Overwhelmed by your upcoming corporate party? Use our complete event planning checklist.
Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Organising an event seems like an easy task, what can be so difficult about it? However, as experience shows it can become very overwhelming and stressful in practice. We always recommend to hire an event planning agency to ensure the best result. This won’t cost you much, but can help to avoid pitfalls and leave you free to enjoy yourself. Nevertheless, if you decide to face the monster on your own, take a look at this checklist developed by the Event Barcelona experts, who have been in the business of successful event planning for several years.
How to organise your event from scratch
Organising an event requires a lot of planning and forward thinking. Even though each event will have a slightly different individual timeline, all of them involve plenty of preparation. On average, you will need at least 1 month to prepare everything. In order to simplify the process, we have developed a 4 step checklist, completion of which should ensure you have a smoothly run event.
Step 1: Plan
1-6 months in advance
✓ Write down the purpose of your event.
It is important to have one main goal in mind. It will help you take the right decisions when several opportunities will arise. Consider it as your mission statement. When you know what you want to do, it is way easier to do it.
✓ Decide on your Key Performance Indicators, what would you like to accomplish by organising this event
o e.g. have at least 200 attendees, raise 25 000 pounds, collect 25 useful contacts...
✓ Gather your team of helpers
o Tip: choose people with varied skillsets, e.g. a designer can create your posters, a financial analyst can help control your budget, a good negotiator will ensure you get the best price etc..
✓ Think of your budget, prepare a list of all possible incomes and expenses
✓ Decide on the date
o Tip: midweek venue rental is usually cheaper than weekends; but make sure your main guests can attend on a weekday
✓ Choose the venue
✓ Think of your marketing, online and offline
o Tip: always have your KPIs in mind when deciding on type of advertising. For some groups of people a poster in a hallway is enough, others are more difficult to reach and might need targeted social media campaigns in order to sparkle their interest.
✓ Think through all the little details. Consider logistics like technical equipment, parking, badges, brochures, takeaways…
o Tip: Consider hiring a professional photographer or filmmaker. Good quality photos could be used for post event PR, social media posts as well as advertising for your next event.
✓ Prepare an excel with a timeline for each activity that needs to happen during the organisation, to make sure you keep your event on track
Step 2: Organise
2 weeks in advance
✓ Confirm event name, tagline and agenda
✓ Fix the date and venue
✓ Get your team up to speed
o Tip: delegate as much as you can to experienced team members or staff
✓ Update your marketing with the latest information in regards to the event: social media, website, blog…
✓ Check on your finances. At this point you might have a clear surplus or shortage. Make sure to find the source in order to cover the shortage and decide if there is something more you can do with your surplus in order to use your budget efficiently.
✓ Finalise any printed marketing materials: posters, brochures, flyers, signs, photocall backdrops etc.
✓ Collect all the items needed for the event
o e.g. photo call, banners, cake, projector clicker etc...
✓ Update your contractors with required arrival time and venue address. Make arrangements for food, chairs, speakers…
o Tip: write a contact list, so anyone in your team can contact contractors at any point and vice versa
✓ Go to the site of the event with your team and walk through the event running order with them
Step 3: Check
1 day in advance
✓ Meet with your team and hold a final briefing
✓ If your event is invite only - print off the guest list and send a reminder to the most important guests
✓ Visit the venue and check if everything is ready
✓ If you’re giving your guests gifts, welcome packs or takeaways, make sure these are all packed up and ready
✓ Revisit your agenda and try to commit it to memory
✓ Write down all the things that should be taken to the venue on the day
Step 4: Execute
Day of the event
✓ Come early to the venue with your team
✓ Prepare the inside and outside areas e.g. photo call, guest registration counter, music…
✓ Make sure everyone relevant is aware of what is happening
✓ Do not forget to take photos!
Step 5: Finalise
After the event
✓ Check if anything valuable has been left behind
✓ Make sure your trash is taken care of, inform the venue if something was damaged
✓ Settle the accounts and thank everyone who made it possible
✓ Post the photos from your event on your website and/or social media
✓ Post-mortem: review the performance and think how you can improve next time. Asking your guests for feedback can be extremely valuable
o Tip: do not forget to celebrate the success with your team