Most comprehensive Event planning Checklist

Event planning involves countless tasks. It’s easy to lose track of the details, which will compromise the event’s success. So instead of just taking mental notes, you should use an event planning checklist to keep everything organized.

This checklist will serve as the blueprint of your event. And since each event is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all planning checklist.

We recommend that you create your own checklist based on the event you’re going to host. If you don’t know where to start, we listed below some essentials you should include. 

1. Event objectives

The first agenda of your checklist is to identify the goals and objectives of the event. Are you planning a fundraiser? Do you want to raise awareness? Aside from that, you should define the following:
  • How many attendees are you expecting?
  • What will the attendees expect to get from the event?
  • Who is your core team? Are you outsourcing or hiring staff?
  • How many days will the event be?
  • What is the name of your event?
The answer to these questions will serve as the foundation of your event planning. It will impact your budget, event schedule, venue, and other aspects. This is why you should establish this information first before proceeding with the other items on this list.

2. Potential dates

Next, you have to decide about the date of your event. It’s crucial to pick at least three potential dates, so you can book the venue as early as possible.

Every event planner will aim to schedule an event on a weekend. This guarantees higher turnouts on attendees compare to weekdays.

Here are some of the considerations when picking an event date:

  • What is the weather like?
  • Are there booking conflicts on your end?
  • How much is your budget?
  • When are the closest holidays/vacation times to your target date?
  • Does a competitor have an event on the same day?

You can choose three dates and then start narrowing down your options based on the questions above. The extra options will serve as a buffer in case unforeseen changes occur.

As you set your timeline, budget, and venue (discussed below), your exact event date will be much clearer. Overall, you should have a final date before you start selling tickets. 

3. Event timeline

Once you have the main event goals and details established, you can start creating a timeline. This should include specific schedules of tasks, such as booking rentals, hiring talents, and more.

With a defined timeline, you can keep all your event tasks organized. This prevents confusion and the risk of forgetting important details.

When you create an event timeline, make sure that you leave a few days as an allowance before the event date. This will give you enough time for changes instead of rushing last minute.

You can also create a visual graph to make it easier for you to map out the planning process. 

4. Event budget

One of the most crucial aspects of planning an event is drafting a budget. This is where the choice of vendors, venue, and other event aspects will depend on.

In this case, you have to calculate two budgets: estimate and actual. An estimated budget is based on your initial assessment of the event’s expenses. As you list down all the expenses, you can calculate the actual budget you need for the event.

Aside from that, you should have an emergency fund in case of last-minute changes that require additional funding. You should always have a financial safety net to ensure that your event will go on without a hitch. 

5. Sponsorships

If you’re a bit tight on budget, you can secure sponsorships for your event. This can either be in cash or kind, which will both help expand your resources.

You can partner with companies that will benefit from having a presence at your event. Make sure that the sponsors have the same goals as you do for the event.

However, it’s important to know that sponsorships come with trade-offs and conditions. The sponsor may request to sell their merchandise or conduct promotions during the event. You should discuss the extent of the promotion with the sponsor to ensure that it won’t compromise the event’s goal.

On the other hand, you can also look for marketing sponsors. While they won’t provide financial support, they can still spread the word about your event. 

6. Event venue

Once you have your funds settled, the next thing to secure is the event venue. You should dedicate a lot of time to checking several options before you book a place. This way, you’ll ensure that the price, capacity, and location match the objective of your event. Here are a few questions to ask when inquiring about an event venue:
  • What is the capacity of the venue?
  • Is there available parking space for attendees?
  • What are the vendor rules?
  • How much is the venue rental and does it fit your budget?
  • Do they have a Wi-Fi connection?
  • What audio and video hookups do they have?
  • What is the layout of the venue?
  • How many bathrooms are in the venue?
  • Do they provide security?
We recommend short-listing 3 to 5 venues after your initial inquiry. From there, you should compare the amenities and pricing. You should book the venue that suits your event goals and budget the most.

7. Ticket sales

Once you have the venue and date settled, you can start offering early-bird tickets. This will get people interested in your event. Make the early-bird ticket limited with exclusive perks, so your event will get more buzz. After a certain period, you can close the early-bird ticket sales. By this time, you can release standard ticket rates for the rest of the attendees. The good thing about this strategy is you’ll have an initial pulse over your target audience. For ticket sales, you can partner with a ticketing company or build your own website. Overall, the tickets must be easy to book to encourage more attendees. Overall, you have to consider the following details before releasing the tickets:
  • How much is the ticket price?
  • Do you offer complimentary snacks/experiences with your ticket?
  • What is the duration of the ticket sales?
  • Who will sell your tickets?
  • Are you going to set up a ticket booth?/li>
  • Are you opening walk-in admission?
In the end, the ticket sales must deliver profits to the event. This is why you have to calculate ticket prices based on the total expenses and target income.

