By no means an exhaustive list for event planning, as all events are unique, this list will give you a great general jumping off point for your event planning, and you can brainstorm with your planning and execution team to fill in the gaps as needed.
- What is your budget? The very first thing you should do when planning for an event is to determine how much money there is to spend on the event and approximately how much you want to spend for each category, including things like the fee for the venue you have chosen; any structures you will need to accompany guests, such as custom tents or promotional tents; food; entertainment; chair and table rental; décor; etc.
- When is your event? This may sound like a no-brainer, but you will need to know the solid date as soon as possible so you can be sure that everything you need for the event will be available and reserved on the date you need it.
- What is your theme? If you are planning a corporate event, you will want to choose a theme that fits with your unique brand identity, and if you are having another type of event, you will want to choose something fun and exciting for your specific guests. No matter what your event, you should liven it up and make it memorable for your guests using things like inflatable lights, colorful freeform stretch tents, music, good food or other things that stimulate your guests’ senses.
- What are your goals? Whether you are holding the event as a fundraiser, a networking event, a celebration of something special, or just a day of fun, you need to hold the main goal in mind and plan your event accordingly to help you reach that main goal.
- Who will help you? If your budget is large, then you can hire professionals to make everything happen from the marquee hire, to the catered food, entertainment and cleanup. But if funds are tight, you will need an army of volunteers or to partner with others who can help you fill in the gaps with free donations. Many businesses and organizations would be happy to trade their goods and services for promotion in conjunction with your event. All you have to do is ask!
- What is your timeline? For those of you who are not used to planning, creating a timeline that details when each aspect of the event will be taken care of and when things will happen on the day of the event may sound a little extreme. But when you are organizing a lot of people and a lot of little jobs that need to occur during a specific period of time, a timeline that includes everything, down to the last detail, is essential.
- What will you do when things go wrong? Things will go wrong, and there is nothing you can do about it—and it happens to everyone. You will not be able to think of every situation that may occur, and you may be short on chairs, food, volunteers, entertainment, or any other number of things. The main thing you can do the day of the event is to remember that the show must go on! With or without those extra chairs or that extra speaker, you must carry on and get through it. Try to stay flexible, think on your feet, and plan ahead for problems so you can still carry off the event in style, no matter what happens.