Your event planning checklist
Planning an event can be very time consuming. Generally in all the mess, something always gets left out; leaving you wondering the next time you have an event if there is something missing. No matter what type of event you are having, the more you plan for it, the more likely it will turn out well. There are a lot of event planning checklists out there, all promising to deliver the same outcome, we’ve sorted through them and brought you the most concise list we could.
1. CREATE A PLAN AND WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
- What type of event are you organising? (e.g. conference, wedding, party, fundraiser)
- What is the purpose of the event and why are you organising it?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- What will the budget be?
- How many people will you need to help organise the event?
- How will you promote and publicise the event?
- Will you need sponsors?
- What venue will you use? Will this require contracts, permits, insurance?
- Who will be the speakers/entertainment/presenters?
- How many volunteers will you need?
Mapping out the event at the start will ensure you aren’t left short when the event actually rolls around. But make sure you have a contingency plan and leave room for flexibility in case everything doesn’t go to plan.
2. SET A BUDGET
Determine the prospective cost of your event and create a budget. Make sure you consider all parts of the event that will require budget – venue, presenters, promotion, catering, transportation, accommodation and decorations – and stick to the budget.
3. ESTABLISH SPONSORSHIP AND PARTNERSHIPS
Consider the ways that you can decrease event costs through sponsorship. Reach out to organisations or partners that you can call on for potential participation in the event. You can partner with corporate sponsors, community organisations or local businesses that might also be able to help with staffing, providing venues, offering prizes and spreading the word.
4. PREPARE A TEAM
You can’t pull off an event alone, so ensure you take time and plan carefully you will need and select in your team. Identify the key people you will need to ensure your event is a success including any speakers, entertainment, sponsors, publicity, volunteers and venue manager.
5. SET THE DATE
Sometimes the date of an event can be pre-set, which involves you working to a schedule. If it’s a new event, though, make sure you select a date that:
- Gives you ample time to plan. Depending on the event, about 4-6 months is ideal, though some events might need a quicker turnaround
- Doesn’t clash with any major holidays
- Is agreed upon by all key participants
6. MARKET YOUR EVENT
This is one of the major steps of planning an event – promotion and publicity. Even if you have the perfect event, without marketing it right, it probably won’t get the results you want. Come up with an exciting theme or campaign to get people excited about attending your event. Then market your event through traditional media, websites and social media sites. Partner up with other organisations or sponsors to help spread the word about your event further.
7. GET FEEDBACK FROM GUESTS
Measure the success of your event by asking for valuable feedback from your attendees. This will help you determine what worked and what didn’t and take that advice with you for future events. Also take some time to reflect on how the event matched up to your original plan and whether it met your objectives.
Planning events come with its own drawbacks – so be prepared for things that might go wrong. Have a contingency plan in case there are any major issues during your event. Also keep calm and collected, instead of stressing out when things do go wrong. You can avoid a massive disaster if you keep your wits about you.
Blog contribution from Martin College.