Event Planning 101

By Rachel Swiednicki


The stress of planning an event can build quickly, whether you are hosting an event for 10 people or 1,000. There are many things to consider, from the theme of the event to space logistics, timing and food requirements. Most important – keep in mind the reason you are holding this gathering/meeting or conference in the first place: what message do you want your audience to take away with them? Once you have that established, it’s time to create your checklist.

check markLocation, location, location – make sure you triple-count the number of people confirmed to be attending and always add three extra spaces, in case extra people decide to attend at the last minute. Once you have your attendance numbers, it’s time to scout out venues with the capacity to hold all your guests comfortably. Make sure you take into consideration all types of seating arrangements, from theatre-style to rounds.

check markDepending on the complexity of your event, there may be travel arrangements to think about and food catering. Don’t forget to ask about food allergies in your invitation/RSVP.

check markAudio/visual requirements are a major consideration. It’s better to be over-prepared by having extra USB keys, monitor connectors, projector, mics and a spare laptop on hand. If you plan on featuring a guest speaker, make sure you are aware of their A/V needs.

check markIt is important to work closely with your venue’s event manager. He or she can assist you with meal choices, ideas/themes and best practices.

check markAll planning aside, there is one BIG concern that will affect everything you are able to do: THE BUDGET. Some money-saving tips include:

  • Buffet as your food option. This eliminates paying for servers.

  • Containing your event within one room – you won’t have to move A/V equipment around.

  • Holding your event in a locale outside of a major city – no parking expenses, plus food and A/V costs may be lower.

RachelRachel Swiednicki is a professional communicator, with ten years of experience in the communications industry. Eight of those years were spent as a journalist before moving into a career in public relations / corporate communications.

By Adam

April 12, 2010