Event Planning 101

After a busy day of work, it always feels good to cross something off of your to-do list. One of the best parts of event planning is seeing an idea on paper brought to life through teamwork and careful attention to detail. The vision is only possible with a dedicated team of hard workers who want to help execute your plan.

Planning

Sit down with your team and discuss the bare bones of your event. Answer the questions – Who? What? When? Where? and Why? during the the planning stage of event production and make sure your team is aware. Establish what the big picture event would look like and determine the steps needed to get there. Breaking down your event into small tasks is one of the most effective practices in reducing stress. Write down your thoughts and make sure not to exclude any of your great ideas!

Logistics

The process of event planning is not entirely about the vision. You need to create a detailed list of the resources required for the foundation of the event. Consider your budget, time frame and number of attendees to get a good idea of the essential event needs.

After the foundation is set, it’s time to organize your plans. Take all of the ideas that you’ve brainstormed and the logistics and plug them into a timeline. Organizing your event plan will help you communicate your plans with your team for execution. With an organized plan, you can see what items have been taken off of your to-do list.

Execution

After all of your planning and organizing, all that’s left is to execute the event. Make sure to stick to your plan to keep your event on time and on budget. Your guests will appreciate an organized flow for the event activities. Your job as a host begins before the event starts. This is your opportunity to walk around and make sure the venue is set in place. As guests start arriving, match the attitude and overall energy expected from the crowd. You are allowed to enjoy yourself, of course, but it is important to remember that you are responsible for directing the staff during the event. Keep in mind small touches such as greeting new guests, make catering requests, and keep your event moving forward.

Bazaarvoice Summit Event Photography

Extra Tips

The following is a list of some extra pieces of advice that I would give to push your event over the edge of greatness:

  • Select your volunteers carefully and find people who are passionate about the cause. An enthusiastic staff will add tremendous value to the attendee satisfaction.
  • Plan for last minute signups, because they are very likely to pop up. Take this into consideration and plan accordingly for your venue, catering and seating options.
  • Post event information online. Communicating with the attendees will help them feel more comfortable with your event. Post your event flyers, time, date, and details in a place where all the attendees can access it before the event.
  • Get feedback through surveys, social media and casual conversations to learn the positives and negatives of the attendee experience. Use this information to help you plan your next event more effectively.

 

After it’s all over, be sure to look at what worked and what didn’t so you can adjust your plans for your next event. I hope that these simple event planning tips will help make your event a hit!

Author: Clarissa Gonzales – Sparksight
Published: April 2013
Revised: May 2019

15 responses to “Event Planning 101

  1. Very good summary of key points. Am currently working on an event for our private school and will show your article to the department head.

  2. Thanks for the social media tips!

    I have recently developed and released a free “7 Stages of Highly Effective Event Management & Production” shareable inforgraphic and a corresponding eBook. It is a helpful step-by-step guide to pulling off large-scale, high visibility events and conferences.

  3. I think finding volunteers is a great way to save money and have an enthusiastic staff. Thanks for the idea. I will have to be on the lookout for potential volunteers for my upcoming event.

    1. Hello Joy,

      Another advantage to recruiting volunteers besides cost savings is that you have the opportunity to promote your event before it starts. Posting a “Crew-call” can serve as a marketing or promotional tool to help build anticipation for the event before it starts.

      Best of luck to you in all of your event planning endeavors. Researching is a great way to quickly become an expert. (:

  4. My husband has been asked by his boss to get everything together to plan a big entertainment summit for his department. This is something he has never been asked to do so he has no idea where to start. As I was reading your article, you write about creating clarity around the event to help everyone stay focused on what the event is. Excellent information that I am going to pass to my husband to keep him organized.

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