Event planning is hard work. The many intricate tasks that need to be organised often outweigh the amount of time you have to do them. If you want to retain your sanity while planning an event, most people use an event planning checklist. Making use of a task list is an easy way of breaking what often feels like an insurmountable task into smaller, achievable steps. You’ll be able to assign different people to various tasks – right from the planning stages though to the post-event evaluation.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas you can use to create an event planning checklist. These are merely suggestions, as your requirements will change depending on the event in question, so use these as a guideline to formulate your own list that’s pertinent to the event at hand.
Here are our six suggested categories for your event planning checklist:
1. Venue – Is your venue of choice indoors or outdoors?If your event is taking place outside, you’ll need to make provision for inclement weather. If you’re planning a wedding for example, have an alternative plan in place so that if there’s a sudden downpour, you’ll be able to quickly escort guests inside and provide them with fresh towels. Is there adequate parking available? What about restrooms? Are there wheel chair-friendly entrances and exits? It’s useful to familiarise yourself with the layout of the venue beforehand in order to locate things like the service entrance, power mains, and emergency exits.
2. Catering Plan – Will you be catering on-site or are your meals going to be delivered ready-made? If you’re planning on hiring chefs to cook for you on the day, is there a kitchen, and is it equipped with everything they’ll need? Regardless of the food is made on or off site, you are going to need a place to store, plate or finish food. Will you need to hire crockery and cutlery? Who will serve the meals, and what time frame do they need to be served in?
3. Financial Plan – For obvious reasons, your budget is one of your most important considerations. Price changes and the breakage of equipment are some of the things you’ll have to budget for. The last thing an event planner needs is having to rely on faulty equipment on the day, or having to cope with a shortage of staff due to budget constraints. (Don’t forget that the annual increase in “sin tax”, which happens in April, will adversely affect the prices of alcohol.)
4. Guest Planning – Have you identified who your VIPs are? Have you compiled a “B” List? Do you have all of the correct contact details? Who will be tasked with sending out the invites? If you’re short for time, you’ll want to outsource this process to a specialist in guest list management, who’ll be able to streamline the process, as well as ensure you get the highest number of RSVPs.
5. Safety and Security – Begin by identifying all possible emergency scenarios, with plans in place for each. Will you need to hire your own security, or does your venue provide this? Have you taken out the relevant insurance? Make sure you have security onsite, make sure you have event insurance. Are your staff trained in first-aid? Do you have the number of emergency services on hand? The safety of your guests is in your hands – which means you need to prioritise this responsibility.
6. Post-Event Plan – After the event, make sure you have a plan in place that will enable you to thank guests timeously. It’s absolutely crucial to gather and evaluate their feedback too. This will provide you with useful information that’ll allow you to improve future events. Don’t forget to plan the breakdown and clean up too.
Our suggested categories are a great starting point from which to tailor your own event planning checklist. Having a clearly defined plan of action not only ensures that everyone involved is on the same page, it also allows you to keep tabs on your progress and be alerted to any hiccups as and when they arise.
Image Credit: Starlight Inspirations