It means to keep your activity running or continuous rather than stopping what you planned. However, how successful the event or action is will still depend on how well-made your run sheet is, which you will learn later on.
The Main Elements of a Run Sheet
While the run sheet’s function, definition, and importance are clear, your next concern is to familiarize the parts or elements of a run sheet. Remember that each part completes the run sheet and you should insert them in your sheet as well. So without further ado, the main elements of a run sheet are:
Title: The words ‘run sheet’ are already accepted as your sheet’s title. But you can be more specific than that by including the name of your event. An example is a debut photoshoot run sheet or a wedding reception run sheet. Whatever your title is, it should be what your event is wholly about.Introduction: An introductory statement is necessary to provide a brief description of your main event. If the title gives a general idea, then this introduction inputs a bit of background. This can be where you state the event’s date, venue, and other basic information.Action or Task List: Run sheets are incomplete without the action or task list. This part is basically where you enumerate every single step to take on how to run whatever it is you are planning on. And the key is to be very specific so you cannot be confused with what must be done.Time and Date: The reason why run sheets are effective is when they have a detailed set of schedules. Insert the estimated time and date for every action to be taken. And the time and date section will decide how you will divide the list of tasks chronologically. Hence, do not just put the schedule; arrange them in the proper sequence as well.Names of Organizers: It is essential to write down the organizers’ names in the run sheet. That is how every key player will know not only the names of the rest of the team but also their roles and responsibilities. An example is to write one name of an organizer under one item in the task list. That way, it is clear that that specific action should be done by that specific organizer. Thus, the names also mark the assignment of tasks.Contact List: Another important section is the contact list. This part is for emergency purposes when someone is absent during the event and you need to reach them out according to their contact details. Therefore, you should cover the emergency contact information of everyone involved as you never know when you might need them.Notes: Include an extra space in the run sheet for possible additional notes. You can write extra details there no matter how you want to use it. You could use that for calculating fees, changing plans, and tracking progress. That is because you cannot always guess what should be covered while running an event. So at least the notes section gives leeway for additional information when needed.
How to Create a Run Sheet
Are you ready to make your own run sheet? The process is not as complicated as it might look especially when samples are up for grabs. From the sample run sheets listed above, you can choose your preferred sample to customize, print, and download anytime. And to ensure you got everything right, do not forget to apply these six important steps:
Step 1: Consider Your Purpose
Why do you need a run sheet? You must be specific with your run sheet’s purpose to not mix up your run sheet for all sorts of businesses. So whether you need the sheet for a press conference, television ad, or even a baby shower, be sure you stick to that intention. That way, you will not easily lose track of what details to add to the run sheet.
Step 2: Brainstorm the List of Activities
Now that you have your goals covered, consider writing every single action to do for your event or purpose. The key is to take time brainstorming for the possible activities and talk with the other organizers to identify each task. It does not matter how the sequence goes yet because this part is still for drafting the run sheet. And a quick task analysis can help you recognize the appropriate tasks to incorporate in your sheet.
Step 3: Assign a Schedule for Each Activity
The next step is to assign a specific schedule for every enlisted activity. Assigning the appropriate time and date is the proper way of doing this. Take a stage manager, for example. What time should guests appear on screen? And if there will be breaks involved, how long will it take? Also, check if what happens hourly, daily, weekly, and more will be the same or not because additional notes would be needed for changes. This is where scheduling is at play to ensure that every second, minute, or hour spent for an event runs according to plan.
Step 4: Arrange the Items Chronologically
The next crucial step is to arrange your list of items with the tasks and designated schedules in chronological order. This is basically the meat of your run sheet because you have to be sure of the timing of what happens first until the last part of the program. You may start assigning numbers to each item like a general list. So the first step should have the number one, the second step is number two, and so forth. You will eventually come up with the final arrangement that way.
Step 5: Organize Your Run Sheet
Always focus on organization to make an easy-to-follow run sheet. Otherwise, your sheet’s delivery of information might be weak. You can organize your run sheet’s elements into tables, perhaps. Or you divide the list of tasks according to their common elements. You may also arrange them according to their urgency level, difficulty level, importance level, etc. There is room for creativity in organizing your run sheet as long as it can help in running programs perfectly.
Step 6: Update the Run Sheet for Progress
Once you are done making the run sheet, that does not mean your job is done. You have to strictly follow what it says, learn to adjust for possible changes, and most importantly, update the sheet for any progress. There will likely be blanks provided in the sheet anyway for you to monitor events. An example is similar to an event checklist where you put checkmarks to every blank if its designated item has been finished already. The same goes for writing notes if necessary.
Is a run sheet the same as an agenda?
Although both the run sheet and the agenda are useful guides on how to run events or programs smoothly, they are not entirely the same. An agenda merely highlights the main points or milestones achieved of an event. Hence, it does not give you the procedural and chronological steps of how to accomplish every item enlisted. Meanwhile, run sheets can promise you in inserting the procedures in the proper sequence. So consider a run sheet to be more detailed than an agenda.
How do you guess the time given for every enlisted action in a run sheet?
Estimating the time of each action in a run sheet is not a mere guessing game. You have to estimate by considering the possible duration of the activity, the ability of the organizers to achieve them, the number of workers, and even the available time for the said action. But here is a tip: add a contingency time of about 10–15% for each action above the estimated time. That will help you estimate time wisely.
How are run sheets used?
Run sheets showcase the detailed list of quotes, schedules, and activities chronologically. And they are mostly used by contractors and employees. With that said, they are often used when you print or email the sheet to a contractor or employee.
What are other forms of run sheets?
Run sheets come in various forms depending on your intention of using them. For example, you can use a payroll run sheet, delivery run sheet, patient run sheet, commercial run sheet, and many more.
From as simple as a small gathering party down to a very carefully organized theater show, run sheets sure can help in managing all sorts of events in the smoothest way possible. These sheets outline your main program from the action lists, schedules, cues, milestones, and other processes. And things could not get any easier when you add sample run sheets that you can tweak and print shortly into your plan. Run your next show effectively now!