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Tips on creating an event planning checklist that leads execution

September 7, 2018

Event planning – two words that encompass an ocean of things to take care of right from the pre-planning stage six months prior to the event until the event day, when unexpected last-minute changes are quite the expected factor. There is so much to keep track of and so much to just forget and let go that could result in mental chaos and, several times, unnerving stress.

One thing that can surely help keep most stress and anxiety of planning an event at bay is to create an event planning checklist. It will keep the entire event team’s focus clear, helping them work in sync and steering clear of confusion. After all, executing an amazing event is the ultimate motto, isn’t it?
Here are a few tips to create an efficient event checklist:

1. Begin with the right template

Set a work template in place before you actually start working on the project. This way you can make sure even the most miniscule details are covered, and co-ordinating with the event staff is smooth and seamless. There are several free apps to choose from to put a work process in place; plan well before heading into execution.

2. Be clear about the event specifics

Specifics such as date, time, location, among others, will be some of the few things you will know right at the start. But to ensure you deliver an amazing event experience, be well-informed about the goal, the objectives and the audience. What is the primary reason that the organisers are holding this event in the first place? Related to the main goal what are the peripheral (but equally crucial) objectives? And, last but clearly not the least, what is the kind of audience that is expected to turn up at your event? Make sure you have asked yourselves these questions, answered them in detail and consequently taken care of all the requisite elements.

3. B for Budget; don’t forget!

Money makes the world go round, and this holds true for events too. So make sure you record each and every expense category-wise, starting with the bigger verticals such as F&B, décor and miscellaneous rentals. From then on, work top to bottom to smaller expenses; maintain detailed Excel sheets for the same and most importantly stick to the set budgets.

4. Create the event design

This is the heart and soul of the pre-planning stage and covers elements that will have an impact on your guests. To begin with, the program is the storytelling format of your event which will connect one element to another and build curiosity as each component gets revealed. The second factor to consider is the layout – be it placing the electrical cords properly to get the seating arrangements to the tee. The way you use the space can make or break your event. And, the last factor is the theme. Choosing an event theme is quite pivotal because everything revolves around this factor – individual components such as entertainment and décor which makes way for a cohesive event experience.

5. Get creative with décor and F&B

Keep the event details aside for a while and concentrate only on the décor, because that in itself is an experience. Your guests experience the event through their five senses, so make sure that what they see, smell, hear and touch is pleasant; map out your décor well. Food is the way to a man’s heart and a woman’s too. Food is associated with nurturing and getting creative with it help you illustrate thoughtful hospitality. Pick a good caterer, have a trendy menu and treat and nourish your guests’ palates.

6. Be ready to speak with and manage the artist clan

Keep some space on your checklist to co-ordinate with the entertainers and speakers. There are several smaller things to keep track of: labour unions, hotel blocks, and green rooms with VIP requests.

7. Chalk out a marketing plan

There is no need to emphasise on the importance of marketing, which is basically creating visibility for your event. It generates buzz and builds curiosity and guarantees a good turnout. Make sure you have covered all channels to reach the public, be it printed flyers, mass or customised emails and mailers as well as a robust digital marketing campaign.

8. Plan for the details and be prepared for the unexpected

God lies in the details. Keep track of even the smallest things that will affect the guest experience. Be it registrations, Wi-Fi or medical emergencies; these are small yet pivotal things to consider.

9. Do an event follow-up and write a post-event analysis

Make sure you connect with your attendees post the event. This will help you reinforce the event message as well as get feedback on how you did as the host. Follow-up will also help you share photos, relevant links as well as other event material with your audience. Most importantly, sit down with your own team and discuss what went great, what can be improved and what can be completely kept out for the next event. This will help you build upon the ups and downs of your current event and make the next one bigger and better.

So, that’s the checklist we offer so that yours is a full-fledged one. Make one for your next event, make sure you tick off every bullet and let the results do the talking.