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How to Plan a Successful Event

This is a guide providing any event planner with everything one needs to plan a successful event. Whether you are planning an event for yourself or someone else, the best way to stay organized is to start with a questionnaire and/or checklist. This will lay out all of the details and demands necessary to plan the event. It will guide you through the process and will guarantee nothing will be forgotten or left out. If you are planning for someone else, a questionnaire and/or check list will also rule out if you are capable of meeting all of the expectations of the client before wasting anyone’s time or money.
Plan a Successful Event


Event Planning Checklist

  • Define the type of event, i.e., conference, meeting, wedding, party, club night, press release, gala, charity event, fashion show, etc.: __________________________________________________________


  • Date the event will occur and date you need to have all of the planning finished: ___________________________________________________


  • Event budget: _______________________________________________


  • Goals of the event, i.e., to make/raise money, to entertain, to educate, celebrate, surprise, do a press release etc:



  • Is this a public or private event:_________________________________


  • Capacity Requirements, i.e., how many people will be invited: ___________________________________________________________


  • Who is your audience, i.e., age group, age requirement, students, academic scholars, entrepreneurs, friends/family, fashion industry, hip hop community, publications, editors, press, etc.


  • Will advertising be necessary for this event? _______________________


  • Is this a day or night event:_____________________________________


  • Will seating or tables be needed? How many? ______________________


  • Will food be served? What kind? _________________________________


  • Type of venue, i.e., hotel, classroom, restaurant, ballroom, club, private estate, park, country club, child party place, etc.: ___________________________________________________________


  • Venue requirements________________capacity maximum
  • stage
  • runway
  • backstage/ private meeting area
  • lighting
  • dancer boxes
  • VIP areas
  • seating/tables
  • bar/ alcohol license
  • DJ setup
  • entertainer equipment, such as: DJ mixers, computer or record player
  • microphones
  • speakers
  • musical instruments
  • changing areas
  • different levels or rooms to walk through
  • outdoor areas
  • white boards, projector screens, computers, large touch screens
  • entrance with cash register or ticket counter
  • coat check


  • Materials Needed, i.e., red carpet, backdrop for photos, rope, shoji screen, Mirrors, desks, tables, chairs, name tags, pencils, note pads, uniforms for the entertainers or staff working your event, etc. ___________________________________________________________


  • Is the event formal or non-formal, will there be a dress code requirement? ___________________________________________________________


  • Will a staff be necessary?
    • Hosts
    • Key Note Speakers
    • Waiters/Waitresses
    • Bussers
    • Caterers
    • Models
    • Photographer
    • Videographer
    • Door Men
    • Security
    • Bathroom Attendants
    • Event Manager
    • Bartender
    • Entertainers
    • People to help move things and help clean up afterwards.


What is the vision for the event? Decorations, etc.?


Some tips to remember:

  • Create your own check-off list with the people helping you plan the event using this check-off list as a guide.
  • Much more could be added to this list after determining the type of event. For example, describe what type of press will be contacted, a decoration list, wedding list, etc.
  • Create a detailed outline of how your event will be laid out and schedules for everyone involved. Determine how everyone will contact each other during the event planning and preparing process.
  • Create written agreements for anyone that you hire to help. You can find many free online resources to create your own contracts. Everyone appreciates the security of a contract. Make sure you and the staff both know when and how they will be paid.
  • Book your entertainment as early as possible. Many times entertainers are booked for weeks or months out. Also, you may have to contact and negotiate all of the details with the entertainer’s manager, who usually has to relay all info back to their client before confirming with you which makes for a nice waiting game. You want to allow time to find other quality performers if it doesn’t work out with the entertainment you wanted.
  • Always view the venue before choosing it for your event. The best way to view a venue is as a guest, not as a perspective client. Is the place well kept? Is the staff friendly? If everything checks out, schedule a walk-through.
  • If you have many entertainers scheduled, consider doing a rehearsal night. Or check all equipment at least an hour before your event if possible, test microphones, speakers, lighting, etc.
  • Spend a few hours a few days before the event putting together a craft box of things you may need. Do a run through in your head and imagine all possible tools you may need for any decorating, organizing, and for any possible emergencies.
  • Depending on the type of event and if you have seating, before your event place some reserved signs on the back rows, so that all of the front sections get filled up first.
  • When hiring a photographer and videographer make sure you know what is included in their fee. It is common for photographers to charge extra for any editing of the photos. Also find out how many photos you will receive, it is not common to receive all photos. And lastly, find out how and when you will receive the photos. Same goes for the videographer.
  • Make sure all of your paperwork is in order such as: contracts, permits, licenses, rentals, reservations, ideally 3 months in advance.
  • Check in with everyone and everything that you have reserved for your event every 3-4 weeks and again a week out from your event. This keeps your event on everyone’s mind and gives you time to fix any issues that may arise (like someone giving away your venue reservation etc.)!

The list really goes on and on, now don’t you appreciate the career of an event planner so much more now?!
Venuemob is an Australia-based website that connects owners of function venues with people who are seeking a place for their event. They provide an easy to use platform to look, compare and book function venues.

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