event planning checklist

The Event Planning Checklist [Pre-event, During-event, and Post-event Planning]

Planning an event can be daunting but luckily this event planning checklist is here to help you organize a killer event!
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February 1, 2019

Any marketer wishes to improve his or her performance and boost profits. In the end, it’s what we do. We plan details, solicit bids, work with clients, inspect places, coordinate, and monitor employees’ activity. Humanly speaking, it’s impossible to make no mistakes. 

When it comes to planning an event, it can be easy to forget important details. But no worries!  We’re here to help you focus on all the important details not to miss, which will help you organize a killer event!  

What Should an Event Planner Checklist Include?

Your event checklist will be comprised of other information that does not fit in these categories, but the following elements definitely are a must-have:

1. Date and Time

It wouldn’t be great if nobody was available to come to your event, so keep in mind your guests’ schedule when you pick a date and time to find an optimal date. You can also have a backup date in case the date turns out not to be working anymore.

2. Location/Venue

Now that you know when the event will be, you need to decide where it will take place. Choose a location that is convenient for the type of event you are planning on hosting and for the attendees. Also, knowing how many people will be attending the event will help you pick a venue that will accommodate your expected crowd.

3. Goals

What do you wish to accomplish with your event? Writing down your objectives will help you plan everything necessary to achieve them. For example, your goal could be to launch a new product, to fundraise money for a good cause, or to celebrate a company’s milestone. Whatever it is, make sure to include it in your checklist.

4. Type of Event

Determining your goals will guide you in deciding what type of event to host, whether it is an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event. You can host a pop-up event to launch a new product and meet in person your customers, host a webinar to educate your audience, or an internal hybrid event such as a town hall meeting.

5. Budget

Even though it can be time-consuming and daunting, creating a budget is necessary when organizing an event. It is important to make sure that everything you are booking and planning stays within your budget. Making a list of expenses will help you allocate your budget accordingly.

Pre Event Checklist

4-8 Months Ahead of Event: Start Planning The Event

It’s never too early to start a checklist to plan your event. In fact, for in-person event planning, the sooner the better to avoid facing a situation in which half the venues, accommodation, or caterers are all booked out. Even planning a hybrid event requires thoughtful planning to set up technology and such. Here are elements to include in your corporate event planning checklist:

Define Your Goals and Objectives:

What’s the purpose of your event? What are you trying to achieve? 

Choose a Format and Theme:

What type of event will help you best accomplish your objectives? Start brainstorming! Would it be best to organize an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event?

Pick a Date:

You can have a back-up date in case the first one ends up not working.

Create a Budget:

Look at past events to have an estimate on the costs as a baseline.

Look for a Venue, Location, and Vendors:

What venue would be able to accommodate all your guests and have infrastructures you might need such as Wi-Fi? Look for vendors around that area and contact them to discuss what you are looking for.

Wifi for events

Find an Event Platform:

Hosting a hybrid or virtual event will require you to find an event platform that will help you promote, execute, and manage your event. The same way you have to find a venue with the infrastructures you need for an in-person event when choosing a virtual event platform, you want to select one that offers key features that’ll help you accomplish your objectives.

Research Guest Speakers:

You can look at similar events to have an idea of speakers you could invite. Guest speakers will have a great influence on your audience’s excitement in participating in the event.

Reach Out to Sponsors and Exhibitors:

Sponsors and exhibitors are an incredibly vital part of your event. They bring in financial gains and credibility in exchange for promotional marketing. Make sure you reach out to them ahead of time and ask about their preferences. Make their jobs easier by letting them set up tables or even design apps for the meeting. Don’t forget to send out guidelines right before the event. 

3-4 Months Ahead of Event: Starting to Take Form

Now that you are set with the fundamental elements of event planning, the next thing you have to do is to work on the final touches. At this point, your event planning checklist should include:

Promote the Event:

Remember to start promoting your event ahead of time. Give attendees time to make mindful decisions and take the right actions. Who knows, some might even donate funds as a sign of respect for your efforts. Consider offering your guests early bird discounts, create promotional videos, and utilize various social media tools to raise awareness, writes Brill Assignment.

Communicate with Your Speakers:

Assignment Geek recommends automating communication with your speakers. It’s easier, safer, and funnier. You can now create and personalize a portal event webpage and have speakers upload info, pamphlets, and other details there. Here, you can double check their speeches and correct anything that looks out of place.

Call Volunteers:

Give volunteers access to anything they need! Help them create your event and promote it in the best way possible. Without them, excellent outcomes are harder to accomplish, so recognize their merits. If they make your job easier, don’t forget to return the favor. Create a Facebook group to keep track of their attendance and start learning their names!

event volunteers

Financial/Administration:

If you’re selling tickets, determine the fees. Finalize sponsors and their contribution, and set up an online registration platform so your attendees can pre-register for your event.

Brand Your Event:

Create your branded website for the event or update your current website to promote the event. Keep it updated and use it to build excitement and interest among your target audience. Make sure that it is user-friendly and optimized. 

