Your Ultimate Event Planning Checklist!

So you’ve done the hustle, you’ve sold your skills and pitched like crazy. And you did it—you landed that next big contract!

Well done…now what?

This one’s bigger than any event you’ve organized before and you’re feeling ever-so-slightly in over your head—you’re more nervous than excited! And you’re not sure where to start.

What you need is an event planning checklist that will ease your fears. 

With all the moving parts involved in planning an event, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t panic—you’re at the very start. The perfect place to be to plan an unforgettable event from the ground up.

But first, you need to get organized.

With this event planning checklist, you can keep track of all those little details and make sure you don’t forget anything.

eSpeakers Ultimate Event Planning Checklist

14 to 18 months prior to the event:

  • Write your event planning checklist!
  • Select and hire your planning committee
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities
  • Create a preliminary budget
  • Establish objectives, goals, and theme of the event
  • Create a website 
  • Put together a mailing list
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Send an email blast: save the date
  • Venue search/site visits
  • Begin soliciting sponsorship
  • Outline event agenda
  • If you are using one, hire a decorator 
  • Establish satellite events 
  • Establish logistical parameters:
    • Space requirements
    • Number of attendees
  • Send out RFPs for ancillary services (transportation, equipment rentals)

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10 – 16 months before the event:

  • Contract ancillary services
  • Establish rates and pricing/early bird pricing
  • Begin promotion!
  • Launch social media campaign and platforms
  • Build registration platform on the website
  • Finalize contracts with venues and pay deposits
  • Seek out and secure speakers and facilitators
  • Arrange transportation and accommodation for speakers and guests
  • Be sure your website(s) can handle increasing traffic

6 – 10 months before the event:

  • Open registration 
  • Finalize sessions
  • Layout program
  • Plan event logistics with vendors (travel, menus, etc.)
  • Print and send out brochures

3 – 6 months before the event:

  • Confirm menus and ancillary venues
  • Review audio-visual requirements
  • Begin your “Event Day Master List”
  • Determine the final print date
  • Keep the website updated with new information
  • Finalize speakers and agenda

1 – 3 months before the event:

  • Hire and train event staff
  • Order attendee materials and swag (nametags, t-shirts, notebooks etc.)

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6 weeks – 2 months before the event:

  • Finalize decorative details
  • Prepare post-event survey
  • Email and snail mail reminders to speakers

2 – 6 weeks before the event:

  • Print signage, programs, and other literature
  • Finalize attendance numbers
  • Troubleshoot digital/online apps and technologies

1 week before the event:

  • Review Master Plan
  • A/V run-throughs
  • Troubleshoot equipment
  • Event walk-throughs with key personnel
  • Email updates to speakers and other participants
  • Familiarize personnel with logistical details of venues
  • Collect all presentations on USB sticks
  • Prepare check-in materials
  • Close registration, provide final numbers to venues and hotels
  • Prepare gifts for speakers and participants
  • Train event support staff

Day of the event:

  • Meet and greet
  • Oversee smooth functioning, monitor safety and cleanliness put out fires

Week after the event:

  • Email post-event questionnaires
  • Send thank-you letters to VIPs and speakers
  • Post-event breakdown meeting with key personnel
  • Begin planning the next event!

An event planning checklist is essential to keeping organized whether you’re a veteran planner or are brand new to the industry. Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Now, get planning!

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Corporate Event Planning: Ten Tips to Make it Unforgettable!

As all event planners know, corporate events are not all created equally. This can make corporate event planning a tricky business. An art, even.

Corporate events all have the same goal in mind: to bring a group—large or small—together for the purpose of inspiring them to do better in their professional lives, one way or another.

They can be engaging, emotionally-charged power-events, leaving attendees feeling united in their common purpose to advance their industries for the greater good of society as a whole!

Or, they can be awkward, boring snooze-fests that have the participants checking their watches and plotting their escapes out a side door.

If your work is in corporate event planning, an event like this can be a career-killer.

But, have no fear! We’ve compiled a list of ten tips to make sure your next corporate event is unforgettable.

Ten tips to make your corporate event unforgettable!

Be inspiring!

This is the whole point of corporate event planning and can’t be overlooked. If your attendees don’t leave your event inspired in some way, then you haven’t done your job as an event planner.

This is where the speakers you choose can play a key role in making your event unforgettable. Choosing the right person to speak to the particular challenges and issues of your participants can make all the difference between an event with impact and one that fades into distant memory.

Be interactive.

The main purpose of corporate event planning is to help businesses break down divisions that exist between their employees and various departments. This is also true for larger events that can work to bring people together who inhabit different areas of the same industry.

Through interactive activities such as workshops and icebreaker events, your participants will enjoy opportunities to get to know each other in more casual situations, rather than just sitting passively side-by-side at presentations and talks.

Be inclusive.

People love to feel included, especially in this era when so much of our lives are dominated by digital interactions rather than face-to-face. 

Spend lots of time during the event talking to participants, asking them how the event is going for them and how it might improve. Take polls and post the results. Create social media platforms dedicated to letting participants interact with each other. 

Did you know we have an interactive database of fabulous speakers? Check out the marketplace here.

Make your invitation…inviting!

The invitation is the first introduction to your event. So make sure it isn’t impersonal and humdrum, so recipients stay away from that delete button. Make your invitations thoughtful, informative, and reflective of the theme and intent of the event. If potential participants can get a good idea of what’s in store if they attend, they will be more likely to consider registering.

Pick a theme.

An integral part of your corporate event planning may include choosing a theme. 

A theme creates a narrative that can anchor your participants firmly in the experience. Find ways for attendees to participate, such as dressing to the theme or creating playlists they can download on their devices. 

Get educational.

Studies have shown that experiential learning is far more effective than passive learning, such as sitting and listening to lectures.

So, at your next corporate event make sure to include some experiential learning opportunities. This can include specialized training sessions or pop-up workshops. When an educational aspect is included in an event, it is transformed from a potential waste of time to a productive chance to improve skills and knowledge.

Choose your venue carefully.

A venue isn’t just a space—if chosen carefully, it can be elevated to an important part of your event’s story. So, put some thought into your venue selection. Choose something that fits with the theme and feel of your event. Also, a venue that has an interesting focal point or feature will add character to the even. It will also give your attendees a cool spot to gather.

Don’t forget to follow up.

Corporate event planning also means planning for the future. Post-event is a valuable time to gather feedback to put towards your next event, as well as making sure attendants don’t forget the experience they’ve just had. 

Send fun, interesting questionnaires to all the participants, inviting them to share what their favorite and not-so-favorite parts of the event were. 

Food and drink.

You’ve put so much thought into the venue, theme, content and speakers of your event. Don’t cop out when it comes to the food! 

What’s on the buffet tables may seem inconsequential compared to what’s on stage. But the truth is if you offer refreshments that go beyond the usual mediocre event fare, people will remember. Food matters, so don’t treat it like an afterthought!

Choose the right speakers.

Last but not least, the right presenters and keynote speaker will make or break your event. Choosing speakers correctly is not optional when corporate event planning, as they have the power to lift an event from mundane to memorable.

If you’re looking for an amazing, inspiring speaker for an upcoming event, make sure to reach out to us so we can help you find the perfect fit.

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