Event Planning Templates (How to Plan an Event)

Planning an event, be it social or work-related, can be a huge source of stress, particularly if a lot depends on the success of the event itself. There are a ton of things that go into planning an event, and to cover all bases, you’ll need a guide to take you through each individual 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!

Determining the Goals and Objectives of the Event

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 managed properly and channeled towards obtaining success!

Gathering 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, and so, subordination, as well as coordination, becomes much easier!

Planning your Finances and Coming up with a Budget

A budget is very important for a successful event – It allows you to plan and execute accordingly, while also removing a ton of 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 do some 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 within your budget.

Finalize your Location and Date

Before you get started with organizing the rest of your event, settling on a location, as well as the date and time, is paramount. Why? Well, it’s simple – This works as the foundation for your event, and any of the planning you do will depend on these three factors. For example, you can’t get catering without knowing when and where you’re gonna need it, which is why we recommend sorting out the venue, the date, and the timing first. A few things to consider are fit, i.e., how the venue suits your particular event, as well as its objectives, facilities, availability of staff (which can remove the need for your own team!), among others!

Consistency in Selling your Event

If your event isn’t limited to invitees only, you’ll want to make sure a wide range of people hears about it. When doing so, branding is particularly important. 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 to 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 well.
  • 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, which usually leads to disengagement amongst your attendees. This also relates quite strongly to the goals and objectives of the event itself – Consider the purpose of the event, the type of people you want to attract, and the general theme of the even. Then, organize things accordingly. For example, if you plan on inviting and attracting a ton of academicians, the good idea is to organize multiple speakers. If it’s more in line with college students and a younger crowd, a DJ might be a good idea. Think on your feet and decide what you’d like to add to your event, as it’ll help sell it to more people.

Community Outreach

Next, you’ll want word of your event to spread amongst your targeted audience, as well as through their respective social circles. Additionally, this may also present you with opportunities for involving your community with your event, such as an open-mic section to your event, or by assigning a speaker from the said community! Finally, finding locally-relevant sponsors can also be an excellent idea. For example, sponsors that have the same target audience as you are very likely to want to advertise and market to that audience, which gives you leverage in negotiating with them. Try to do your research and see what local companies have built a presence in that area, and try to incorporate them to have an impact on the community!

Consider the Technology on Hand

Organizing an event can be difficult – you have to manage a number of different things. If that’s the case, we highly recommend taking advantage of the technology on hand – For example, simple things like Google sheets and sign-up apps can help make managing your team, as well as overseeing attendees very simple! Moreover, information collection will be made all the easier, 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, and sending reminders, as well as to promote your event across a number of 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!

Marketing, Marketing, and more Marketing!

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 a variety of purposes. First, it’ll directly increase the number of people who attend, hear about, and/or see your event. If that aligns with the objective of the event, you should invest even more time and resources into marketing your event. For example, if the goal of the event is to drive awareness or increase advertising, marketing is an obvious yet integral aspect that determines the success of your event. Typically, marketing plans for events 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 to know of it. Typically, events have last-dates for registration, which is when campaigns and advertising really 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!

Ensuring Success

Once you’ve set your marketing plan in motion, you should have a much better idea of how the event is going to 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 with setting up, make sure to call and double-check that they’ll be there at the specified time. Confirming with attendees is also an option, particularly 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

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you become an event planner?

    Planning events isn’t something you can learn in a classroom, and instead, is something that 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 intricacies of the process, and understand all the various things that go into planning an event.

    What is meant by event planning?

    Event planning is the process of organizing an event with a clear goal or objective in mind. 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 most important 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!

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