Here are a few of our best tips to make this process stress-free:
Start your planning process by creating or sourcing an excel spreadsheet that fits your needs. This will help you keep track of key dates, points of contact, and your budget. We recommend creating this spreadsheet in Google Sheets rather than in the Microsoft Office on your home or work computer. This allows you to access your sheet from anywhere, automatically save your changes, and collaborate with other planners as needed.
Be sure to set yourself deadlines for each part of the process. This is important in making sure your decorations arrive on time and your event runs like a well-oiled machine. The more accountable you are for each step of your planning process, the more accountable you can expect each person involved in the process to be as well.
Nothing limits your event capabilities more than closing your mind to new ideas. While you should certainly focus on maintaining your event’s branding and theme, don’t be afraid to explore new ideas. Sites like Pinterest are full of ideas for event planning inspiration. Find something that interests you the slightest? Create a private Pinterest board for your event and pin it. This could spark new inspiration or be a fun, easy facet of your event down the road.
With these ideas in mind, it’s time to break down some helpful resources for each important step in your event planning. While staying organized and on-brand, explore the possibilities for each facet of your event with these resources.
At this point in the event planning process, you probably have a good idea of the general shape your event will take: which events will occur, when they will occur, and where they will occur. The fun part of event planning is creating a theme that will bring your vision to life. A great place to begin looking for event design inspiration is Pinterest. Pinterest posts are designed with hundreds of keywords that make it easy to find specific design inspiration. Whether you’re planning a 1970s party or a high school reunion, Pinterest is packed with inspiration for everything from table settings to event stationery.
Once you have a design theme narrowed down, take the time to explore Etsy for customized crafts for your event. Whether you’re looking for stunning invitations, fun party favors, or elegant ceiling drapery, Etsy has plenty of beautiful party planning items made by specialty companies and creative crafters that can take your event to the next level. Don't forget about your local dollar store, either. You'd be surprised how much you can get there without breaking the bank.
When picking entertainment or catering for your event, it’s important to find someone that feels like a good fit. While you may already have a DJ or magician in mind who you met at a friend’s engagement party a few months back, you may not have anyone in mind for tackling other aspects of your entertainment plan. Gigmasters is an online database of entertainers all over the United States that match just about any criteria you could imagine. Princesses for a Disney-themed celebration? Check. Belly dancers for your Bollywood soiree? Check. A Sarah Palin Impersonator? Believe it or not--check.
Gigmasters allows you to request a booking or quote, read reviews, and learn about what unique flair each entertainer or caterer brings to your event all in one place.
Ticket sales, management, and promotion are typically the greatest challenges faced by event planners. You want your event to have enough buzz to maximize your ticket sales while not spending half of your budget on marketing. The simple solution? A ticketing platform.
Ticketing platforms bring a variety of features to the table that help you manage ticket sales and guest management--but not all ticketing platforms are created equal. Look for features that make your job as an event planner easier every step of the way. Starting with building out a webpage for event promotion, a ticketing platform allows you to create a one-stop location for your promotion and sales in a beautifully-designed and secure location.
On top of ticket sales, a good ticketing platform should have features that help you manage your guest list, check them in, and even continue to sell tickets at the door. Once all is said and done (and your event was a HUGE hit), you can gain valuable insights on your audience so that you’re fully prepared for your next launch.
Not only does a ticketing platform make your ticket sales easy and accessible, but it’s exactly what you need to launch promotional efforts. Whether you’re blasting your event on social media or running paid ads to garner ticket sales, a ticketing platform helps you bring your potential guests to that just-right place so they can sign up for the event of a lifetime.
A great place to save money in your budget is in the design stages of promotional materials. While a designer can help you brand your print materials like a professional, you don’t need to be a designer to create beautiful, cohesive promotional print materials.
Sites like Canva and Crello have hundreds of design templates, text options, and graphics available for you to use to design banners, social media posts, flyers, postcards, and more. Many of their design options are available for free (and if not, they’re available at a low cost) and are accessible in a user-friendly platform that allows your creativity to sore while designing anything you may need for your event.
Additionally, there are many free-to-use stock image sites available for you to explore. These images can be used as social media posts or on your print materials for free: no citation needed! Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay are among our favorite sites for providing you with free images that don’t feel like cheesy staged stock images.
Think you’re ready to tackle the fun aspect of your event planning head-on? Explore how a
ticketing platform can make your job simple.