Planning an event, be it social or work-related, can be a massive source of stress, depending on the event’s success. Many things go into planning an event, and to cover all bases, you’ll need a guide to take you through each thing that goes into planning an event.
Irrespective of the type of event, there are a few basic ground rules you should keep in mind and follow for the best results. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of things you should keep in mind as you plan an event!
What is an Event Planning Template?
An event planning template, a critical path, or a work back schedule is a work breakdown schedule used to record all the activities and people involved in a project. The event planning template helps to show how a project will be completed in the end and is typically created by the project manager before the project even begins.
Event planning templates are usually arranged in chronological order outlining the party responsible for each activity, the dates and times, and how long each activity is expected to take. An event planning checklist is one of the critical tools for any event planner or consultant as it helps ensure that every aspect of the event is planned and duly fulfilled.
How Event Planning Templates can be Helpful?
Prior planning is the key to any successful event. Event planning templates are an essential tool in event planning as they help you know what you need to do and when it needs to be done to avoid unwanted surprises.
Here are other key benefits of using an event planning template:
Clear your mind
Events can sometimes be stressful, mainly if you have never been tasked with planning one. An event planning template can help you focus on the essential things and organize your thoughts so that you have a clear idea of what, when, and how things need to be done. With a clear understanding of all the event’s activities, the chances of forgetting about essential details are drastically reduced. Preparing for any event will also help clear your mind and ensure the smooth running of all the activities guaranteed to make the event a success.
Allow you to organize your contacts
Event planning usually involves interacting with several people during different stages of planning. Having an event planning template will allow you to track all the people you need to contact and when you need to contact them so it can be as easy as possible for them to answer your questions and contribute their ideas to making the event a success. Having this comprehensive list of contacts also means that you will be able to keep in touch with everyone involved and send them all relevant information and material so that they can prepare adequately for the event.
Help you keep track of finances
One of the most crucial aspects of planning any event is budgeting. It would be best to have a clear idea of what the event will cost and how you will be able to achieve this without losing the client’s trust. A detailed plan in the event planning template of where and why your money will help you stay on track and avoid future financial mishaps.
With a proper plan of how much the event will cost, you can devise a base budget on which you can work. In addition, having a detailed list of all the expenses necessary for the event will mean that you and the client will be better prepared for how much it will cost to put on the event. This way, you can come up with realistic figures for costs and see if the client can achieve their goals within this budget.
Allow you to enjoy the event
One of the most important benefits of using an event planning template is that you can enjoy the event with a clear mind when properly used. Properly documenting all the necessary information and having it laid out in a plan will help you not feel pressured or rushed into making any commitments on the day.
Furthermore, having everything planned before the event will allow you to fully concentrate on enjoying yourself at the venue without worrying or forgetting necessary details or essential information. Besides, when you have everything planned out in advance, it will also allow you to reduce the stress of not being able to get things done and deliver what you promised, as you can go through the template to be fully prepared and make sure that nothing was forgotten.
Allow extra time
Having a list of activities ensures that you leave room for unforeseen circumstances during the event. In addition, leaving yourself extra time will allow you to review your event planning template and ensure that everything is prepared accordingly before the event. This extra time will also allow you to review your previous plans, compare them with changes you made, and develop a new schedule for the additional time needed.
For instance, you may send invitations to several people 2 weeks before your event. This means that their response time to your invitation will take about a week, and the extra time for other expected problems like alterations after you have sent out the invitation or if someone cannot make it on the day will be enough time to reschedule their place with someone else so that no significant details are left out.
Steps of Planning an Event
Following is a sequential guide on planning an event successfully:
Determine the goals and objectives
First, ask yourself that question and decide on what the purpose and objective of the event is. Everything you add to it, such as the people you invite or the activities you plan, should all be geared towards achieving your objective. This way, every part of the event can be adequately managed and channeled towards obtaining success!
Gather a functional team to execute
No event can be successfully planned without having a number of the hands-on-deck – You’ll need a team that can cater to each area of a successful event. Typically, this includes destination organizers, speakers, celebrities or a chairperson, entertainment, if applicable, sponsors, and a manager for the workforce. This way, each member can be assigned a particular task, so subordination and coordination become much more accessible!
Plan your finances and budget
A budget is significant for a successful event. It allows you to plan and execute accordingly while also removing many risks that come with event planning, such as unexpected costs or last-minute expenses that can’t be afforded. Once you’ve determined your needs, you should research and determine how much you should allocate towards each particular item.
For example, event planning typically requires a location – do some research and call spaces in your location to get an approximate idea of the cost before settling on the most reasonable option that fits your budget.
Finalize your location and date
Before you start organizing the rest of your event, settling on a location, date, and time is paramount. Why? Well, it’s simple – This works as the foundation for your event, and any planning you do will depend on these three factors. For example, you can’t get catering without knowing when and where you’re going to need it, so we recommend sorting out the venue, date, and timing first.
A few things to consider are fit, i.e., how the venue suits your particular event, its objectives, facilities, and staff availability (which can remove the need for your team!), among others!
