Event planning takes special skills, which is why many people consider hiring an event planner or event manager to plan their events. However, you can save money and have more control over your events when you plan and manage them yourself.
That said, before you decide to take on such a task, there are a few things that you should know to stay organized and ensure that you pull off a successful event.
In this article, you’ll find the best tips for planning an event and an event planning checklist to keep you on track.
Event Planning Tips
The difficulties of the event planning process depend on the type of event you’re having. For a small party with your closest friends, you may be able to plan everything on the day of the event.
But if you’re planning a large public event that requires vendors, then the planning must start weeks, maybe even months, in advance.
A large event also requires a higher degree of organization because the execution is more difficult. Breaking responsibilities and a timeline down will help you greatly when it comes to managing your event.
This may all sound like a lot, but the process is less intimidating when you have a plan. To help you out, here are some helpful tips for planning an event and ensuring that everything goes smoothly.
Have a Clear Event Goal
The first step toward planning an event is to establish clear-cut goals and expectations for your event.
You should have a target and know exactly why you plan to have this event. Here are some factors to keep in mind when setting out your goals:
- The reason or occasion for the event (i.e., corporate event, fundraiser, festival, etc.)
- Whether the event is for profit or not
- If for profit, where the proceeds from the event will go
- Whether the event will be public or private
- How many people, including special guests, will be on the guest list for your event
- What you want your attendees to get out of the event
Once you have a goal, you’re ready to create an event plan.
Stick to Your Budget
Once you know your event goals, it’s time to establish a budget.
Your event checklist should be based on your budget. Ensure your event budget is all-encompassing and as detailed as possible to avoid surprises or last-minute expenses.
Once you have your budget, you must stick to it as much as possible. When an event goes over budget, it creates stress for the planner and may impact the possibility of hosting any future events.
Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you’ll want to include the following in your budget:
- Food and drinks (including water)
- Event venue rental
- Equipment rental
- Entertainment and guest speakers
- Emergency expenses
It’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. Unfortunately, the unexpected often happens at events. Having money set aside for emergencies ensures that you aren’t caught off-guard and that the remainder of your event doesn’t suffer.
Have a Plan for Event Promotion
The way you promote your event will make it or break it, so it’s essential to have a plan for how you’ll get the word out.
How you promote your event greatly depends on the type of event you plan on hosting and your target audience. For example, suppose you’re planning a music festival with young, alternative artists.
In that case, you should leverage the power of social media marketing tools in your event promotion, as this is most likely where your potential event attendees will hear about your event.
However, if you’re planning an event for an older demographic, you shouldn’t invest solely in online promotion or social media event marketing.
Moreover, you should include all the relevant event information in your promotion to help potential attendees decide whether to attend and entice them. This information should include:
- Event date and time
- Ticket prices
- Food and drinks that you will serve
If you need additional help, hiring a social media strategist to assist with this aspect of event management is a good idea to ensure you promote your event correctly.
Prepare Close to the Day
Planning an event requires a ton of preparation until your event begins. You don’t want to go into event day without any preparation.
Within the week before your event, you should run through every event detail, and how the day will go to ensure everything is timed right, your staff is up to speed, and prevent surprises.
If you’re planning an outdoor event, you should also be constantly checking the weather to prepare for any potential changes to your event venue, whether you need to add tents or move the event indoors.
Debrief and Evaluate Your Success
Your planning isn’t over once your event is finished. Although you can breathe a sigh of relief once your event has ended, it’s essential to evaluate the success of your event to learn from the experience and apply your learnings to your next event.
Do a post-event survey by asking yourself the following questions:
- Did you get the number of event attendees that you anticipated?
- Were your guests satisfied?
- Did you have enough food and water or run out of something during the event?
- Was everything timed correctly, or did any component of your event run late?
For further insights, provide your guests with questionnaires to let you know about their experience. Doing this will ensure that each event you host is better than the last.
The Ultimate Event Planning Checklist
The best way to stay organized when planning an event is by using an event planning checklist.
Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. Here’s an event checklist to keep your planning on track.
- Figure out your event goals
- Choose the date
- Know your budget and stick to it
- Brand and promote your event
- Line up your vendors, guest speakers, presenters, entertainment
- Start selling tickets
- Plan venue layout
- Rehearse the day before
Conclusion: Planning an Event Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
Planning an event requires a lot of work, no matter what type of event it is or the size. However, staying organized is the key to executing a stress-free, successful event.
One aspect of event planning that Quench Buggy makes easier is attendee access to water. We offer event water refill stations so that you can ensure that your guests always have access to enough clean water throughout your event. Rent a water trailer for your next event!