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How To Plan An Event

Learning how to plan an event requires multitasking skills and (often) quick thinking.

In order to succeed, you need to know and understand the basics so you plan your event effectively. Event planning is a fun and rewarding career, and becomes so much easier once you take the time to learn and develop your skills in negotiation, communication, budgeting (the most successful event planners do this really well) and project management.

Before you jump ahead and pick an event venue, it’s important to take time to create a plan so you know how to plan an event properly.

How To Plan An Event

By using these 10 steps, you’ll be better prepared and understand the logistics of every event you plan:

  1. Know and understand your event objective. Why are you having the event? What is the purpose of your event? Knowing your event objective is the key to your event success.
  2. Once you understand the scope of your event, identify your team that will help plan and manage the event.
  3. Choose an event date. It’s a good idea to have a few date options in case your first choice isn’t available. Don’t forget to check statutory holidays!
  4. Review event venue choices. Before signing the venue contract, go and see the venue in person and meet the venue manager. Looking at pictures on-line is very different than ‘getting a feel’ for the place. I recommend you view at least 5 properties/venue options so you know what they offer, available dates, you’ve met and seen their team, and you’ve seen the grounds around the venue.
  5. Establish your event budget. A fundamental piece when learning how to plan an event, your budget determines which venue you’ll use, the kind of food served at your event, and the entertainment you’ll hire. When creating an event budget, it’s important to include an ‘estimates’ column to help create a realistic cost overview.
  6. Create an administrative plan. At this point, you may choose to use event management software to track your budget, workback schedule, and guest registration. If buying software isn’t in your budget, use Trello – a free project management platform that helps you track and manage the details of your events.
  7. Once you’ve created your event budget, it’s time to choose the food and beverage that’ll be served during your event. Remember, this can take (up to) 30-40% of your event budget AND people always remember the food so choose wisely if you want to make a lasting impression.
  8. Determine your event entertainment and/or speakers. It’s important to identify entertainment options that are suitable for the event’s objective.
  9. Create a publicity plan and a partnership/sponsorship plan (optional). Depending on the size and scope of your event will depend on whether or not you need to create a publicity plan and/or a partnership plan. From the beginning stages of planning to the event wrap up, incorporate this step if it’s suitable for your event planning process.
  10. Event Wrap Up (aka post-mortem). Often overlooked, yet a very important piece of learning how to plan an event, your evaluation process allows you to learn from your mistakes and measure your successes. Using your event objective as a guideline, decide your success criteria and how to improve your next event.

If you’re ready to learn how to plan an event, watch this episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV. In this training video, you’ll learn:

  1. Why having an event objective is the secret to event success
  2. Why food is the most important part of your event
  3. 5 critical tricks to consider before you book a venue
  4. How to increase your event attendance rates
  5. Discover sneaky add-on services that may increase your credit card bill (without your knowledge)
  6. and more…

Ready to plan an event but need a guideline to help? Get The Event Toolkit Here!

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