If your event isn’t limited to invitees only, you’ll want to ensure that a wide range of people hears about it. When doing so, branding is essential. You’ll want your campaign to reflect on why your target audience should attend, what sets it apart from others, and provide all the relevant information in an easy-to-access manner. Additionally, you’ll want to build a certain degree of consistency, aesthetically speaking.
This is because it can create an illusion in the consumer’s mind, to the point where anything resembling your event will subconsciously tell them what it is, who’s organizing it, and do wonders for your brand.
For example, the following plan can help develop a consistent thematic meaning for your event:
- Develop a poster, and pay close attention to the aesthetic details, such as color scheme, fonts, pictures used, logos, icons, etc.
- Use this poster and keep the same colors, fonts, logos, icons, and pictures in any future material you develop.
- Use these details as inspiration, and create similar content that can be shared digitally.
- Create similar posts to aid in Social Media Marketing – Carousels for Instagram, Pictures for Twitter and Facebook, and short 30-second clips for YouTube.
- As you get closer to the event, create more content, but make sure to never stray from your original aesthetic. This is the identity of your event, which is why developing an appropriate aesthetic is extremely important!
Plan the event’s agenda
A well-planned event should move from one attraction to another at a steady pace and never stagnate, leading to disengagement amongst your attendees. This also relates quite strongly to the goals and objectives of the event itself – Consider the event’s purpose, the type of people you want to attract, and the event’s general theme.
Then, organize things accordingly. For example, if you plan on inviting and attracting a ton of academicians, a good idea is to organize multiple speakers. A DJ might be a good idea if it’s more in line with college students and a younger crowd. Think on your feet and decide what you’d like to add to your event, as it’ll help sell it to more people.
Next, you’ll want word of your event to spread amongst your targeted audience and their respective social circles. This may also present you with opportunities for involving your community with your event, such as an open-mic section to your event or assigning a speaker from the said community!
Finally, finding locally-relevant sponsors can also be an excellent idea. For example, sponsors with the same target audience as you will likely want to advertise and market to that audience, which gives you leverage in negotiating with them. Try to do your research, see what local companies have built a presence in that area, and try to incorporate them to impact the community!
Consider the technology on hand
Organizing an event can be tricky – you must manage several different things. If that’s the case, we highly recommend taking advantage of the technology. For example, simple things like Google sheets and sign-up apps can help make managing your team and overseeing attendees very simple.
Moreover, information collection will be made more straightforward, as you’ll be able to manage everything from the palm of your hand! Also, use emails and texts to keep invitees/attendees in the loop, confirm attendance, send reminders, and promote your event across different platforms! Furthermore, your event can also be streamed online to help reach people who couldn’t make it, so consider that to help broaden reach and awareness!
Now you have everything prepped and ready to go, except you need to increase the number of attendees. To do this, you’ll need to market your event – This serves various purposes. First, it’ll directly increase the number of people who attend, hear about, and see your event. If that aligns with the event’s objective, you should invest more time and resources into marketing your event. For example, if the event’s goal is to drive awareness or increase advertising, marketing is a prominent yet integral aspect that determines the success of your event.
Typically, event marketing plans involve two phases – planning or timeframe and direct marketing. When planning an event, you should develop a clear timeline within which the event is to take place and let all the people you advertise know of it. Typically, events have last dates for registration, which is when campaigns and advertising go into full swing, which is where the second phase comes in – direct marketing.
You’ll want to take advantage of the plethora of platforms available to market to your target audience directly. Social media, video marketing, digital advertisements, and direct marketing are all great methods to do so!
Once you’ve set your marketing plan in motion, you should have a better idea of how the event will go! Barring any last-minute changes, everything should be planned out by this point. The only thing left is to ensure success – to do so, we highly recommend double-checking everything. For example, if you’ve enlisted a caterer or some technicians to help set up, call and double-check that they’ll be there at the specified time.
Confirming with attendees is also an option, mainly if your event is open to the public. Additional recommendations include selling “early bird” tickets and discounted rates to boost your initial wave of attendees. Once everything is sorted out, make sure to check with all the involved parties again on the day of the event
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you become an event planner?
Planning events isn’t something you can learn in a classroom; instead, it deals with the ground realities of different industries, sectors, and workplaces. As a result, you’ll need to gain experience by doing and observing rather than by reading or writing. To get started, we recommend hosting small-scale events so you come to terms with the intricacies of the process and understand all the various things that go into planning an event.
What is meant by event planning?
Event planning involves organizing an event with a clear goal or objective. The real difficulty and skill in this endeavor are making sure all the different aspects of the event work in tandem with one another, avoiding hiccups, dealing with a variety of service providers and third-party vendors, and finally, making sure everything aligns towards the ultimate goal of the event.
What skills do you need to be an event planner?
The essential skills you need to be an event planner include organization, communication, efficiency, a hands-on attitude, and the ability to deal with people from different walks of life. This will allow you to tie in the various aspects of event planning and work towards one common goal!