This is a “how to” guide for aspiring event
planners. It provides a list of tactics that can
assist you in planning and executing a
successful event. Each event is unique,
however this guide specifically targets
events such as parties, award banquets,
This guide also provides personal quotes
from successful event planners.
Hope you find this guide helpful and enjoy
“The word event means an occasion, a
gathering of people at a certain place
at a certain time for a specific reason,” –
One of the most
important things that
planning an event is
budget will allow
you to know which
items are necessities
for your event &
which items are
Also, having a set
budget will narrow
your choices for
One of the first steps to event planning is
creating a timeline.
Create a schedule of deadlines,
including meetings, invitation send outs,
deliveries and all other important dates.
Follow your timeline! It will ensure that
you don’t miss deadlines and allow you
to stay organized.
Another crucial step
in planning an event
is determining your
Knowing the age
likes/dislikes of the
audience that will
attend your event
can assist you in
deciding what type
of food to serve,
which type of
have, and even the
Another important step in planning and
executing an event, is choosing a venue.
After determining your target audience
and the type of event that you are
planning, you can begin looking at different
You want to choose a venue that is neither
too large or too small for the number of
people that will attend.
You also want to choose a venue that fits
your theme and also fits into your budget.
When planning an event, it is a good
idea to assign different roles to your staff.
I have found that having a staff of 5-8
people provides the most effective work
environment when it comes to planning
There are numerous roles to
be held including, but not
› A treasurer who will keep
track of the budget, all
money spent, receipts,
money earned, and
› A contact person who will
contact all vendors, such as
caterers and entertainment.
› A marketing person who will
distribute advertising, contact
media, and promotions.
When planning an event, whether it is a
small party or a large event, such as a
wedding- organization is key.
If you follow your schedule and update
your budget each week, it will allow you
to stay on track and to stay organized.
Always keep the target audience in
mind, a successful event is an event that
is enjoyed by all in attendance.
As mentioned earlier,
knowing your target
audience will allow you
to create an event that
will be enjoyed by
The decorations, music,
entertainment, and even
the invitations should
always be made to suit
the target audience.
› At an awards banquet, we
chose to use pom-poms in
because the theme of the
event was “Celebrating
the fields of
pom-poms relate to sports
fields. & many of the
attendees were college
One issue that is often encountered in
event planning is lack of communication.
Clear communication with vendors, as well
as being specific in your contracts can
decrease your chance of encountering
problems during the event.
Also, clear communication with your staff
and client will allow everyone to stay on the
Providing your staff and client with a
detailed report each week will keep
everyone on track.
Another issue that can be encountered
is not updating the budget.
Updating the budget after each
purchase will ensure that you do not go
over the set amount of money.
Going over a client’s budget will most
likely ensure that you are not hired again
or recommended to future clients.
Providing an evaluation
form at your event is a
great way to gain
Evaluation forms allow
the guests to tell you
what they liked and
disliked about your
A great way to give
each guest an
evaluation sheet is to
place a sheet inside of a
program and place the
programs on each seat.
Always remember, you cannot please everyone.
There are always going to be unhappy guests, but as
long as your client and most of the guests are happy,
you’ve done your job.
When reading the evaluation sheets, focus on the
criticisms. They can help you improve at your next
The compliments will let you know which areas of the
event were successful and should be repeated.
Jennifer Mancuso, an event planner for
more than seventeen years gives the
› “Tailor events to each client-from a corporate
dinner to an intimate wedding.”
› “Market and network to keep your business
› “Hire vendors that your client will love.”
› “Build a great reputation in your area and
Shannon Kilkenny has over 25 years of
event planning experience. She says,
› “Assign roles and responsibilities early in the
process. There are many areas to cover,
details to attend to, decisions to be made,
and someone needs to do them.”
Whether planning a wedding, awards
banquet, birthday party, or grand opening
there a few key aspects to keep in mind:
› Tailor your event to suit your audience. Knowing your
guests will allow to choose the best venue, caterer,
entertainment, and decorations.
› Stay on track. Create a schedule with important
dates and make sure you and your staff stick to the
› Update your budget. After each purchase, update
your budget to ensure that you do not go over.
› Communicate clearly. Be specific in your contracts
and be clear with your staff, client, and vendors.
› Lastly, ENJOY! This is your event so don’t forget to
The Everything Guide to Being an Event
Planner by Jennifer Mancuso
The Complete Guide to Successful Event
Planning by Shannon Kilkenny