Post: Event Planning Checklist That Will Kick Start Your Event Planning Career

Event planning checklist on whiteboard

So, you’re saying event planning checklists are time-consuming? Have you ever left the house to drop your kid off at school without keys? Wallet? And suddenly a lightbulb goes off in your head because maybe one more thing was forgotten: YOUR KID!!!!

Yeah, your kid will eventually forgive you at the end of the day with ice cream, but your clients? I bet not.

If you are one of those with a heaping pile of responsibilities and not enough time to manage it all, then you might want to look at this article.

What is an Event Planning Checklist?

An event planning checklist is a tool for remembering and helping you lead a successful event. They provide an easy way to keep track of upcoming tasks and goals, which can help you achieve more in less time! It is like saving your sanity – all those things on there will make sense once they’re done, or at least not feel so overwhelming anymore.

Even the top event organizer(s) can get so involved that they forget that critical detail. Thus, we have compiled an event planning checklist. Here, there is clear information about the littlest things (by that, we mean essential things) that can easily be forgettable and can cost you your success and probably your job as an event coordinator.

8 Must-Take Actions to Ensure Event’s Success

In a more tactical sense, the Event Planning Checklist is a step-by-step guide for event managers (like you) out there to ensure nothing goes wrong and the event planning process does not get lost. The following five steps will help you set up an event successfully.

1. Determine the goals and target audience

The first thing on your list should be determining the event’s goals. You have to set specific tasks for your target audience to ensure you hit the particular needs of an event.

As a B2B business looking to attract business owners or business consultants, you may wish to aim for a local networking environment that will make them familiar with your brand while also benefitting them. You will have to set pre-event goals for the event’s success.

2. Establish event objectives

It is important to create an appropriate level of engagement for your target audience. Do you want to increase sales ultimately? If so, you should probably focus on the promotion and marketing coverage (through social media channels).

If you want to strengthen client relationships and generate leads for your sales team, then focus your efforts on creating an environment where people can network with each other, thus increasing awareness.

3. Develop an event schedule and budget

Knowing what your business can afford can help identify and choose the perfect venue, caterers, and help.

Plus, it’s important to plan a corporate event (or any other event). Although it can be tempting, avoid going over your budget unless you have a good reason to think that the benefit gained from doing so will outweigh the extra cost.

4. Pick event location

Choosing the most appropriate event venue depends entirely on how big your event will be, the number of guests you expect, and if you are providing food. Ways to make sure your chosen location is suitable is to include checking for wheelchair accessibility.

5. Review ROI

This data ensures that you always make important decisions about an event that can be expensive to implement. Consider what was better, where you need help or what details need to stay the same for your next event.

6. Get creative

Having a checklist makes it easy to set up the main event design before anything. An event planning checklist helps in determining what you should design and print. Use free tools (search on Google) to make managing events easier and more fun.

7. Set up timelines

Through trial and error, determine how long each step of planning will take so you know when to get started! This setup will help you manage your time effectively, so you don’t have much stress when planning your event.

Avoid giving yourself a rough time as events are stressful enough already; you don’t need to add time pressure!

8. Enjoy your event and move on to the next!

Events are strategic instruments utilized to reach out to the community, promote business, or network with prospects. At the same time, it’s building your career for future opportunities.

Don’t let hard work scare you or make it impossible for your company to plan a successful event with excellent results. Get organized to make sure you have your objectives set in motion and a plan of action to achieve results before you’re finished.

Event styling written on event planning white board

60 Common Event Planning Checklist Items

Pre-event checklist: 3 Months Before

  1. Create an event page.
  2. Create email event announcements.
  3. Create an event page on Facebook. Develop a promotional video and share it.
  4. Develop media list & prepare news Release, Media Advisory, Backgrounder, and all media kit materials (e.g., speaker info, photos, etc.)
  5. Divide duties among the team.
  6. It usually takes about five weeks to get your application approved for the venue, so don’t forget to work this into your planning schedule.
  7. Design and create/order invitations.
  8. Let people know through all channels when tickets are on sale and post-event collateral regularly.
  9. Caption any pre-recorded videos that will play at the event.
  10. Determine if you need event registration software to make the process easier. There are a variety of different event management software tools that can help streamline the event process. 
  11. Event technology reports to analyze and measure the data provided by your event tech.

