The 2020 Event Planning Checklist that Actually Works

Use this event planning checklist as a starting point for your next event. Customize it as you need depending on how big or small your event is going to be!

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Whether you’ve been assigned to plan your organization’s next big conference, meeting or convention, you need to keep track of all the smallest details to ensure nothing goes wrong. From the pre-planning stage to the day-of-event logistics, you’ll have many tasks running through your mind. If you try to keep all those details in your head and not in an event planning checklist, you’ll end up being all stressed up and disorganized.

An event planning checklist gives you a tangible way to ensure nothing is forgotten, which is crucial to have at every stage of your event planning. Although not all events are the same, you can use our essential event planning checklist and customize it according to your needs, so you can reduce stress and make sure no detail is omitted before, during or after the big day.

The structure of this checklist is thought out for three-to-six months. Nonetheless, if you are starting to plan an event that needs to be executed in a shorter time, you can still make it! You’ll just have to get to work – fast. The sooner you can land on a date, the better!

The first steps:

These are the first actions you need to take as soon as you’ve got the green light on your event:

1. Establish your event goals and objectives

  • What is your event’s purpose?
  • What is your event goal? How will you measure it?
  • How many people do you want to attend the event?

Tip: Save yourself time and stress with an All-In-One Event Management Software.

2. Create your event budget

  • How much revenue do you expect to generate?
  • What will be the investment for attendees?

Try to use the numbers of past events as a reference, that way you can make educated guesses.

3. Select a date

  • Where and when the event take place?

Consider how the date fits into attendees’ schedules.

4. Find a venue location

  • What area fits your event’s needs?
  • How many people do you expect to host at your event?
  • Does the location have the infrastructure you need?

Make sure to investigate the need for any special permits, licenses, and insurance for each of the potential locations.

 5. Define your event

  • Is it a conference? An event on location? A virtual event? A seminar? A party?
  • Create your event name
  • Choose a theme

Review your goals and audience before defining your event name and theme.

 6. Research potential speakers

  • Look for speakers who will add value for your event
  • Compile a list of your ideal ones, based on your event’s theme
  • Reach out to them with a compelling proposal

 7. Start your sponsor search

  • Determine what kind of activations you want to offer
  • Compile a list of potential sponsors
  • Solidify and send your sponsor proposal

Six months before the event

Once you have sketched out the general structure with your event planning checklist, it’s time to create a budget and keep it updated with the latest estimates and quotes. This way nothing takes you by surprise, and you get a clearer picture of your expected revenue.

8. Create an event budget

Get cost estimates of all the things that you’ll need for the event, so you can determine how big your overall investment will be — and if you need to reduce any of them! Here’s a list of some expenses you might need to consider:

  • Venue cost
  • Food and beverages
  • Equipment
  • Travel expenses for staff
  • Insurance
  • Speaker fees

9. Select an event committee

  • Designate the event manager(s)
  • Set up sub-committee chairs
  • Assign responsibilities for the rest of the team

10. Confirm speakers/presenters/entertainers

  • Secure the speakers and entertainment
  • Source headshots and bios for your website
  • Make sure to keep in touch leading up to the event

11. Determine if you need an event technology solution

  • Research event tech solutions to incorporate into your event
  • Schedule demos and request quotes from potential providers
  • Make a selection and choose a solution that fits your event’s needs

Related Read: Top 5 Tips to Select the Best Onsite Solution Provider

3 months before the event

Now that you have the foundational parts of your event planning checklist figured out, continue communicating and coordinating with event partners, speakers and sponsors. This is also the time to start advertising your event.

12. Organize your financials

  • Choose your ticketing and/or registration provider
  • Finalize sponsorship contributions
  • Establish your ticket prices

13. Set up your website and online registration

  • Create the website and add all the necessary details
  • Set up the online event registration process
  • Verify if your website and online registration are working properly
Azavista website builder

14. Begin promoting your event

  • Utilize digital marketing tools to promote your event
  • Offer early bird tickets or utilize other sales tactics to kick-start ticket sales
  • Write compelling blog posts about your event

15. Finalize your venue details

  • Secure audiovisual equipment
  • Review the security needs and plan
  • Determine event signage and attendee communication plan

1-2 months before the event

You’re getting there! At this stage, you’ll be spending more time working and finalizing all the details in your event planning checklist. Remember to keep constant communication with your event partners so they don’t forget any details discussed in the early stages.

Here’re some important activities to execute 1-2 months before your event:

16. Send reminders to your stakeholders

  • Follow-up emails
  • Approve participants
  • Confirm Registrations

17. Continue executing your promotional plan

  • Through social media channels
  • On your website blog
  • Via email marketing
  • Via paid advertisement

Also, don’t forget to…

  • Finalize your event schedule and scripts
  • Confirm details with media attendees
  • Email sponsors about the latest instructions and agenda information

Tip: Azavista’s Email Marketing Solution allows you to target and connect with the right contacts, send reminders and run effective email campaigns to promote your event.

1 week before the event

During the week leading up to your event, the majority of the event planning checklist should be confirmed, so your main focus will be on last-minute touches. Here’s what you need to have on top of your to-do list:

  • Manage event day set up, execution, and tear down
  • Do a final check of the registration process, including name badges & registration list
  • Check if the Wi-Fi at the venue is working properly
  • Assign event day tasks to employees and/or volunteers

Related Read: Organizing your Event Staff: 6 Tips for Success

1 day before the event

You’re almost there! Here are the final details you might want to remember:

  • Confirm media attendance
  • Ensure that the A/V equipment is set up and works properly
  • Verify that the registration table and name badges are set up

Event day

The big day has arrived! All of the hard work that you’ve been putting in during these previous months will finally come to life. Here’s what you have to keep in mind in your event planning checklist:

18. When you arrive

  • Arrive early for a venue check-up
  • Touch base with the onsite event crew
  • Respond to any onsite questions or problems from sponsors
  • Test the sound equipment and conduct a final audio/visual check

19. Throughout the day

  • Assist sponsors, speakers, and other teams as needed
  • Greet attendees, special guests, and/or VIPs
  • Share updates about the event on social media

20. Post-Event Follow-Up

Congrats, you did it! The event is over and you’ve completed most of your event planning checklist… but it doesn’t end here. These are some final items to check off post-event:

  • Send post-event surveys to attendees, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Analyze what worked and list down the improvements that can be made
  • Say thanks to everyone who helped (speakers, volunteers, onsite team)
  • Finalize your event budget (collect and pay bills)
  • Run reports to analyze and measure data collected by your event technology
  • Continue the event buzz and conversations on your social media channels

Now you’re equipped from start to finish with this event planning checklist!

Ready to get started for your next event? 

Azavista has a lot of experience organizing events. We recommend you use this check-list as a guideline, whilst adding all your extra event’s needs to your own list. A great way to keep accurate track of your planning purposes is using Event Technology. Our renewed 3.0 platform hosts everything for modern day event planners that work with tight deadlines and a data-driven approach.

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