By Sangeetha Shreekar

Be it a small event or a large gathering, event planning consists of layers of details which can be overwhelming. Should you begin with the mood board, or a detailed list of every element needed to pull off that perfect event? Let’s simplify it for you in 10 steps:

1. Set the goals/objective: 

It’s critical to pre-define of what you need to achieve from the event. For example: The goals could be defined as ‘To increase the brand awareness’, ‘To sell tickets’ or ‘Increase registration/participation’. It is an added advantage if you could quantify the goals to measure the success post event.

2. Define the ‘W’s:

a. What: Driven by your goal, this would define the agenda of the event.

b. When: Set dates that would provide the framework to enable your checklist to be fool proof. Always have 2-3 options on dates to begin with, to accommodate the unforeseen circumstances.

c. Where: Location is critical and co-exist with your ‘When’ planning.


3. Budget:

The most daunting task of the event planning is budgeting. However, an estimate at the beginning will help you to work the finer details of the event more easily, narrowing down your options. Do not forget to include the 10% contingency budget to give you enough room for the last-minute expenses.

4. People:

The crux of any event would be the people. It includes the speakers, presenters, sponsors and participants. Profiling each group will help you to reach out to them in a cost-effective manner.

5. Event design:

The actual program/agenda, décor, theme and layout. This gives the body of the event. This would also include all the licenses and permissions you need to acquire for your event which needs to budget at this stage.

6. Refreshments:

It is important you keep your attendees fuelled. Based on the time and duration of the event, you need to ensure your audience’s energy is kept up till the end. Always ensure your food matches the event program. You definitely cannot have hot food for a short event that requires attendee’s participation as it would drive away the focus from the event. Keep it light and easy.

7. Roadmap the event experience:

Ensure you have the flow of the event from the entrance of the audience to the exit. Each touchpoint including the signs contributes to the feedback of the event from the participants.

8. Marketing:

Event marketing creates buzz, builds anticipation, and guarantees a good turnout. Based on your audience profiling from step 4, list the channels of reaching out to the people, online and offline. Not every channel needs huge budget, a well written event objective and audience profile will narrow down the channels needed to market your event.

9. Event day logistics:

A minute-by-minute schedule of everything from vendor arrival and set-up to run-through and post-event breakdown will give you more control on the event.

10. Time to debrief and post analysis of the event:

The moment of truth of how detailed and successful your event has been so far. The quantified goals and the take-aways from the road map defines that you nailed the event.

The simplicity of the above checklist will guarantee that you own your event in every aspect and make it a successful one. Apart from this you could always use online event project management tools to make it easier.

At PLANIT, we have been doing this for more than 25 years. Our experience and expertise definitely will take away the hassle of your event planning. Drop us a line at info@planit.ie, no matter how small or big your event is, we will have you covered.