30 Days Before

  1. Distribute the news release; Ask sponsors to share events on their promotional channels.
  2. Continue executing your publicity plan: Release press announcements about keynote speakers, celebrities, special guests/VIPs attending, honourees, etc.
  3. If your guests or performers request, give them time for run-throughs.
  4. Send follow-up emails to VIP guests.
  5. Create a logistics checklist of all items, who is responsible for each, and where it needs to go on site.
  6. Follow-up with RSVP list – make personalized phone calls and emails, if necessary.
  7. Review security needs and plan Investigate for any special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.
  8. Post your initial event news release on your event website and circulate it to all partners, affiliated organizations, etc.
  9. Event marketing and social media create buzz, conversation, and learning around the event. Issue a post-event press release.
  10. Close early-bird tickets; release standard pricing.
  11. Verify details with the venue, confirm audiovisual needs, and send the venue your room layout and any special instructions. Conduct a site walk-through.
  12. Brand your event and begin publicity. Arrange sponsorships and speakers for your event. Launch ticket sales.

15 Days Before

  1. Make sure staff are at the correct locations and that all areas have coverage for the entire event.
  2. Make sure that signs directing people to the event are posted.
  3. As the date of the event gets closer, update the event website to avoid confusion or complaints.
  4. Post more details about your event on social media.
  5. Finalize and proofread printed materials.
  6. Send final information to participants, including directions, maps, last-minute details, etc. 
  7. Send reminders to attendees, presenters/speakers, sponsors, and vendors.
  8. Check-in with the venue. Ensure nothing important was left behind.

A Week Before

  1. Update everyone with final registration numbers, finalize your seating plan and do the last registration check, including name, badges & registration list. Depending on when your registration closes, this may not be possible until a few days in advance, but try to finish it as early as possible.
  2. Coordinate with the photographer any specific images you need to be turned around as a priority to issue alongside the press release. 
  3. Financial status: Gather all receipts and documentation, final registration data, etc. And update the event budget. 
  4. Confirm participation with all VIP guests/presenters. Send them updated event details, run of shows, and talking points. 
  5. Finalize and print materials (except for the schedule and participant list).
  6. Push promotions to meet your sales goals; on social media, your blog, email via paid advertisements.
  7. Continue calling reporters to encourage attendance. Touch base with speakers to confirm that they have the correct date and location of the event and the time they will speak. 
  8. Send final numbers to the caterer.

36 Hours Before (last-minute details)

  1. Do a final safety check-in. Ensure that you have signed all safety paperwork from the venue electrician, exhibitors, the AV team, etc.
  2. Check the final bill for any errors or omissions.
  3. Be ready for any medical emergency, and ask your team to have an emergency kit on the sides.
  4. Include an event live stream on your social media. Schedule speakers/musicians and others to participate (if live streaming or captioning, include those individuals, as well as any social media testing, i.e., Facebook Live).
  5. Print the master sheet. This sheet will have essential information, such as contact details/contact numbers for all the vendors, Wi-Fi passwords, and even this event checklist. 

The Event Day

  1. Prepare water and snacks for volunteers. Your volunteers may stay late or skip lunch due to busy schedules. They could get exhausted. With water and snacks, you’ll help them recover and feel taken care of.
  2. Talk to all event registration staff and make sure they’re fully aware of where VIPs, attendees, and presenters should be.
  3. Make sure all relevant people have the date of the event.
  4. Check-in speakers and performers as they arrive. 
  5. Confirm that fire alarms are in good shape and working.
  6. A welcoming gesture to key speakers. Make sure they are well received.
  7. Assign staff members to welcome important persons and lead them where they need to be or who they are supposed to meet.
  8. Stay in touch with the team via phone or any communication medium.
  9. Make sure that security checks the passes of every individual.
  10. .Make sure that the cameras are working.
  11. Check music systems and ensure there is no interruption throughout.

Post-event Checklist

  1. Hold a post-event meeting with key players. Complete a post-event evaluation to record your ideas and lessons learned.
  2. Consider what could have been better, where you could use more help, or what details need to stay precisely the same for your next event.
  3. Finally, take the time to thank everyone who participated in the event and to connect with everyone who contributed to the event. The opportunity can quickly go from great to poor if you are not sending them updates the day after; it is not to be missed. This task can be delegated to a sales representative, account manager, or accountant.
  4. Create a thank-you email template in which you can add images from the occasion. As a token of appreciation, attach photos from the event to gratitude emails to keep as a keepsake.
  5. Post pictures with bomb captions on social media of your event.
  6. Immediately, announce your future event.
  7. Start focusing on the mistakes you made in the last event.

When you need to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, there’s this above event checklist. Use it at any point to reduce stress and make sure no detail is forgotten. From start to completion–the Event Planning checklist will teach the basics about planning, including everything needed to determine what to bring to the party.

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