Whether it’s a conference, an exhibition, a seminar or a trade show, professional events require a great deal of forward thinking. So regardless of if it’s your first or if you’ve done it a hundred times before, we’ve come up with the ultimate event planning checklist to keep you on track for the big day.
Key things to think about:
- The venue
- The location in regards to local transportation
- How many guests you can invite
- Who you are going to invite
- Do you have any special or VIP guests?
- What is your budget?
- Do you need entertainment?
- Do you need to arrange keynote speakers?
- What about a photographer or videographer?
- Brochures and leaflets
- On-the-door gifts
- Media publicity
- Videos and presentations
What invitations are you using?
- Informal printed invitations
- Formal printed invitations
- How will people RSVP to you?
- Will you send out reminders?
- Who are your speakers?
- How do you get in touch with them?
- Equipment needs
- Stage or raised platform
- Projection screen
- Extension cords and computer adaptors
- Spare laptop for presentations
- Agenda for speakers
- Biographies and photographs of speakers
- Names of sponsors and contributors
- Officers and committees involved
- Design and printing organised ahead of time
- Correct quantities
- Arrangements for distribution
For when people arrive
- Sign in/registration list
- Tables and chairs
- Power outlets/plugs
- Name badges
- Enough programmes for everyone
- Goodie bags
- Venue signage
- Do you have a theme in mind?
- Are the entrances and exits decorated?
- Speaker platform
- Head table
- Individual tables and chairs
Extra things to think about:
- Will valet parking be needed?
- What happens if the weather is bad?
- Will you need security?
- Do you need to arrange exhibits or displays?
- Is the equipment complicated enough to require technicians?
- Do you need disaster management?
- Do you need an ambulance ready on standby?
- What about police, security, or traffic control?
Once the event, whatever it was, is all done, take the time to sit down and evaluate how it went. What went perfectly? These things you can copy for future events. But most importantly, take a look at what went wrong, whether it was disastrously so or a slight inconvenience. Every single thing you learn can help you improve next time around.