The Event Planning Checklist for Organizers
To give you ample preparation time, you’ll want to start planning as early as possible – ideally at least 6 to 12 months before your anticipated event date. We’ve designed this event checklist to act as a guide during the event creation process, so remember to personalize each step to fit the needs of your unique event. Now, let’s get started!
Establish your event goals
- Lay out what you want to accomplish with your event (bring awareness to a specific cause, give your community an exciting event to attend, etc.)
- Outline objectives you’d like to achieve. For example, you may want to reach a certain fundraising amount or sell X amount of tickets.
- Establish a team who will help you reach your goals, then identify and assign roles to each team member.
- Determine your target audience.
- If you’ve hosted events before, use survey feedback, year-over-year reports, and other performance metrics from previous years to take your upcoming event to the next level.
- With the help of last year’s numbers (if you have them), determine your revenue goals based on your expected ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorships, donations, and more.
Create your budget
- Build a master budget that breaks down what percentage of available funds you plan to spend on each of your event-related expenses.
- Account for every expense you can think of (including venue fees, insurance, marketing, food, speakers, and ticketing platform fees). Be sure to add some wiggle room for any unexpected costs as well.
- Establish your ticket price based on your target audience and if you’ll offer multiple types of tickets, like general admission, VIP, livestream access, etc.
- Determine if there’s any promotional ticket discounts you want to offer, like early-bird tickets, limited-time coupons, or group rates.
Determine your event date and venue
- Research your target audience’s historic attendance behavior and use that information to pick the best date and time to host your event (plus a few backup dates, too).
- Research that your selected date has no major time conflicts with other significant events in your area (national sporting events, holidays, etc.) or other events that are similar to yours.
- Decide what you’re looking for in the right venue, including ample parking, ideal location, sufficient space, open WiFi, and nearby hotel accommodations.
- Reach out to venue coordinators to determine their fees and availability.
- If you’re hosting an outdoor event, select a backup indoor option in case of inclement weather.
- Negotiate a rental agreement with your venue.
Choose your vendors, sponsors, and special guests
- Determine potential sponsors by researching local businesses that share similar goals, target similar audiences, and align with your attendees' interests.
- Build out valuable sponsorship packages to attract high-quality sponsors that your attendees will want to engage with.
- Pitch your event to sponsors and negotiate deals with them.
- Confirm any vendors who will sell food, drinks, or other goods and services to attendees.
- Research, contact, and book your event’s special guests (speakers, musicians, entertainers, etc.)
- Collects bios and promotional images from your confirmed guest lineup.
- Arrange hotel, travel, and catering accommodations for your special guests.
- Finalize your event’s schedule and share it with your special guests and event staff.
Build or update your event website
- Select a ticketing platform that will not only manage your ticket sales, but also speed up admissions, collect payments lightning fast, and more.
- Set up a branded page to sell your tickets online that highlights all your event’s details.
- Add your event info and embed your ticketing page to your website. If you have yet to create your event’s website, you can build one using a user-friendly CMS software like Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, etc.
- Set up tracking on your website to see where your ticket buyers are coming from (this will be particularly helpful for your post-event analysis).
Determine your marketing strategy and prepare for launch
- Decide which marketing channels will be the best for you to promote your event on, and whether your budget allows for paid advertising.
- Build out a marketing plan for your event, including the types of content you’ll share and how often. For specific ideas and strategies, check out our detailed event marketing guide!
- Launch your ticket sales!
Promote your event
- Share consistent posts of event details, behind-the-scenes exclusives, lineup announcements, and more across your social media.
- Offer promotional discounts leading up to your event.
- Send out targeted email campaigns to past attendees and newsletter subscribers about your upcoming event.
- Use paid advertising to help reach a wider audience.
- Contact local news stations, blogs, and other press outlets.
Coordinate final details
- Confirm any additional event details and review your day-of schedule with your special guests, vendors, and event staff.
- Send reminder emails to your attendees to prepare them for your big day.
- Work through our event day checklist to ensure you have everything you need on your big day!
Anticipate your post-event analysis
- Prepare to send follow-up emails to your attendees, including a survey asking for feedback on their event experience.
- Determine how and when you’ll pull attendee engagement reports to send to vendors and sponsors.
- Schedule a meeting with your team to conduct a post-mortem of your event’s performance, gauge how your event operations went, and discuss where you can improve for next time.
- Remember to thank your special guests, attendees, and staff for their help in making your event a success!
There’s no better feeling than planning a successful event and seeing your hard work pay off. From broader strokes down to more granular tasks, planning an event checklist like this will help ensure you’ve got all your bases covered! And if you’re looking for a friendly, supportive team to be by your side the whole time, consider partnering with Ticketleap for ticketing support, reporting help, and everything in between.