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The Ultimate Guide to Event Planning

Inspired by events like the London Marathon and the Midnight Walk? Feel like you want to organise your very own public event for a cause close to your heart? What’s holding you back? Event planning is not only rewarding in so many ways it is also really good fun.

How to plan an event

What are the steps in event planning?

We can’t emphasise enough the importance of forward planning, but possibly the most imperative thing is to ask yourself why you are doing it and what you want the outcome to be. If you have strong objectives and stick to the plan that is at the heart of your event, then you should be halfway there to making it a success.

How to plan and organise and event

What are the steps in event planning? Here are a few pointers to help you.

Costs: You need to know how to make a budget plan for an event that is realistic. Make a list of all your outgoings such as venue, marquee, toilet, lighting and power hire. Possibly appearance fees for celebrities. Assess how much it is going to cost then work out how much a ticket or entrance fee will cost to ensure both that everything is paid for and that you make a profit.

Choose a date: Check nobody else is doing something similar at the same time. For example, if you’re holding a charity cake bake and want Mary Berry to come along to support you, ensure she’s not booked for another baking show elsewhere on the same day – and of course make sure you’ve got a realistic budget if you want to book a big-name celebrity like Ms. Berry herself!

Also keep in mind the time of the year. There’s a reason why most outdoor events are held in the summer in the UK.

Location, location, location: You need to choose somewhere to hold the event and obviously, a Tough Mudder event will be held in a completely different location from say, a Bridgerton-themed ball. Check out important considerations like transportation to and from the venue and parking. You want to ensure that food and drink suppliers can gain access to the site too.

Have a marketing plan for your event: Of course, the crux of any event is ensuring that people know about it and attend! Visible marketing materials should be near the top of your list – from posters, flyers and banners in prominent places to a beautifully printed invitation to a ball, charity auction, or charity talent show. These will add value to the evening for those who attend. You could post a save the date notice before you send out your invitations.

Give your event an identity: You need to tell people about what is happening so make sure that you get personalised banners printed up to advertise the event. You may also need banners on the day to flag up where people should meet for the start of their bike race, or road race and for key areas such as first aid and the refreshment tent.

Marketing plan for an event: One aim of marketing is to get people involved even before the event takes place, inspiring them to snap up branded T-shirts, hand clappers and selfie frames that they can take along on the day.

Publicity: Don’t just rely on social media for publicity. Get the message out there any way you can. If it is a ticketed event, the aim is to sell tickets way ahead of the event date. In this way you can plan catering volume etc.

Final checks: As you come closer to the big day, it’s essential to take the time to check in with everyone. And we mean everyone. Email attendees with instructions on how to find the venue or how to log in to your video hosting platform, check in with suppliers to confirm timings, and ask speakers if they have any special requests.

You need a contingency plan for an event

The best laid plans can, well, go belly up, so it’s important to be prepared for every outcome. This could be the band not turning up for the ball, speakers cancelling or the venue falling through. To avoid having to make refunds, have a backup plan that you can use in preparation for the worst-case scenario.

Insurance for an event

It is very important to have various forms of insurance such as public liability insurance. To comply, you will need to have medics on site and have checked everything has been done to keep people safe during the event by way of a risk assessment.

What is the best way to plan an event?

The best way is to be thorough with your planning and ensure that you have a contingency plan for your event just in case anything should go wrong. But as well as all the finer details with regard to legals etc. you can really make the event special by producing keepsakes. Create stickers for supporters to wear at a funrun or sports event and hire a professional photographer to take pictures that can be turned into a photobook commemorating the event afterwards.

What are the seven elements of event planning?

1. Understand the purpose of the event
2. Know your audience
3. Choose the right venue
4. Ensure the timing is right
5. Draft a plan and follow the timeline
6. Create content that attracts your target audience
7. Ensure you promote the event via several means. Don’t just rely on social media.


Evaluate everything afterwards. It actually takes a bit of time for you to come down after an event and begin to work out what was good and what didn’t work. It’s important to learn from your mistakes and then move on. You can take stock as where you can manage your time better and whether you need to hone your organisational skills. Ask yourself, could you be better prepared? Did you need more promotional material? Learn from your event then move onto planning the next. After all, there’s nothing like the buzz of seeing all your hard work come together at the end.


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