The Ultimate Event Checklist
Event planning is a definite skill. But although natural talent is always good, it’s nothing if not backed by solid organisation and (a lot of) hard work. The best event planners will use all the tools available to make efficient use of their time and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks – so if you’re looking for a bit of help at the planning stages, this event checklist is designed for you.
Aims and objectives
Be clear-headed about the purpose of your event from the start. This will help you to assess its effectiveness and learn from your experience. Sit down and ask yourself:
- Do you need to make a profit? If so, what’s your goal?
- Are you looking for media coverage? What will count as a success?
- Are you looking to ‘convert’ people into subscribers, buyers or followers on social media?
Where you can, identify a realistic figure or a concrete aim, so that you can clearly assess your success against your original event checklist.
Promotion and marketing
How will you promote your event? Starting well ahead of time will help ensure that you get maximum coverage to raise awareness.
- Use your contacts. Make sure you identify everyone in your address book who could help you to promote your event.
- Local media outlets can make a big difference. Draft a press release and help your local newspaper and regional TV and radio stations to big up your big day.
- Do you have a star of the show? Celebrities can really help your event to catch people’s attention.
- Don’t forget promotional strategies for after the event, which will help you to market similar occasions in the future. Easily shareable social media content is a fantastic way to raise awareness among your target audience.
Give your guests a great time with carefully planned entertainment for your event. Here are some items to include on your checklist:
- Music. Will you have a live band, a DJ or a handpicked playlist? Whatever you choose, ensure that you have hired all the sound equipment you need ahead of time, and you know how it will be set up.
- Entertainers. Popular speakers and musicians can get booked up well in advance, so this is one to secure early on. Ensure that you have an up-to-date photo and bio so that they can be included in your promotional activity.
- Sideshows. If you’re planning on including some extra fun for guests, be it a fairground ride or photo booth, make sure you stay within your budget and shop around for quotes.
While event planning may look like a glamorous occupation, you’ll probably spend much of your time on admin and red tape. Neglect it at your peril! Your event checklist should cover:
- The venue. Make sure all the finer details are agreed upon, including stipulations about noise, curfews, wheelchair access, parking. Find out if you’ll be charged extra for catering, sound equipment or furniture, or if it’s all included in the price quoted.
- Contracts. Go over these with a fine tooth comb to ensure that you understand what you’re committing to. Will there be financial penalties if you break the terms?
Once your event is over, don’t forget to keep a record of all the planning you put in using your event checklist, including the suppliers and contractors you used, the rates they charged and whether you’d use them again. It’ll come in useful for next time!