Events Made Easy- Comprehensive Event Planning Guide

The past decade has witnessed unprecedented growth in the special events industry. Experts estimate that organizations and individuals spend $500 billion annually on special events. What that means is that there is a large market out there for event planning services. People working in one particular event planning business niche can quickly expand to other areas. People who have just begun their career in event planning can expect a fruitful and rewarding career ahead of them.

This event planning guide should give you the larger picture of event planning and how to plan an event. We hope this serves as a guide for people who need to manage a special event, whether personally or professionally.

How to Start an Event Planning Business

If you are reading this, you probably need to manage a special event or want to start an event planning business. Besides personal attributes and professional training, there are three essential requirements to set up an event planning business.

Step 1- Registering your business

This might be obvious. However, it still needs to be stated that the best way to go about providing help on how to plan an event is to start by registering a business that intends to provide event planning services. According to your business needs, you can choose a particular business type. Usually, this will be a sole proprietorship or LLC business. Corporations are, obviously, more complicated and ambitious.

Step 2- Create a website

Websites today are a ubiquitous part of daily life. These days, more often than not, individual events have dedicated websites. If your event planning business does not have a website, you are living in the stone age and losing out on customers. Building a website is no more the difficult task it used to be. Platforms like Strikingly have made building businesses and selling products and services as accessible as things go. You need to register your domain name (your website address), link it to your hosting service, and build your website there. Platforms like Strikingly offer a one-stop solution to these technical services and let you build sleek, professional, and attractive websites with zero coding skills. Just an artistic eye will work more than enough. Many drag-and-drop website builders create code that is SEO-friendly too.

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Step 3- Build a social presence

Creating a social media presence is one of the most essential marketing steps to start an event planning business. But it is more complex than most people imagine. You must figure out which social media channels will work best for you. Due to its nature, event planning leans towards more visual social media platforms where you can show all those pleasing images and attract people to your work and business.

How to plan an event?

Yes, you guessed it, the next thing this event planning guide will introduce is how to plan an event. Planning might be for personal or community purposes or in a professional capacity, as we mentioned earlier. Getting relevant training and certification would be a good idea if it is the former. Not only will it teach you how to plan an event, but it will significantly enhance your credibility too. You must start by figuring out the critical specifics of common event types. The typical components of special events comprise the following:

event planning business

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  • The Event Itself

The very first thing you need to do about planning an event is to sort out the basics. Information like specific responsibilities, event operations, and meeting accounting and legal duties are examples of such events.

  • Budget

Once you have the event essentials out of the way, the next task you must carry out is to estimate event costs and chart a budget accordingly. Remember that your event budget will determine some of the most vital parts of your event, like advertising, venue, and marketing.

  • Venue

The venue is critically important because it will set the background setting and because many event-related specifics like logistics management, food and beverages, and décor are associated with it.

  • Marketing

The next thing to do is to chart out a marketing plan so that you can let people know about your event and draw them in as attendees. Your marketing campaign must explore digital media platforms like websites, social media campaigns, and email newsletters besides the regular paper-based event marketing collateral.

entertainment and events

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  • Advertising

Advertising is a part of the marketing mix, but in the case of event planning, it is worth mentioning it. Event planners usually run ad campaigns on traditional media like TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers, but more and more event planners are getting adventurous with their advertisements. They are exploring search engine and social media advertising options as well. You will ideally want the marketing team to look after your advertising activities. Remember, you have only a limited budget and tons of things to do. Don't go overboard with your advertising spending.

  • Volunteers

Special events, especially the bigger ones, call for a large crew to ensure everything runs smoothly. Naturally, this will involve volunteers, and you, as the event planner, need to determine things like writing contracts, designating roles, scheduling meetings, and other activities.

  • Speakers

Events are not themselves without a keynote speaker or a speaker group. It helps to attract audiences and keep them engaged. Naturally, with speakers come contracts, a selection of speakers, bios, and rehearsals, and programs.

  • Sponsors

Hosting an event is an expensive affair, and most of the big events you see have big sponsors paying for them. Once again, sponsors also mean managing contracts and logistics and even feature in the marketing.

event planning marketing

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  • Production

Production is a big part of an event, and recording event proceedings is involved. Contracts come into the picture in event production too. These days, live-streaming events on social media channels are increasingly gaining popularity.

  • Stage

Events are presented at a particular venue and involve multiple electronic devices like screens, projectors, internet connectivity, microphones, cables, and batteries, amongst others.

  • Attendees

And finally, you have to account for the event attendees. You need a communication channel with the attendees and a payment process to collect fees. You would also like to use emails to keep communication channels open post the event. Badges, directions, and access points are other attendee-related information you must remember.

Event Planning Steps

event execution
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You can plan most events using the following steps:

Step 1- Figure out the objectives and goals of the event

Step 2- Create your team

Step 3- Create a budget for your event

Step 4- Select a date and venue for the event and check availability

Step 5- Select the speakers

Step 6- Advertising and marketing the event

Step 7- Execute the actual event itself

Breaking down an event into the above steps make it easy to plan and manage one.

What to include in an event planning checklist?

Be sure to keep the following checklist handy when the big day comes. Make sure you have figured out:

  • Event essentials including

    • Type of event
    • Date and time
    • Event goal
    • Location
    • Event objectives
    • Audience
  • The event budget
  • Event design
  • Event décor
  • Food and drink, please feel free to get creative
  • Entertainment and intended guest experience
  • Craft a marketing plan
  • Prepare for the unexpected and plan minutely
  • Prepare a logistic chart for the event day
  • Event follow-up plan

What are the best event planning tips?

Event planning is stressful, and even professionals find the occupation hard to deal with. Don’t worry. The following event planning tips can definitely help:

  • Start planning for the event as soon as you can

For large events, you should try to start making plans as four to six months before, this is one of the most crucial event planning tips. Planning for smaller events should begin at least one month before the actual event itself. Ensure all vendor contracts are in place by two to three weeks before the event date.

  • Keep things flexible

There will always be changes on the initial event plan. It is wise to maintain flexibility regarding your event plan.

  • Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

Keep in mind that unforeseen costs is almost a rule. Don’t let vendors talk you into a non-negotiable and unilateral service cost. Try to keep offers 5-10% below your budget.

  • Assign Responsibilities

Divide your event elements into sections like catering, registration, transport, etc., and assign the responsibility of each to a particular team member.

  • Create a Shared Event Related Document

This is the era of cloud computing, which is great. As the last of our event planning tips, know that a common central document accessible to all team members is a boon to event planning. If anything is straying the document will ensure it is identified right at the outset.

With social distancing norms relaxing, events are becoming common and popular once again. And people are more than eager to join them after several months of lockdowns and quarantines.

Here’s a mocktail to a great event evening. Hope to see you there!