Your Ultimate Guide to Event Planning & Management (Free Templates Inside!)
Is the band here?
We asked for 7 starters; why are there only 5?
They didn't RSVP; why are they here? How are we going to manage this?
These are just some of the possibilities when you are managing any event.
This is what event managers do, and project managers too, to some extent.
If you're one of those who've found themselves caught in a sticky situation due to the mismanagement of an event, then let me tell you that you're not alone. The planning and execution of any event tend to put a lot of pressure on individuals and their teams.
Management is a demanding task.
Even for experienced persons working in this field, it becomes a whole uphill battle if you are not armed with the right tools and equipment.
If you want to make this easier, you can Sign-up with Stackby, get started with our pre-built event planning templates and get this show on the road!
In this article, we present you with the entire dos and don’ts that need to be followed while planning and executing all the aspects of event management. From themes to budgets that are all essential to any event.
Table of Content(s)
- What is Event Planning, and Why do we need it?
- What are the Components to Include in your Event Plan?
- How are Project Management & Event Management Related?
- The Step-by-Step Guide to Event Management
- What are the tools that can help you with Event Planning?
- Event Planning and Management Templates to get you started!
What is Event Planning, and Why do we need it?
The catering of the requirements of an event (formal or informal) such that the agenda for the event is met and made more productive, knowledgeable and the persons involved are attended to their utmost comfort would imply the successful management of the event.
Some of us may wonder why event management is categorized into the technical aspect of management. This is because it involves a lot of elements that require some serious thinking, creativity and composure. Did you know that Forbes has classified event management as one of the world's most stressful jobs?
Related: Thinking of planning your wedding but don’t know where to start? Stackby’s Wedding Planning Template is here for you!
What are the Components to Include in your Event Plan?
There is a list of factors that remain constant irrespective of the change, like the event. These are the top ten factors that you need to consider and plan out before making any other changes to your event plan.
- Event: Selection of themes has a critical role to play. Therefore, select your events with care and work on them accordingly.
- Venue: The venue needs to be convenient for all. You cannot hold an event when several participants have to travel hours to reach. Moreover, consider the theme and guest's compatibility with the venue.
- Budget: The availability of funds, or your budget, decides whether you will be able to accommodate your expenses. If your budget falls short, you will have to make sure cuts to balance your priorities.
- Sponsors: If your funds fall short, you can always create sponsors by attracting them with your offers and barters and by reaching out to them. Sponsors make it easier for you to meet your expenses and make your event more lavish.
- Volunteers: Volunteers are the group of people who will assist you in making the event a success. Therefore, be sure to select talented and responsible individuals who fit into the roles that you require.
- Marketing: Marketing is that component of event management that requires you to attract people for the event participation. There are several tools to do this; you can use emails, blogs, social media posts, etc., to meet your goal.
- Entertainment: It is natural for human attention span to be short. To keep the mind of the audience fresh, entertainment programs are included in specific segments. As a manager, be sure to employ singers, bands, dancers, speakers or hosts to keep the audience fresh and entertained.
- Production: Be sure that the setup for the event is accurately managed. From backstage to the broadcasts, production requires to be up to date.
- Equipment: Check your equipment beforehand. This will solve several of your technical issues and assist the event in occurring without any disturbances.
- Attendees: Keeping a checklist of all your attendees eases the security problem. Not only has this, keeping track of the attendees helped you focus segments of your event on their interests that induce them to participate more in the event.
Related: Need to plan a conference ASAP? Check out Stackby’s Conference Planning Template!
How are Project Management and Event Management Related?
Although event management and project management are two different topics, they share the same spectrum of management. This is the reason why they share several similarities as well. Some of them are-
- The measurement of objectives in milestones: Both project and event managers set milestones as objectives. This means that specific tasks are set up in the form of milestones, and completion of each of these brings you closer to your objective. Milestones are set up to simplify the whole event or function. This makes the tasks much easier to perform.
Examples of event milestones are selecting a date and venue, listing the participants, creating a budget, etc.
- Listing of tasks: Both project management and event management list their tasks so that no minute ones are missed. Usually, they consist of short term goals that bring you closer to your objectives. These tasks may be setting event dates, setting up music and display, organizing sponsors and many more.
- Collaborations: Event and project management both require the joint efforts of several teams involved in them. Finance, production, management are all required to put in their team efforts while collaborating to ensure the success of the event/project. A few examples of these collaborations would be creating a budget, marketing of events/projects, gathering feedback from the persons involved in the project/event, etc.
Related: Best Project Management Software for Businesses in 2021
The Step-by-Step Guide to Event Management
Now that we have understood the vitality of this position let us understand the steps to be followed while planning an event. Managing an event involves six main steps. They can be listed as follows-
Deciding the objective and purpose
If the entire management of an event is in the body, consider this the brain. Setting up the agenda for the event is the most essential as it allows you to incorporate the companies' goals and visions.
What are the objectives you aim to achieve? Who is your target audience? What do you aim to achieve by the end of the event? These are all the factors to be considered while deciding the purpose of the event. This first step allows you to evaluate your goals and make further plans accordingly.
Planning the event
Planning has to be done according to the agenda of the occasion. It is necessary to keep in mind the factors affecting the event, which often boils down to assembling your team, deciding the budget, choosing the date and venue and planning the guest list.
