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Template: How to Plan Your First Event

The path to a launching a successful career in event planning can be a long and difficult one and, even if you’ve been studying event courses or volunteering at events, it all really starts with organising your first professional event.

And the first step towards success in this is always, very literally, to plan the event, with a fully structured plan which misses out nothing and takes all vital limitations and possibilities into account.Happily  this tricky first step is something that just got easier with the Event Academy template for planning your first event.

Using the template

Aspects highlighted in bold in the far left column include key essentials which you need to have the answers to for ensuring that your event has taken every desirable aspect into account, whilst the prompts in italics in the far right column are questions to ask yourself, your client or your service providers to ensure that every aspect in on track for success.

Downloadable template: http://www.tidyforms.com/download/event-planning-template-1.html

Type of event
 
Fundraiser, exhibition, party, art show?
Name of event
 
Brain-storm ideas with client or creative team.
Date of event If these are provisional, double-check with venue & client before confirming the date and time
Time of event
Location of event Include postcode
Event contact person (s) On-site professionals you’ll need to liaise with at the venue
Target participant / audience Who?
What do they need to know or do?
Proposed numbers This may be influenced by budget and venue size
Message What is the event saying to this audience?
Objectives What outcome do you want to achieve?
Description of the event What’s going on?
How will you interest / entertain / inform participants?
  Action / person responsible Deadline date

Risk assessment  
Detail possible risks & how these can be minimised
Aims and objectives
 
Try to define these in terms of anticipated outcomes
Evaluation strategies How will you identify if the outcomes have been achieved?
Evaluation tools / resources required Identify availability of resources, particularly if digital or additional post-event resources are required
Budget
Source Outline details about budget, including limitations, sources and contacts for managing financial aspects of event.
Identify and schedule meetings with other involved parties
Patnerships / collaboration and sponsorship
Break-even point
Branding and promotion and publicity
Venue
Shortlist possible venues Refer back to ideas for activities and intended audience to ensure venue is suited for purpose.
Assess site safety and accessibility Consider travel and transport links as well as general site safety and security
Permits and approvals Check local council permit and licensing requirements
Provisionally book venue Schedule dates for additional visits, site preparation, confirming the venue and paying deposit / balance
Confirm venue Ensure finance available for deposit and balance payments
Implement / book additional site safety
Invitations
Mailing list
Invitations sourced / printer quotes obtained ·       Consider:
·       Protocol: inviting key CEOs or sponsors;
·       Budget restrictions;
·       Branding and logos which need to be part of invitations
·       Professional printing availability and time to obtain, review & accept quotes;
·       Consider creation of digital versions for email invitations
Invitation proof checked
Invitation list complete and checked
Special guest invitations
Invitations completed
Invitations posted
Catering
Meetings added to schedule
 
Identify those to be consulted over catering, including client and service providers.
Budget identified
 
Menu planning
 
 
 
 
Catering confirmed
Event schedule
Draw up event timeline Remember to leave gaps & time for unexpected eventualities
Draw up event running schedule
Designate personnel and tasks for event
Schedule meetings with event staff
Identify and schedule event promotion strategies Use various marketing strategies to promote the event
Identify and schedule event follow up strategies Refer back to evaluation planning to ensure that no follow up or evaluation opportunities are missed

 

 

A plan for all event-ualities?

Of course, no generic checklist can ever include all items for specific events, but using this kind of template as a starting point for pulling together the known factors will at least give you a starting point and help springboard your inspiration, questions and to-do list in relation to those blank spaces and unanswered questions, so go ahead and take the first step to event success with Event Academy.

Events could be the fresh start you're looking for