Learn how to create an event planning checklist

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Posted on 01/17/2023

Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Customized Event Planning Checklist

Organizing an event requires attention to many intricate details, from pre-planning to overseeing logistics management on the event day. Without a system to keep track of these details, your experience on the event day becomes nerve-wracking. We don’t want you to end up in a  tight fix. To lighten the weight, you need to prioritize your event planning checklist. 

A tailored event checklist will keep you on track and provide your event team with a template containing all the necessary information needed to execute a smooth and successful event. Because every event has a unique format, you need to create a personalized checklist for every event to ensure that operations run seamlessly. The event industry is lucrative but highly competitive. Therefore, you need to stand out amid competition through effective planning. To this effect, we have compiled a list of necessary elements and steps that should feature in your customized event planning checklist template. Ensure you follow them to establish order and smooth operations.

1. Creating an event planning checklist

How to create an event planning checklist template

As hinted in the introduction of this post, you need to efficiently organize the items on your event checklist by creating a template. Creating a template isn’t a complicated task. With the right tools, you can build a template in no time! Consider using Excel sheet or Google doc to develop your template, or you can try out project management apps like Trello to keep your team up to speed with the event planning process. Ensure you outline every activity’s tasks, timelines, and deadlines to ensure no detail is left out. 

2. Establish event essentials

Establish your event essentials in your event checklist

The next step is to identify the crucial elements of your event.  The first is the event date and time, as it’s one of the most critical pieces of information that attendees want to know. You should ensure that the event date and time are convenient for your attendees.

What are the reason(s) for the event? Knowing the type of event you’re hosting is mandatory. You don’t want to decorate a conference hall like a Halloween party. You need to determine if it’s a formal or informal event and the people likely to attend it. These details will influence your choice of venue and other supplementary resources. If you’re hosting an event to launch a product, all the communication material and decoration themes should match that purpose.

Another essential element is Location: you need to consider the event venue because it is as important as the event itself. Think of how comfortable and secure attendees would be in the chosen venue. If attendees have a great experience in the event venue, they are more likely to attend subsequent events and recommend them to colleagues and friends. Lastly, you should research the venue to know the equipment you’ll need to rent, hire staff, and sign the venue rental agreement.

It is also important to define the parameters you would use to measure the event’s success. If your objective is to expand your business to more regions, would you define success as securing partnership deals and gaining sponsorships?  

The most important group of people you should prioritize are your attendees. If they don’t understand your event’s value, why should they not concentrate on other vital tasks on their schedule? Time is currency; you need to make attendees believe that your event’s value can’t be gotten elsewhere. 

The subsequent stages would be easy for you to perform if you’ve addressed the above essential elements. Create a to-do list to ensure you don’t exempt any important details from the checklist.

3. Personalize your event budget

Create room for budget in your event planning template

There are so many expenses to factor into planning events —even thinking about it alone can wear you out. InEvent offers solutions to plan your budget effectively; consider it your assistant auditor.  All you have to do is key in catering, decorations, and rentals. Then, streamline all the expenses for each category and allow InEvent to do the maths for you!

In your event budget list, you can breakdown categories into sub-categories like:

  • Inputting rental costs
  • Paying deposits
  • Collating quotations from vendors
  • Identifying all the personnel for the event, especially if it’s in-person

Never think that the budget is only used for the pre-event stage. You must keep consulting it throughout the process to ensure that your activities align with the plan.

4. Develop your event design

Your event design will show the depth of your efforts to offer your attendees value. You should map out a compelling program agenda and timeline to capture the event’s goals and objectives. Hiring entertainers to lighten up your event’s mood is also a good idea. You shouldn’t miss out on any detail; carefully design the seating arrangements and decoration themes. Give attendees a great story to talk about. Whenever they engage in fun activities after the event, let them remember your brand and the fun experience it offers them.

5. Plan out the décor

You need to define your event scenery; you can set the scene through your Décor. It includes your choice of rentals, tablecloths, and the placement of decorative objects.

