Event organization could be a tedious task if you don’t have a proper plan. Bigger the event, the more detail you’ll have to look into when planning it, and more challenges you’ll have to overcome.
In this post, we will let you know how to plan an event the easy way. To make it even simpler for you, we have added templates as well. You can edit them right away and kickstart your project.
How to Plan an Event
From the pre-planning phase to the day of the event, there’s so much to organize and keep track of.
Follow the event planning steps below to save your time and your budget when organizing a successful function.
Create an Event Planning Checklist
A checklist can make a big difference when it comes to planning an event.
An event planning checklist will help you and your team keep track of things they need to take care of and execute things flawlessly.
Following is an event planning checklist template in the form of a mind map. You can customize it according to your event and invite your team to collaborate on it in real-time as well.
Set a Goal for the Event
Establishing the goal of your event is one of the very first things you need to do when planning an event. Goals can be diverse; revenue, media attention, raising funds, the number of attendees, launching a new product, etc.
Define the purpose of your event or what you want to accomplish with it. And make sure the goal you set adheres to the SMART criteria, or in other words is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Organize Your Team
Assemble a competent team that can help you achieve the goal you have set and you can delegate your work to without a second thought.
An organizational chart like the one below can help you clarify the roles and responsibilities and reporting relationships among the team members.
As you assign each member responsibilities, it’s also important to figure out ways to communicate with them (i.e. chat software, email, etc.) throughout the planning process. And don’t forget to hold regular committee meetings to discuss the progress of planning and any issues.
Create an event planning timeline to highlight the individual tasks you need to complete and the relevant deadlines. It will help your team keep track of things.
Establish Your Budget
Before beginning to plan, you need to consider your budget and see if your event planning needs align with it.
Following are the key areas you need to allocate money for (set realistic costs for each item) when setting a budget. Some of these items may not have fixed costs, but it’s important to make rough estimations in order to decide whether you can actually afford them.
- Venue – This could include payments you have to make for rental(s) for the hall/ rooms, security deposits, parking, etc.
- Staff – Consider the budget you have to allocate for the staff meals, transportation, and lodgings, especially if the event is out of town.
- Food and beverages: food and water are essential items you need for the event. Consider several caterer options until you find one that fits your needs and budget.
- Entertainment – Will you need any musicians, DJs or speakers? Allocate money for them as well as the associated transportation and housing costs.
- Decorations – If you are going to decorate the event hall or stage with flowers, lights, etc. you need to estimate the cost for them as well.
- Marketing – This should include any money you’ll have to spend on your effort to market your event, be it for Facebook ads or posters and flyers.
- A/V – This includes all the equipment such as microphones, speakers, WiFi, cables, projectors, etc.
Invite team members in charge of different areas to complete the chart with relevant costs.
Set the Date and Book Your Venue
You might have a preset date if it is an event that is recurring. However, if it’s up to you, here are a few things you need to pay attention to.
- Do you have enough time to plan before the day of the event?
- Skip holidays such as religious or statutory holidays
- Check whether the schedules of the key participants are free on that day
- Depending on the venue and the type of event, consider the weather
- And in case, pick the second-best date
Once you have selected a date, start looking for a venue that suits your needs. Here also you need to consider
- Whether it’s available on the date and how far in advance you need to book it
- Their payment, refund and cancellation policies
- Whether it fits the type of event you are planning
- Does the venue provide A/V equipment, WiFi?
- Your seating arrangements and parking needs
Identify Partners and Sponsors
Community organizations and corporate sponsors can help cut costs, find more advertising opportunities, widen your audience and assist you with planning the event. And when you are seeking partners, you need to make sure that their vision complements yours.
Market Your Event
There are varied ways to market your event. Depending on the best way to reach your target audience, you can leverage email marketing, flyers, social media, TV, radio or invitations, etc.
Ready your marketing material as your budget allows you. This could include logos, banners, posters, flyers, invitations, newsletters, etc.
Your event is only days away and there are a few more things you need to do to avoid any setbacks.
- Check with your caterer and confirm the menu, food presentation and serving details, etc.
- Make sure the venue is ready to be set up on the date and time you have booked it for
- Check on all the other equipment you need for the event. Don’t forget to test them to see if they work when you’re finally setting them up.
- Create an event schedule for you as well as your team
- Send reminders to attendees, presenters/ speakers, sponsors and partners
Ready to Plan Your Next Event?
Whether you are an experienced event planner or a newbie, we hope these steps will help you (re)organize your process effectively. Have the right tools and the right team ready and you are good to go. Make sure you use the event planning checklist template when you are planning your next event.
Have any event planning tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below.