Finalize Venue Details:

After sketching out a structured, broad plan, we might forget to follow up with the details. Taking care of event venue details is truly important, so don’t make this rookie mistake.

event venue

Prepare The Schedule:

Send out a detailed event schedule to every single person on your list! Your attendees are not the only ones who should receive it; volunteers, speakers, sponsors — they must also get familiarized with the event run sheet

1-2 Months Prior To Event: Keep Up The Good Work

You’re getting close! But no worries, you still have time to finalize some details and build excitement to encourage attendees to register to the event.

Send Reminders:

Keep attendees engaged by sending teasers and reminders via email and social media. 

Follow Up With Guest Speakers, Partners, Sponsors, and Vendors:

Contact them to confirm their participation and talk about final details.

Continue Promoting Your Event:

Encourage your target audience to register to your event by building their interest using email and social media. Ask your guest speakers, partners, and sponsors to post about your event on their channels and make a press release to announce their presence to your future event.

Wrap up and proofread scripts:

Finalize the scripts and read them to mark any errors, such as spelling mistakes, punctuation, and grammar errors. You want to get familiar with the scripts so that the day of your event, you know what you are talking about.

Get Ready For Last-minute Changes:

Sometimes it is inevitable. Even the most prepared event planner can face last-minute change of plans. Be sure to have a back-up plan in case for example an important speaker, or vendor cancels their venue. Don’t forget to always keep your attendees aware if there are any changes.

1 Week Prior to the Event: The Final Stretch`

Almost there! This close to the event, the majority of the event details should be finalized and the only things left that should be included in your checklist are the final touches. 

Finalize The Event Schedule and Scripts:

Ensure that all your guests have the same schedule and rerun the content of the scripts. You can assign practice sessions for your guest speakers so that they can practice before the event. 

Communicate final details with the volunteers, greeters, hosts, and partners:

Verify they are still coming to the event and give them all the information needed to perform their duty.

Confirm details with media attendees:

Reach out to media attendees via email or phone to run over the details about the event. You may ask if they need any information such as the number of attendees, more details about the schedule, or the spelling of a spokesperson's name. 

Finalize Your Sitting Arrangements: 

When visually laying out the space, include wheelchair-accessible areas and make sure to have clear paths through the venue.

Do a final check of attendees: 

The final registration numbers are the foundation of a well-planned event. Send them out to your guests and volunteers, so that they all know their role and part in the affair. Don’t forget to confirm with decorations and speakers one more time before the event.

event attendees

1 Day Before the Event: You’re Getting There!

Your event is tomorrow, so use a checklist to stay on track with the last-minute important details that need to be finalized.

Confirm Media Attendance: 

Invite media to your event to maximize your reach. 

Check That All Signage Is in Place: 

Event signage is very helpful to all participants. It helps to draw the attention to your event while communicating important information about your brand. You can even use digital signage to improve attendees' experience, and if you do so, make sure that the digital signage is working correctly.

Verify Registration and Media Tables Are Ready:

Ensure that necessary items are stocked, such as pens, paper, and name badges.

Make sure that all A/V equipment is prepared and working correctly:

Don’t wait until the last minute to check all the equipment. If you are having a problem with the material, have a designated person to look at it and fix the issue.

De-stress:

Last but not least, de-stress! If you are constantly worried and tense, there is a high chance you’ll screw something up. Take deep breaths and meditate before the party. Taking time for yourself and your mental health is crucial! It will boost both your focus and energy levels and calm you down.

Day of Event Checklist

Today’s the big day! Everything is going to be great. You’ve worked hard to prepare for the event. Here are a few things you need to remember:

Last-minute Rechecks:

Confirm that everything is up and running and that everything is ready for when the guests arrive. 

Welcome The Attendees:

Communicate with them during the event. You want to make sure that they are having a good time. Keeping an eye on them will help you detect their enthusiasm and expectations. Based on your analysis, you can come up with actions to reboot their excitement. 

Assist Speakers/Participants:

Check on them throughout the event to make sure that everything is going well.

Take a Deep Breath:

You don’t want attendees to feel like you are nervous. You’ve been preparing this event for months now that you are so prepared for this event. Take time for yourself before the event to relax before the event starts.

Post Event Checklist

What? It is already over? Well, not yet. Even though the fun is over, there are still a few things that you need to do after the event:

Post-Event Follow-Up:

Stay in touch with the attendees and ask them for feedback on the event. Give them the option to do so anonymously for people to give an honest opinion. Thank attendees for their participation. Without them, the event wouldn’t be a success!

Post-Event Analysis

Collect the data from the feedback and analyze it to measure the event ROI. This part is crucial in determining what people liked during the event and what aspects could be improved. 

Wrapping Up

Armed with this checklist, you can now ace your next event and boost those profits! Take everything into account and check your events’ details at least three times before it takes place. Good luck, you got this!

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