The Definitive Event Planning Checklist

event checklist

This event planning checklist serves as a great starting point for anyone that is in the beginning stages of organizing an event. At Ticketbud, we know that events come in all shapes and sizes so feel free to tweak this checklist to your specific needs. Look at this as an event planning template to help kickstart the process.

Before we dive into it, below are a few motivational thoughts to establish the right mindset for you to jump right into the planning process.

  • Ideas are worthless. Execution is everything. You might have the greatest idea for your event but it means nothing if you don’t take action. No one remembers the person that had 100 unique event ideas. Everyone remembers the organizer who took the risk and put together an amazing event.
  • Don’t let fear stop you from doing. Planning an event can be hard. Especially if it is your first time doing it. Don’t let those initial fears and hesitancies stop you from diving into the planning process. Be confident in your abilities to pull it off and lean on your team for support. Acknowledge your fears and keep executing. There’s nothing stopping you.
  • Stop consuming and start planning. You can only read so many guides and party planning checklists like this one. The experts in the event space provide some great tips but don’t spend the majority of the time reading what we have to say. Start planning now and revert back to consumption only when needed. You’ll do more awesome stuff because of it.

How to plan your event

4-12 Months Before Event Date

 Determine the identity of your event and what you want to achieve by organizing it.
 Select a date
 Choose a location/venue that is available on the date you’ve selected
 Determine expenses and projected revenue
 Create an event budget based on above projections
 Organize your team. Find the right people and assign roles and responsibilities.
  Establish a master agenda and timeline
 Create and launch marketing plan
 Contact and determine speakers/entertainment/vendors
 Research and contact sponsors/partners

3-4 Months Before Event Date

  Take care of your speakers/entertainment/vendors

 Sign contractual agreements
 Get bio information and professional photo (for speakers/entertainment)
 Arrange for travel/lodging
 Gameplan presentation topics and/or performances (introduce speakers if part of group discussion)

Venue/Location Logistics

 Meet with venue management to review permits, licenses, security, limitations etc.
 Gameplan on-site registration setup, parking, equipment, layout etc.

 Determine your registration pricing and setup online event registration
 Determine sponsor tiers and create collateral to send to prospective sponsors/partners
 Create Your Marketing Plan

 Determine channels to allocate your marketing budget towards
 Create content to supplement your marketing channels (blog posts, ad copy, design assistance, radio/tv commercials,PR copy)
 Create invitations, programs, posters etc.
 Curate media list to reach out to and prepare media kit materials
 Setup social media accounts for event promotion
 Gather speaker/sponsor image assets to add to your website
 Integrate event registration into your website
 Push event to event listing websites
 Supplement marketing efforts through promotional discounts

1-2 Months Before Event Date

 Send invitations to contact list
 Finalize sponsorship and partners
 Verify status for all speakers and entertainment
 Confirm participation from all vendors
 Circulate press releases to all media list and affiliates
 Continue marketing cycle and make any adjustments when needed

1 Week Before Event Date

 Conduct final site-walkthrough with venue and team
 Review master agenda and finalize back-up plan
 Brief team members/volunteers/contractors on responsiblities and timelines
 Provide registration numbers to vendors/sponsors/partners
 Make copies/data backups of all presentations, videos, materials etc.

Day before Event

 Confirm venue setup is complete
 Confirm registration tables are prepared and stocked
 Confirm all signage is setup properly

Day of Event

 Check in with team members to ensure that everyone is on the same page
 Check registration area and make sure those involved understand the check-in process
 Keep tabs on master agenda and make sure your attendees are having a great time

Post Event

 Break down venue and clean up
 Review budget with updated revenue and expense #’s after collecting all financial data
 Send acknowledgements to all of those who helped make your event a success

 Include post-event data to ensure their participation for next time

 Reflect with team on your event’s successes and how you can make the planning process smoother

 Leverage attendees by conducting post-event surveys and reaching out to see what you can improve on

 Set initial date to kick off planning for your next event