A universal checklist for planning an event worth remembering

Events are an amazing way to talk about your brand, connect with your target audience, get feedback from your consumers, build stronger client relationships, measure your competition. Stick with smart goals and outline the goals you are aiming for. Then make sure that you proceed in line with reaching these goals.


Decide upon your target audience and make a list of details — everything including lighting and public transportation, to content and refreshments

Define who your target audience is and then you’ll be able to decide format, content, prices, location, etc.

When you decide to have an event, everything matters. From program content and lighting to transportation and parking — everything counts. And your audience will attribute everything to you and…your brand.

Have a clear business purpose for holding the event.

Before you can begin planning a successful event, be clear on why you are doing it in the first place. Is it lead generation? Is it to create awareness of your company or a particular product?  Is is to develop customer loyalty? Or do you simply want to make money?

Watch out for other industry events when scheduling- Check the calendar

Be flexible with changes in size, location and other details.

As you get into the planning process, you may find that your event changes in size, location, and many other ways than you originally envisioned. 

Know your limitations.

We all know the goal is to throw a great live event. To that end, we also have to be aware of what we can or cannot realistically do — be it budget … or time-wise.

Create SMART goals.

Always start with strategy. Just like building any business, great events start with a strong, thoughtful and measurable strategy. 

Develop a 'financing plan' for your event, and estimate the numbers

Most events are funded by sponsorships, ticket sales, internal marketing budgets — or a combination of all three. When you create your budget for the event, you’ll need to estimate how much money you can realistically raise from each area

If this is your first time running events, use crowdfunding platforms to ease the risk. 

Make a DETAILED marketing plan and be tireless in your efforts. 

You need to define WHAT you’re doing at the event that will bring those target attendees in the door. For a consumer product it might be a party with entertainment and product demos and freebies. For a business crowd it might be educational content or an exciting, well-known expert speaker. 

When promoting an event be sure to tell your target market what they will learn, who they will meet and why they should be there. 

Use Twitter hashtags. 

Twitter is terrific for promoting events and for creating a sense of online community around an event. 

Use online registration.

Offer online registration to secure as many attendees as soon as possible, that will help to forecast numbers and release budget soon.

Delegate responsibilities and make sure you follow up.

No matter the size of your business, always try to delegate responsibilities. 

Imagine the event, step by step, and make a 2-column list: what could go wrong in one column, and your contingency plan in the second.  

Be prepared for the unexpected. Maybe the sound system fails. Maybe your keynote presenter bails. Can you cope and move on?

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