Event planning is a complex process and it requires a lot of patience, planning, coordination, creativity, and flexibility. Typical events last from just a few hours to several days in a row. No matter the length, all of these take some time to plan, organize and execute and each of these stages requires a lot of work. Fortunately for you, this article will offer a concise blueprint you can follow to organize your future event.
Start with a budget
Without a budget and the proper event planning checklist, the entire event could fail. Your budget is the first thing that will define your budget and work as a starting point. If you don’t have a rough estimate of a budget, you won’t know where to start. Start by writing a list of all the things you need to throw an event. The number of guests will define the size of the venue, the amount of food and drinks, decorations, entertainment, and the servers. This list will help you define a budget and stay within your means. Make sure to include even the hidden cost and include these into your estimate.
Write everything down
The best possible strategy for staying on top of everything is to write down your event planning checklist into a spreadsheet. If several people are on your event planning team, you can use Google Docs and give them access so that they can contribute. This is also a useful tool for time management as well. You can easily see if one of your team members didn’t finish one of his assigned tasks.
Write down everything, from the agreed price with the vendors and caterers to the exact date and time of your conversation, the name of the person you talked to, what you exactly agreed on, their contact information. Also, put your own note next to each task so that you can look at the spreadsheet in one month and be reminded of everything. Since the exact day of the event is still unknown due to the current situation with the pandemic, this checklist will refresh your memory in an instant.
Follow the timeline
Every event is supposed to have the exact timeline in order for everything to go by the plan. This is especially important for an event like a conference with lectures and presentations that usually last the entire day. Every attendee should get a copy of the timeline beforehand. They will know when their lecture is scheduled, the exact time of lunch and networking breaks. A timeline is needed even for corporate parties and other events that last just a few hours.
Define the purpose of your event
There are many reasons to throw an event for your business partners, employees and their plus-ones. When social distancing finally ends and our lives return to normal, we could all use an event to celebrate life. Either way, you need to clearly define the reason why you’re hosting an event. This will set the course of the entire event planning process and make it easier for you or your event management agency to execute the entire thing.
Food, fun, food
We cannot deny the truth behind corporate events, conferences, product launches and other types of official events. People are there for the food and that’s the only thing they will talk about after the event. Food, drinks, and entertainment are all equally important. The length of the event and the number of attendees will define the type of food and the amount. If you’re throwing a corporate party, you will need a lot of different finger foods and a skilled DJ or a band. A conference is a bit different as the people will need a proper lunch. You can probably arrange everything with the venue. Whatever you choose to do, make sure there are lots of it.
Follow up after the event
Event planning doesn’t end after the guests leave the venue. It ends when you follow up after the event. Every type of feedback is a good one, both the positive and the negative. Positive feedback will confirm you did a great job. On the other hand, negative feedback doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. Negative feedback will tell you which parts of the entire planning and execution should be improved or changed entirely. You can send an email to all attendees and ask them to answer a few questions about the event. You can also follow up on social media, send thank you cards and use this feedback to begin planning your next event.
Event planning is easy when you know what to do and where to start. This list will help you start and begin your event planning process. While we’re all waiting for the pandemic to pass, you can research the venues, vendors, caterers, agencies and collect their contact information. Write everything down and be prepared to start.