Is there a checklist for planning an event?

For every event with more than 10 guests, you usually need a checklist. If not, there’s a chance that you’ll lose sight of things and forget details. Depending on the type and size of event, you’ll be able to determine what you should have on your checklist. In this article, we’re assuming a big programme with many visitors, speakers and/or artists and the press. Here’s what you should think about. For your event, use what is relevant:

Who, why, where and when?

Ideally, start to plan six to eight months in advance with the essential questions:

The budget is inseparably linked to the event:

  • How much should we spend on the speakers and/or artists?
  • How much should we spend on the caterer?
  • How much should we spend on the location?
  • How much should we spend on the equipment?
  • How much should we spend on an event planner and/or support ?
  • Etc.

When it’s time to kick it off:

  • Who is in charge?
  • Who is in charge for what part?

Then, you need to take care of the following:

  • Invite the first speakers and/or artists and confirm them.
  • Find the first sponsors and confirm them.
  • Make an advertising plan.
  • Make a master plan (using this checklist).
  • Make a draft action plan for the day itself.

Be sure to book a location!
Without a good location, you cannot organise your event. Make sure to have seen all the options well in advance, such as conference venues in London or party venues in north London.

Advertising plan and location plan

You now know when, where and with whom the programme will take place. It’s three to four months in advance, but there’s still a lot to take care of:

  • Open online registration using a website.
  • Check whether you are still within budget, if not, make adjustments.

At the location itself:

  • Check whether the insurance and permits have been taken care of.
  • Check with the location manager if there is a security plan.
  • Book the caterer and establish the actual menu.
  • Determine where the visitors must register.
  • Check whether all audiovisual equipment is there.
  • Make a plan for the event signage.
  • Make a plan for the parking.

On the programme:

  • Make a biography of all the artists and/or speakers.
  • Sign the contracts if needed.
  • Determine what the artists and/or speakers will do exactly.
  • Make a draft programme.

As for advertising:

  • Determine your own online strategy.
  • Create an event on Facebook.
  • Make a content calendar, when you will publish what.
  • Make posters, invitations, tickets.
  • Draw up a list of interesting media.
  • Sign up with event calendars.

Determine the last details

A months or two in advance, make sure everything has been taken care of as much as possible:

  • Finalise the travel and stay of the speakers/artists.
  • Ask for a copy of the speeches and presentations.
  • You have identified all the VIP such as sponsors for your event.

Of course, advertising must continue:

  • Hold a press conference about your event.
  • Send press releases about your main speakers or artists.

Readying action plan and documents

With one week to go, the tension starts to rise.

It’s time to check everything one more time:

  • Make the last version of the action plan.
  • Make a copy of all the important documents.
  • Check the guest list and name tags.
  • Hold a general rehearsal repetition with a briefing at the location itself! (for example, event venues in London)

One day before, make a last check:

  • Is all the logistics equipment available?
  • Is all the promotional material available?
  • Is all the signage available?

The day after is the day of the event, for which you have an action plan.

Communication after the event

This is too often ignored, as your event is not over the day after. After, make sure that you:

  • Send a thank you to volunteers, speakers, media, sponsors and also to participants.
  • Place articles in your content calendar.
  • Send a simple survey to participants.
  • Hold a comprehensive internal evaluation.
  • If needed, hold an external evaluation (for example, with the most important suppliers and the location manager).

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