8. Event talents

Event talents include keynote speakers, performers, and other individuals providing entertainment or value to the audience. As with sponsors, you must discuss the rates, logistics, accommodation, and other perks the talent may request. All of these must be embedded into your total event expenses. Here are a few considerations when hiring talents for your event:
  • What riders are included in the talent contract?
  • What should be included in the agreement?
  • Will the talent provide marketing opportunities for your brand?
  • What is the travel time/distance of the talent?

9. Vendors

Your choice of event vendors is a make-or-break part of the event. It’s important to compare quotes from various vendors to find one that gives the best value for your budget.

Also, you must ensure that the vendors won’t have scheduling conflicts or over-booking on the day of your event.

Here are the essential vendors to add to your event checklist:

  • Audiovisual services. A full-service AV company like Rent For Event will ensure that all your audio and visual needs are covered. All our equipment comes with a professional team of technicians and engineers.
  • Food and beverage. Ask about the per-head cost, so you can calculate based on the number of expected attendees. Consider ordering more as planned in case of walk-in attendees. However, don’t order too many extras that will compromise your budget.
  • Photography and videography. A complete media crew should work hand in hand with your AV team. Make sure that you conduct audio and visual tests with both vendors before the event.
  • Decoration. This includes florists, furniture providers, table arrangements, stage design, and more. Make sure that the vendor matches the scale of your event.
  • Security. This includes on-duty security to keep the crowd orderly. This is much-needed for large, ticketed events.

Overall, these vendors must have liability insurance to protect you and your guests. You should also check their licenses and permits to operate.

Above all, you must ask for quotations before booking. As with choosing a venue, you can short-list 2 to 3 vendors for each category. Compare their offers and book the one that suits your budget. 

10. Event collateral

Event collateral includes shirts, signage, brochures, and promotional items. These items can be given to the attendees for free or as part of the event staff’s identification.

Make sure that the event collateral is factored into your budget. It’s best to dedicate a budget for it right away, so you can order as early as possible.

Before you order these items in bulk, always ask for samples. You can compare samples from several providers to find the best quality. 

11. Media and press

You need to create a press kit for your event, which you will distribute to media channels. This way, word of your event will be on news outlets and media advisories.

You should include details of the resource speakers, featured talents, and other highlights of the event. Your press kit should promote your event and attract more attendees.

The following should be included in your media kit:

  • A short description of the event
  • Profile of the company/brand
  • Contact information (phone numbers, emails, etc.)
  • Booking information
  • Statistics to build up the event’s reputation
  • Testimonials
  • Team member details
  • Event registration steps
  • High-resolution photos relevant to the event

Aside from that, you can invite press teams to your event. This will give you media mileage, which is crucial for your future event. 

12. Follow-up everything

You should do a follow-up with all your vendors, venues, sponsors, and talents at least 2 to 4 weeks before the event. This will serve as a reminder to everyone that your event day is coming up.

Also, this is to guarantee that all your bookings are secured. Make sure that you pay reservation fees and down payments accordingly to avoid conflicts.

You should also ask sponsors and resource speakers to post about the event on their social media accounts. This is to keep the word going about your event.

Lastly, you should conduct another follow-up 48 hours before the event. By this time, the vendors should know their arrival schedule, their stations at the venue, and other details. 

13. Event evaluation

Your job doesn’t end after the event. It’s crucial to perform an event evaluation to assess how successful the execution was. The results of the evaluation will let help you make better events in the future.

Here are a few questions to ask your team:

  • What went well during the event?
  • What obstacles/problems did we encounter?
  • Did we achieve our goals and objectives?
  • Did we reach our target profits?
  • What can we do better for our next event?
  • Are the attendees satisfied?
  • How did people react online to our event?

Aside from that, you should also do one last follow-up with your vendors and attendees. You should send thank you notes/tokens to vendors and ask attendees to provide their feedback.

Overall, be honest and transparent with the evaluation. Some aspects may not go well, but it’s important to recognize such problems to avoid them in future events.

Lastly, the entire evaluation must be documented, together with the entire duration of the event. 

Start planning your next event!

Event planning and project management have their birthing pains. But with a comprehensive checklist, your event will run smoothly. Above all, your attendees will have a great experience since every aspect of the event is executed well.

With the points above in mind, you can start planning a more organized event. From conception to execution, this checklist will set you up for success.

Rent For Event is also here to make your event management process easier. Whether it’s a physical or online event, we will deliver full-service and all-inclusive audiovisual services. With our expertise, you can tick audiovisual vendors off your list. 

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