Planning also brings to light the external factors affecting your events like the venue's distance, weather conditions, food deliveries, etc. Planning makes the event less overwhelming by breaking it down and simplifies your tasks.
Related: 5 Event Planning Templates that you don’t want to miss!
Spreading Event Awareness
Assembling audiences and participants is the next step to event management. The best way to do this is by making the public aware of your event. Where is the first place you go to while looking for 'anything'? Search engines, of course! So, make sure that your content is SEO based so that you can garner maximum traffic.
Online ads, social media posts, short videos and blog posts are great ways to do this. Promoting your event with the help of third parties, influencers and participants will give your event a trustworthy base of participants. It is important to have an interactive and curious audience so that the agenda of the event is successfully passed on.
Marketing the Event
Marketing is the chance for you to communicate with your audience and establish contact with them. Marketing includes promoting the event you're managing and advertising its value. If you want your marketing to be a success, then make sure that you use the following tips:
- Send out emails and SMS that notify the public about your event
- Communicate your purpose on promotional platforms and social media with the help of hashtags, tweets, pictures, etc.
- Allow your audience to catch a glimpse of your panellists and the topics of discussions.
- Use third parties (like influencers, models and other paid promotions) to market your event.
Executing the Event
Execution is the core of management. This decides whether all the planning and preparation bears fruit or not. There are several ways to make sure that the event is executed smoothly.
Firstly, by dividing the event into sub-portions so that small breaks are provided for the audience and the participants to ensure that their performance doesn't dwindle.
Secondly, you can always generate volunteers to attend to assigned areas and tasks to ensure that every part of the event is paid attention to throughout.
Thirdly, following the agenda of the event always helps you to stay on track. It is always a good idea to make sure that your volunteers, participants, and general audience have an idea of what is going on. You do not want your audience to be lost while your panelists are speaking while also ensuring that the audience receives the promised knowledge that they've signed up for.
Engaging and Networking
Engaging and networking is an essential step to set up a successful and enjoyable event. This section of the event helps you expand your contacts and establishes important work relationships for your future growth.
There are several means to do this; exchanging numbers, emails, and business cards are informal. If you would like to have a separate networking section, then it is possible to set up questioning rounds, exchange of business ideas, and group discussions.
Related: Looking to organize a trade show? Check out Stackby’s Trade Show Planning Template!
Any event is left incomplete without the feedback of the persons involved in the event. You can distribute feedback forms (online or offline) to gather their input, set up a suggestion box, create a rating program, etc. This helps you improve in areas that the audience may suggest and thus set up better, organized events in the future.
What are the tools that can help you with Event Planning?
While event planning requires you to follow the steps mentioned in the guidelines, it is always helpful to take assistance from premade tools and software to deliver a polished final product. Some of the best options are listed below:
- Stackby: Stackby is a website that provides you with readymade templates, spreadsheets, layouts and many more. It meets the requirements of all the steps that require recording and tracking your tasks.
- Active: This is an app that helps you hold e-tickets, schedules, surveys, chat rooms, along with several other assistance that it provides.
- Boomset: Boomset is a multi-purpose event management platform that offers you in-person, hybrid and excellent virtual events.
- Event: This is an all-in-one system that uses cloud/mobile to centralize multiple planning tools for planning, reporting, sign-ups, etc.
- Slack: Slack is an app-based way to communicate with your team. It simplifies how you interact with each other has only ever been seen growing in popularity in the business world.
Event Planning and Management Templates to get you started
Event planning & management can be hard, but it can be made easier if you have certain touchpoints and know where to start. Here are some of the pre-built templates by Stackby to make your event planning easier!
Company Event Planning Template
When planning company events, it can be about anything – product launch, a celebratory event for hitting a big target, a team picnic, or simply a team coordination task planned out by HR. They will all be classified under company events.
While important, company event planning can also be a bit on the tougher side while managing all the invites, budgets, locations, and vendors. If you are lost as to where to start with planning your company event, you can use Stackby’s Company Event Planning Template.
With this template, you can:
- Keep track of all the events that you need to or will need to plan for in your company
- Assign tasks to your team
- Track your event budget, and spending
- Keep track of your team, their assigned work and the progress.
- Track the vendors, their contact details and availability.
Check it out here:
Event Marketing Plan Template
Marketing and events are an important point for it to be successful. However, it can be quite a hassle to do the correct kind of event marketing. If you can't understand where to start, check out Stackby’s Event Marketing Plan Template. With this template, you can:
- Track all the events happening or going to happen in your company in one place
- Track all about venues and tasks regarding events at one place
- Track all about vendors and their availability
- Track all the assets in regards to any events’ marketing at one place
- Track About the sponsorships you might get for all the events
- Track the VIP Guests you want to, or you need to invite to your upcoming events
Check it out here:
Online Event Tracker
Track all the online events your company will be holding, be it tours, webinars, conferences, or anything else. Maintain and manage your event calendar easily at one place with Stackby’s Online Event Tracker Template. With this template, you can:
- Track all the event details of every event that your company will organize in one place
- Record all the session details – session names, start time, date and session details
- Keep track of all the people attending your events
- Also, keep track of all the speakers for your events and all their details
Check it out here:
Event planning can be hard, but you can make it much easier if you think ahead and think smart! Don’t let the number of activities get you in a panic mode. Breathe, relax and sort this out. With all the free advice you have got, you are good to go! If you want to kick start your event management with our free templates, sign-up with Stackby today!