Whether you are a career event planner or have just been tasked with organizing a one-time occasion, using an event planning checklist will help to make the entire process of planning an event easier and more efficient. Event planning is full of details, and it’s easy to overlook some important details. That’s why professional event planners use a checklist like this one to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Operating off of a checklist instead of trying to keep track of everything you need to do in your head not only keeps you organized. It provides a quick and seamless way of knowing where you are in your event planning; what you’ve already taken care of and how much you have yet to do.
Choosing the Right Venue
The first thing that needs to be taken care of is choosing the right venue for the occasion. If you’re hosting an outdoor family wedding in your own backyard, the choice of venue is taken care of. For all other events, consider the following:
- Occupancy capacity – The venue has to be sizable enough to comfortably accommodate all your guests. Also, most venues have a maximum number of allowable occupants.
- Accessibility – Consider if it will be reasonably easy for your guests to get to from every direction, using main thoroughfares.
- Cost – Is it within your operating budget? While the venue may be the largest expense of the event, remember that you will still have other expenses that will quickly add up.
- Appropriateness – Does the venue suit the somberness/gaiety of the occasion? While decor can be altered to suit an event, the more appropriate it already is, the less you’ll have to change.
In most towns and cities, event permits are required whenever large groups are gathering at a planned event, such as a wedding or other kinds of get-togethers. Never assume that a permit won’t be necessary. If you don’t have the proper permit, your event could be needlessly shut down.
The town fire department may compel you to obtain a permit for something as informal as a beach campfire. Find out precisely which licenses you require. Send in your application as soon as you can in case there are any issues. The issuance of permits may be delayed unexpectedly and significantly due to red tape. Keep copies of the permits handy while the event is going on.
All kinds of outdoor events can benefit from a display of live fireworks. Buy fireworks online to get the best deals and the largest selection of fireworks to choose from. Be sure to let guests know that a beautiful fireworks display will take place after dark, so everyone stays to see the fireworks!
Make sure to reserve early whether you want a DJ or live music for your event. The plans should be confirmed as the date approaches. Make sure that the payment deposit and future balance payment are understood. Give your entertainer specific directions on where to set up, when to take down, and where the venue is.
Arranging For Parking
Think carefully about how much parking your guests will require. If the venue’s parking lot or parking area isn’t big enough, you might consider renting a lot off-site and providing valet parking. If that’s not an option, a shuttle service could be used to transport visitors from a distant parking area.
You also need to consider parking for your hired staff and entertainers. They will likely each arrive individually, and some will arrive in vans and other service vehicles that require direct access to the serving and entertainment areas. In other words, you won’t be able to shuttle in the caterers and all the food, chairs, tables, etc.
Consider whether you need security for your guests. For both site security and event security, security services are offered. Political rallies, town meetings, sizable weddings, neighborhood carnivals, and other gatherings that are likely to draw a sizable crowd are a few events that can require guard services. You can engage security guards to keep the off-site guest parking lots secure, serve as celebrity security escorts, divert traffic away from the entrance to the venue to ensure safe egress, and keep things generally orderly.
Taking Care of Cleanup
Unless you are renting a venue where after-event cleanup is included, you’ll need to make arrangements to take care of the cleanup. Your event caterers will clean up their own things, but that will likely only include gathering the serviceware that they have provided.
You will also need to arrange to remove litter or other items that guests may leave behind. Arrange a cleanup staff in advance of your event. To ensure that your group is invited back at any time, make sure you leave the venue in the same condition as when you rented it.
If you are prepared and planned, your event will undoubtedly be a success. The fact that everything happened as planned is perhaps the greatest compliment you can get!