Event planning involves the coordination of every detail of events such as meetings, conventions, trade shows, ceremony, retreats, or parties. An event plan is a key document that outlines all of the elements of an event.
What Goes Into Event Planning?
Event planning includes but it not limited to budgeting, establishing timelines, selecting event location, arranging for equipment, acquiring the appropriate permits, planning menus, transportation, developing a theme, hiring entertainment, selecting speakers, managing risks, and developing contingency plans.
The event plan is essentially the one-stop shop to manage all of the moving parts involved in the event. In some cases, it may prove beneficial to share portions of the event plan with certain vendors in order to ensure goals and expectations are in alignment.
Best Practices When Creating an Event Plan
- Determine the objective. Determine what the client or sponsoring organization hopes to achieve with the event.
- Establish a budget. A budget should include true estimates of key elements of the event. Provide an outline of the budget in the event plan. Include travel and accommodation costs for the site scouting team, speakers, presenters, and special guests from out of town.
- Organize a team. A successful event plan requires a concerted team effort. Among your event project team you may choose to identify an event manager or event chair as well as chairpersons for subcommittees. Subcommittees may include venue selection, speakers, entertainment, sponsors, volunteer management, and marketing.
- Set a date. If it's a reoccurring event, the date may already be established. If this is a new event, there are a few things to consider before finalizing the date:
- Allow enough time to prepare. Larger events may require four to six months, perhaps even longer, to execute an event plan. Obviously, the selection of the lead time is dependent on the size, nature, and timing of your event.
- Be mindful of national and religious holidays.
- Check availability of key participants such as honored or VIP guests, speakers, presenters, entertainment, etc.
- Create a plan. The event plan must encompass all aspects of the event, including:
- Venue, logistics, catering
- Presenters, key note speakers
- Entertainment and activities
- Marketing efforts
- Registration logistics
- Sponsorship or partnership management
- Volunteer management