The Ultimate Event Planning Checklist to plan a Perfect Event

As an event planner, you constantly get the feeling of having missed out something and this is true for most cases. Whether you are a first-time event planner or a seasoned professional, event planning is stressful and chances are you get so wrapped on the job and forget a crucial detail(s).

Missing something during event planning is inevitable, and for this very reason, the first thing every good event planner should get is an Event Planning Checklist.

An event planning checklist and action plan ensure your events are planned efficiently and successfully. Which is the goal!

The event planning checklist below will help you get started in identifying all of the details you’ll need to consider, including those easily forgotten yet important items. Just follow these steps to create a checklist that will keep you on track and executing flawlessly.

1. Set the SMART goals and objectives

 

Prior to planning it’s important to think about what your event goals and objectives will be. Be sure not to make the mistake of kickstarting your event planning without defining the event goals and objectives. Keep them SMART
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-based

Remember that clearly defined goals and objectives support your efficiency at every stage of planning and implementation of the event. They also help to avoid wasting resources, eliminating activities unrelated to previously set goals and objectives.

SMART goals also help in setting up the event agenda template so you can specify which areas require the greatest amount of attention.

2. Set the Event Budget

 

If you’re planning an event, there’s one step that is essential to making that event happen: creating the event budget. As an event planner, staying within your client’s budget is key. And to do that, you need a detailed event budget that you and your client agree on.
A great tip is to start with the major categories, such as venue, catering, décor, and rentals. Then, break down all the expenses under each category. Defining the focus areas of your event will help you prioritize your spending and invest in the stuff that really matters.

And, you’ll be all set.!

There are basic tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel spreadsheet and a lot of free online tools to make the budget planning a little less daunting.

3. Find a venue location

 

When to start Looking for a Venue? The earlier the better. Deciding the location where your event will take place before the date is critical to your event’s overall success. So, it’s important to get it right. Before setting your heart on a location, make sure you know exactly what to look for.

You should consider;

  • Your Budget
  • The convenience of the location to your client or audience
  • Capacity
  • Event Theme
  • Layout
  • Catering
  • Services and Facilities
  • Weather

 

4. Finalize a Date and Time

 

The date of your event is largely dependent on when your venue has availability, so try to keep an open mind about the date. However, take these things into account before you commit:

  • Make sure it doesn’t clash with anything major if possible
  • Make sure there are no competing events
  • Check the date with people involved
  • Choose a time that works for your type of event and your audience
  • Have a Back-Up Plan
  • Also be prepared for the worst case scenario, having to cancel the event.

5. Create your Event name and theme

 

Your theme sets the tone for your whole event. Creating a unique event for your audience in this saturated events market is quite challenging. Your event attendees look forward to a personalized experience that’s memorable and engaging. And as a good event planner, it is your job to exceed their expectation.! One way to make your event stand out is by choosing a creative event theme. Once in place, it drives all of your planning decisions. The right theme attracts attendees and builds your business’s brand, but a boring or tacky theme can put your company’s reputation on the line.

Once you’ve solidified the who, what, and why of your event, you can begin to brainstorm event theme ideas with your event planning team.

6. Obtain event sponsors

 

Let’s face it, events are expensive but with the correct sponsorship, the event can take place on a much higher scale than anticipated. However, finding sponsorship is like trying to get hired for a job. Do expect to submit proposals and get rejected or not get a response at all.

Event sponsorships play such a significant role in event revenues – it’s vital that you give yourself and your events the best chance to attract the right sponsors. And it’s also critical that you have the right systems in place to deliver the value your sponsors are looking for.

So, does your event require sponsors? If yes, start writing those pitch emails right away because breaking even or making a profit can be extremely difficult without them.

7. Build your event website and registration page

 

The internet has undoubtedly changed the way events will be promoted and advertised forever. Nowadays, having a strong online presence can either make or break an event. Even with the additional cost of creating and maintaining an event website, doing so is almost always in your favor.

In short, having a customized website for your event is a wonderful tool that greatly facilitates the work of communication. You’ll ensure that all the information gets to all the attendees, improving your productivity and reducing the number of hours dedicated to sending emails in favor of other organizational tasks.

 

8. Invite your guests

 

Start sending those invitations out. And, always remember; its never too late. It’s never too soon. A couple of weeks before the event date, start sending out your reminder emails.

 

9. Promote your event

 

Once your website is published, it’s time to announce and promote your event. Be sure to include a link to register any time you share the event, and across all channels.

Without extensive marketing and promotion of the event, the event might not be successful, because it will not reach a large audience. The more promotion the event receives, the more outreach towards the audience and more participation by the audience. So, Promote. Promote. Promote and do not stop promoting your event to the very last day of the event.

10. Secure event Vendors

 

Imaging planning the perfect events and having your vendors ruin it..! Nope, you do not want to be in such a situation.

Consequently, choosing an event vendor is like building a loving relationship: you choose a partner who is reliable, caring and eager to stay with you long-term. And, they’re one call away to deliver awesomeness at every of your event.

Creating a team of event vendors is one of the most important aspects of planning events because it creates long-term success.

11. Write, proofread, and order any printed materials (programs, signage, etc.)

 

Bonus: Event Day and Post Event items to the checklist

 

12. Manage event day set up, execution, and tear down

11. Send thank you letters to participants, sponsors, and volunteers.

12. Evaluate the success of your event and document any changes you would make next year.

13. Begin planning for your event next year!

14. Analyze what worked versus where improvements can be made

15. Share event photos and publicity.

 

Now you’ve got a plan in place, use this event planning checklist as a guide for planning that perfect event.

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