You want your event décor to appeal to your guests’ five senses for a richer event experience. Ask yourself what attendees will:

  • See: What visual elements would elevate their event experience? How can you position these visual elements appealingly?
  • Hear: What sounds will be incorporated into your event? Are presenters or speakers? What kinds of music will they hear? (feedback loop from speakers and microphones).
  • Smell: Should guests smell scented candles, flowers, food, or something else?
  • Touch: What are the interactive elements in your event? This includes other guests, silverware, and condiments. 
  • Taste: Ever heard the saying, ‘Good food is good mood?’ This applies to your event. You want to consider your guests’ preferences and dietary restrictions. This is an essential activity that should be within your budget. 

6. Present food and drinks creatively

Add food and drinks to your event planning checklist

Food & beverage are significant components of an event because sharing a meal is an actual community experience. Food is associated with nurturing, so this is an opportunity for the host to illustrate thoughtful hospitality.

The checklist for planning the food served at your event requires attention to detail. Here’s just a sample:

  • Researching and interviewing vendors.
  • Determine the service type (seated dinner, food stations, passed appetizers).
  • Planning a menu around dietary restrictions.

Be careful to uphold the value of food and drinks to your event and overall corporate identity.  Attendees can quickly form perceptions about your company with the kind of meals you offer them.  It is an excellent way to show hospitality and portray your company as professional and inclusive, taking into consideration dietary preferences. The more creative you are with food and drinks, your guests will be pleased with your efforts. 

Some things to include in your food and drinks event checklist:

  • Hiring vendors
  • Deciding the nature of meals ( finger foods, cocktails, 3-course meals
  • Determining how meals would be served (trolley service, buffet, food stations, fine dining, tray passing hors d’oeuvre).

8. Construct a marketing plan

You need to strategize your event promotion activities. Build a community for the event, inject enthusiasm to build anticipation, and guarantee excellent outcomes.

Ensure you pay attention to details like:

  • Marketing budget
  • Design- Custom logos and branding, landing pages, and paid advertisements
  • Customized event emails
  • Social media marketing

Your event marketing efforts continue after the event; it continues even after the event. Remember, one key benefit of hosting events is relationship building. You can engage with your attendees after the event because you want them to attend subsequent events to patronize your company. 

9. Plan every detail- Including the unpredicted

Little things matter significantly, so pay attention to the little details.  Also, you need to keep referring back to your checklist to ensure you aren’t missing any minute aspect of your event. 

You need to consider how attendees access information on your event. If you’re using social media posts to promote the event, where do they direct the attendees too? Is the event only for a day or multiple days? Would attendees need to take flights and lodge in a hotel? If yes, you need a platform that offers housing management, flight and shuttle service solutions.

You need to think about event registration. Would attendees stand in long lines to register for events? Or will you opt for touchless registrations?

Other things to consider:

  • Wi-Fi access and charging ports for mobile devices. 
  • Medical emergencies
  • Signage
  • Security

11. Plan to follow up after the event.

Reaching out to your guests after the event is the right time to connect with them because, at that time, your event activities are still fresh in their minds., You can emphasize the event message, solicit their feedback, and prompt them to act in line with your business objectives.

There needs to be more than sending them photos from the event, thank you notes, and social media posts. You need to keep the value train going. Continue to offer them services and content that address their needs because it increases your brand equity. 

12. Carry out post-event analysis.

You need to review the outcomes of the event with your team to determine areas for improvement. 

The checklist you used for the event should be kept for subsequent events; ensure you document the things that went right with the event and the solutions that emerged from the challenges.

This data you log into your checklist will help evaluate your abilities as an event organizer, communicating the outcome of goals and objectives to your employer or stakeholders and continually improving future events based on past successes.

Try these recommendations for your next in-person event checklist

Treat your event planning checklist like a sacred document to reiterate the essentials. It will be easier to host successful events with a guide. The checklist covers all aspects of your event, from budgeting to post-event communication, as well as noting the expectations of the client, event team, vendors, and, most importantly, the guest.

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