Event planning can be overwhelming. It involves so many details you need to keep track of, from finding sponsors to day-of-event logistics. All this can easily make things stressful and overwhelming, which is why you need a structure and a solid plan.
Our business event planning checklist will walk you through the entire process, step by step, from beginning to end and make sure your event is a success.
1. Establish the Essentials
Start by determining some of the essential elements of your event, such as date and location, type of event (party, conference, etc.), and the reason for hosting the event (for instance fundraising, launching a new product, or celebrating employee success).
You should also think about your attendees, understand their expectations for the event, and how you will meet their needs. In addition, determine how large the audience will be and ensure that your audience size will fulfill your event goals.
2. Seek Out Sponsors
If you plan on hosting an event, you are also facing an important question – how to fund it? Established organizations may be able to rely on their generous marketing budgets but smaller companies will likely need some help. The solution? Get sponsors.
Finding a sponsor is not that easy but there are a few strategies you can use to make your event a more attractive sponsorship opportunity, and one of them is creating a sponsorship proposal. You can write your proposal from scratch or use a sponsorship proposal template that offers an easier way to create a sponsorship request.
A good sponsorship proposal presents your event and sponsorship opportunities in a well-thought-out manner. The proposal should contain enough information for the potential sponsor to understand what’s being offered, as well as the benefits they’ll get in exchange.
3. Choose the Speakers
Chances are, your preferred speakers won’t be available, so plan on getting in touch with them to set up interviews a while before your event. Be sure to research your potential speakers, check their references, and confirm that they have experience in the topic you would like them to talk about. Collect information both offline and online to narrow down your decision, always keeping your event goals in mind.
Besides pricing, another factor to consider when choosing your speakers is diversity. According to research, 78% of event planners set diversity goals around gender when planning events, and 80% of them set goals around ethnicity.
4. Consider the Food and Beverages
Food and beverages are some of the key aspects of your event, so make sure you have enough. For instance, according to stats, each attendee will have an average of 2.5 alcoholic drinks per hour at an open bar, and the minimum amount of coffee that should be ordered for a 100-person event is nine gallons.
A well-crafted menu that’s aligned with your event’s style and demographic is a great way to illustrate hospitality and increase guest satisfaction. Don’t cut back on the F&B budget and use the top caterers in your area. To pick the perfect caterer, start by determining the type of service you want (passed appetizers, food stations, seated dinner, etc.). Then, research and interview vendors to compare prices and services. Finally, don’t forget to take into consideration any dietary restrictions your attendees might have.
5. Promote Your Event
Your promotion plan will largely depend on the type of event. For instance, if you’re organizing an internal celebration, there might not be a whole lot of promotion besides a few emails. However, if your event is a big conference, you’ll need to allocate a large portion of your budget to email campaigns, Google search ads, and advertising on social media.
If you have an in-house marketing team, talk to them about the most effective methods and channels to reach your desired audience. You should also discuss the content needed to promote your event: posters, flyers, email campaign graphics, online advertisements, videos, blog posts, and banner ads.
6. Follow Up
After your event is finished and your attendees leave happy and satisfied, be sure to follow up. Think about different post-event communication methods that will yield the best results, such as posting on social media, sending thank you notes, sharing event photos, or linking to event materials.
Not only will this allow you to reinforce the event message and prompt them to take action to meet event objectives, but you will also get valuable feedback that you can use for future events.
These six aspects of an event planning checklist are the key components of your event. Once you have all the major components in place, the rest of the details can be added to accommodate them. We encourage you to use this checklist to help outline your process and fill in gaps where necessary.