Event marketing is all about the details.
To be successful, you must have a mind for project management, and the ability to keep an eye on the little things.
Whether you are new to event marketing or an experienced pro, never underestimate the power of an event planning checklist.
As an overview, the 15 major details covered in this event management checklist include:
That is a very basic overview. We’ll go through the details of those items, including an event planning timeline, in just a moment.
With so many tasks running through your mind, a checklist gives you a tangible way to ensure nothing is forgotten. This is especially helpful during the final days before your event, or when unexpected problems come up.
I highly recommend printing out the “event day toolbox” checklist, and physically checking off each item. It’s too easy skim past an item and miss it on your computer screen. A nice little “tick” is a failsafe way to ensure you have everything you need on the event day.
The basic details on this checklist are meant to be done as soon as possible, ideally four-to-six months in advance. However, If you are starting to plan an event that is only one or two months away, it is still possible to execute a successful event! I’ve done it myself multiple times; you might just require some extra caffeine. ;)
The checklist is broken down into the following timeline:
Use this checklist as your event planning guide, and have faith your event marketing strategy will be a success!
These are the first actions you need to take when you are ready to plan an event. Begin by deciding on your event’s objective. What’s the goal, and what budget do you have to execute that goal?
|If you are an event planning service, you will first have to submit an event business proposal to wow your client and win the gig.|
Then, before you can create your event website or promote your event, you’ll need to have some basic details such as the date, time, and location.
The first steps to plan an event are:
TIP: Save yourself time and stress with the best your event planning software.
Now that you’ve got the basic puzzle pieces in place, it’s time to continue communicating with event partners, speakers, and sponsors. The other major steps include building your event website (so guests can register), and beginning to promote your event.
The timeline to begin this process will be affected by the size of your event. A large conference that runs for several days will have a higher cost for attendees. This means you should start promoting your event months in advance. If your event is a single-speaker session, you won’t need as much lead time on your event promotion.
The steps to execute three-to-six months before your event include:
Once you have your venue, at least a few or your speakers or entertainment confirmed, it’s time to learn how to make a website for your event.
This is where guests can find additional information and register. Unless you are working with an event management agency that is handling your registrations, this will involve two stages.
TIP: Track the number of registrants, manage attendee details, and get more attendees with event ticketing and registration software.
Once your website is published, it’s time to announce and promote your event. Be sure to include a link to register any time you share the event, and across all channels.
Marketing your event includes the following steps. For an event of any size you should send an email to your database and share on social media. A smaller event, such as a single speaker presentation, you do not need a press release, and will most likely not invest in paid advertising.
The basic steps to announce and promote your event are:
By this time you are gaining momentum. Whatever your other marketing tasks, the event preparation is taking up more and more time each day.
Some of the most important steps at this point include making sure your sponsors, speakers and event suppliers are 100% confirmed.
And, of course, this is the prime time to continue event promotion!
One-to-three months before the event, your action items are:
This is crunch time for communicating with your event partners. When you are working with so many other individuals (such as speakers, sponsors, and vendors) to execute your event, it’s easy for someone to forget a detail you discussed during the beginning stages.
Continue to have regular meetings with your team and any event partners. Time is going to fly; don’t wait until the last minute to remind sponsors what you need from them or order materials.
The activities to execute the month before your event are:
By now anything not related to the event will have fallen to the bottom of your to-do list. That’s not a bad thing; that’s the way it works in event marketing!
Digging your heels in and working hard now will ensure minimal stress in the final days before your event.
In this busy period, your to-do list items are to:
Crunch time has officially hit! The days are long and the nights are short, but hopefully you have enough excitement and adrenaline to keep you going.
This week will be full of the final event details. Usually, an event involves so many moving parts that you can’t execute tasks such as creating your run sheet or name badges before this period. Otherwise, the details will change and you will have had to do it twice!
The items to activate this week are to:
The day has finally arrived! I love the feeling of anticipation when I walk into the event venue. It’s early, I’m short on sleep, but I’m ready and excited for the day.
Enter your event venue with a smile on your face the the confidence you are prepared. And, while it’s not on the list, don’t forget a watch and comfortable shoes!
I always recommend bringing print-outs to the event venue. You never know when you may have internet issues or a dead battery! There is no technology that can stand in the way of an actual piece of paper. (As long as your printer works, that is!)
As you read through this checklist, you’ll quickly realize a motto event planners share with boy scouts: Always be prepared!
The items for your event day toolbox are:
With your event day kit packed and ready to go, you'll be ready for each of the following:
The event is over. Hopefully you’ve had a weekend to rest and catch up on sleep. Then, it’s back to work! While the time crunch is over, it is essential to do the post-event processes as soon as possible.
Surveys should be sent and conducted while they are fresh in the minds of your attendees, and prompt thank yous are appreciated.
In total, your post-event action items are:
And there you have it – the ultimate event planning checklist.
Hooray, you have now completed all action items in executing your event!
Yes, the list is long. Yes, it looks overwhelming. But in reality, the fact that it is long is what gives you peace of mind! Utilizing this list ensures you’ve left no rock unturned.
Given how busy everyone in event management is, be sure check out the G2 Crowd guide to productivity and time management. Or, to learn how to score all those leads you get at your event, read the complete guide to B2B marketing.
And, if you did notice something I missed, find me on Twitter. As technology changes, so do events, and I’m always ready to update this checklist.
From the benefits of event marketing, to networking, name badges and choosing your event venue, we’ve got you covered:
Kristen’s global marketing experience extends from Australia to Chicago with expertise in both B2B and B2C industries. Specializing in content, conversions, and events, Kristen spends her time outside of work time acting, learning nature photography, and joining in the #instadog fun with her Pug/Jack Russell, Bella. (she/her/hers)
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