Master Event Planning Checklist

We’ve spent the last year scouring the event planning world for the latest trends, best tips, and most jaw-dropping stories from company functions, lavish parties, and everything in between. Here, we’ve compiled the best tips from our various posts to create one master event planning checklist. We hope you enjoy.

Let Your Creative Juices Flow

From “Dream on, Dreamer

  • Specifically Define Your Target Guest
  • Answer this Vital Question: “Why?”
  • Use Brainstorming Tools to Elicit Great Ideas
    • Review IDEO’s Rules for Collaborative Innovation
    • Try Harvard’s “Brainswarming
    • Don’t ask “How?”
    • Don’t ask “How Much?”
  • Get to Specifics
    • Theme
    • Date and time
    • Location
    • Food Menu
    • Drinks/Bar Theme
    • Activities
    • Seating
    • Speakers
    • Entertainment
    • Overall Vibe

Now, Consider Reality

From “Turning Dreams into Reality

  • Ask How Much (nooooow, you can)
  • How How (you were waiting for this, weren’t you?)
  • Visit the Location
  • Communicate clearly, repeatedly, and in writing, with vendors
  • Enlist the Services of a Professional

Get Thoughtful.

From “Making Memories That Last

  • Be Thoughtful
  • Embrace Imperfection
  • Take Photos
    • Establish a Hashtag
    • Create a Photo Station
    • Rent a Photo Booth
    • Hire Professional Photographers
  • Facilitate Relational Depth
  • Give a Gift
  • End While You’re Up

Get Ready for Your First Meeting

From “Preparing for the Initial Meeting

  • Define the Win
  • Know the Practicals
  • Make a Budget
  • Land on a Guest List
  • Look for a Planner Who Thinks Holistically
  • …and Focuses on Your Goals
  • …and Asks Questions
  • …and is Comfortable with Feedback

Select Your Vendors

From “How to Choose Vendors

  • Make a Short List
  • Evaluate Reviews
  • Start a Conversation
  • Get a Quote
  • Make a Spreadsheet
  • Commit

Start Thinking About Decor

From “Event Decor 101

  • Review Current Resources
  • Think about Scale
  • Evaluate Professional Lighting Options
  • Look at Rental Options
  • Make Sustainable Choices
  • Consider Professional Decorators

Staff Up

From “Event Staffing 101

  • Consider the Pro’s and Con’s of Internal Teams
  • Avoid “Gig” Workers
  • Enlist the Help of Volunteers
  • Hire Professional Event Staff
    • Event Concierge Services
    • Event Security
    • Janitorial Services
    • Guest Registration Services
    • Entertainment Staffing
    • Wait Staff and Bartenders

Make a Parking Plan

From “Event Parking 101

  • Prioritize Proximity & Convenience
  • Ensure Ample Supply of Spaces
  • Test the Parking “Flow” to/from Event
  • Hire Parking Lot Security
  • Evaluate Cost Options (Public vs. Private Lots)
  • If Budget Allows, Hire a Valet!

Have your event!

Learn more at “Event Day

Get in “After Party Mode”

From “Teardown & Follow-Up

  • Clean the Space
  • Clean the Outdoor Area (if applicable)
    • Get park manager permission to bring vehicles onto the property
    • Ensure that trucks are brought in only at their specified time
    • Park on the grass to keep the road clear
    • Put back any hoses that were used
    • Respect campers and other park users
    • Pick up trash, including bottles and popped balloons
  • Pay Your Vendors
  • Ask for Feedback