An Event Planning Checklist

Planning a business/corporate event? From Wrap-parties to business openings follow these weekly steps to plan and promote your special event.

16 Weeks Before Event

  • Who is going to be the Event Planner? Appoint someone or do-it-yourself.
  • Set the date, time, and venue of the event
  • Establish a budget and identify any potential partners or sponsors of the event

15 Weeks Before Event

  • Prepare an invitation list. Customers, prospects, other businesses in community. Consider people from local colleges and universities, local media, city/town economic development, vendors/suppliers.
  • Make a proforma budget and detail the promotional efforts. Develop plan for your website, email campaign, and social media marketing.

12 Weeks Before Event

  • Contact any partners/sponsors of event. Determine who will do what and their commitment to the event. Follow-up with emails or phone re-iterating the details of the event and what each players role will be.
  • If needed, contact caterer and decide on food and beverage to be served at the event.

8 Weeks Before Event

  • Start promoting the event. Place listings in local media. Prepare ads for social media and broadcast TV and radio. Request a free ad as community service.
  • Create invitation. Use Canva.com to design your own invitation and put on RVSP that is due, at least, one week in advance of the event. Follow-up with calls to non-responders that you want at the event.
  • If required, this is the time to order event display and handout materials.

6 Weeks Before Event

  • Add the event to your website
  • Plan any A/V equipment needs. Mics, podium, projectors, etc. that may be required
  • Contact any outside presenters, entertainment providers, etc.

5 Weeks Before Event

  • If required, have selected door prizes or other ‘goodies’ and ‘swag’ bags items ordered.
  • Email invitations to website subscribers.
  • Have partners/sponsors promote event to their customers and prospects

3 Weeks Before Event

  • Send out news releases to local media and all interested parities. Start social media and email campaign
  • Distribute event information to blog subscribers

2 Weeks Before Event

  • Contact media to generate biz about event
  • Post flyers and publicize event in community
  • Send out emails to mailing list

1 Week Before Event

  • Send out ‘last call’ emails to mail list and all blog subscribers
  • Contact caterer if having food/drink and provide number of attendees anticipated
  • Visit the venue and speak with representative about layout of room/space. Check on electrical outlets, lighting, coat checks, restrooms, etc.
  • Meet with A/V person to go over sound and video. Ensure there will be coverage for the duration of the event.
  • Assign a greeter for the event, if required
  • Prepare name tags and, if required, named place-settings for all guests
  • Ensure supplies are ready. Brochures, business cards, door prizes, etc.

Day of Event

  • Arrive at least one hour before event is to start. Walk-thru venue and note any issues and resolve.
  • Position greeter to welcome guests as they arrive
  • Provide name tags/badges as guests enter and encourage net-working

After The Event

  • Contact each guest and thank them for attending
  • Send out media releases and post to blog regarding highlights and outcome of event
  • In thank you email, ask non-members to subscribe to your membership service. Talk about your service.

Event planning can be fun or it can be very stressing. Planning ahead and having a schedule and budget makes the entire process glitch-free, and a marketing success.

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