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How to Plan an Event

How to Plan an Event

Do you want to organize, host, or merely set up an event? Are you familiar with the tidbits, must-haves, dos, and don’ts related to such an endeavor?

Initial questions to ask are:

  1. What do you want to gain from this experience?
  2. What do you want to accomplish?
  3. Have you assigned people to take care of the various important planning details?
  4. How many guests do you anticipate?
  5. What are the anticipated ticket sales?
  6. What objectives have you set for the event’s conclusion that you hope to achieve?

When designating team members with tasks, ensure that it is something they are familiar with;

  1. Venue and décor
  2. Music set up (sound system and DJ)
  3. Sponsors
  4. Caterer and bar service
  5. Clean up


In any aspect of planning there must be budgeting and accountability. 


The cost should cover rental as well as décor.  Your décor would be indicative of the theme you decide on—are you going Great Gatsby or 80’s Chic?
Remember key points when booking your venue.

  1. Is it easily accessible?
  2. Does it have sufficient washrooms? This is an important part—who wants to go to a washroom and stand in line for 20 minutes while their favorite songs are being played? No one. Based on the number of patrons please book a venue that can facilitate easy flow of traffic in and out of the washrooms.
  3. Based on the number of patrons or tickets you intend to sell; is the space adequate enough that people won’t be bumping into each other.
  4. Is there parking or is it easily accessed through public transport?
  5. Ensure that the stage area is chosen for best acoustic output set up.
  6. Down payments, fees, security deposits and refunds (if you cancel) should also be discussed.


Good décor can transform the most mundane of venues, locations or rooms into a space of elegance, intrigue and sophistication. Your décor must always bring that wow factor and give a sense of awe to your patrons. They must feel the need to take photos, selfies, make videos and post, sharing as much of the ambiance as they could possibly share.


Keep in mind the number of patrons you intend to have or how many tickets you have sold or intend to when calculating this figure. Depending on the time of day your event is carded for, your food options vary. If your event is set around lunch time then I would suggest you book a caterer that carries main course options. If however your event is in the night I recommend finger food—but, again, it’s all based on your crowd; the nature of the event and the time of day.


Bar service is the heart of your event, this is where people come to lighten the mood, shake the vibe, tickle the worms—as some may put it. Ensure that the bar service you select supplies everything: drinks, ice, water, napkins, straws, cups, etc. There should be no miscommunication as to what you should supply additionally. You should always have reserves, whether it’s a revenue bar or drinks inclusive event. When folks get to drinking, having extras is a plus. Find out from your bar service provider about consignment stock so you can return what wasn’t consumed.


DJ, speakers, mic rental and lighting should be covered in this bill. Please don’t go choosing your favorite DJ because he plays music you like. Get a DJ that can mix it up. One that can appease everyone’s musical palates. Everyone must shake a leg at some point during the night. Music must always set the mood; it must transport you, it must move you involuntary at times. No event is a success without an experienced DJ.


If you are required to clean up after your event, get the clean up crew there within an hour before the scheduled end. Let them walk around to get familiar with the venue and probably start picking up trash as some patrons would have already started leaving.


If the event is being planned by a committee come to a collective decision on how much each member would be paid as to not have any disgruntled members.


How are you going to market your event? Is my event the go to event?  What would be the main attraction or attract patrons to your event?
Create a catchy name for your event—something that’s memorable and relatable.
Do you have a logo or artwork with the theme of your event? These things get patrons excited in planning their outfit around your theme and help ensure future success for the franchise. Will you be promoting on social media, flyers, etc?


In planning any event you should plan 5-7 months in advance. Compare various prices from vendors ensuring you get the most the bang for your buck. Avoid planning around religious holiday or periods where different religions groups observe their fasting. When deciding on a date ensure that your DJ, vendors, venue and decorator are all in agreement on your date and time.

Have your contract drawn up and signed by all service providers, identifying any fine print that both parties may not be clear on.

When choosing vendors for your event, experience is always the way to go. Due diligence never hurts, run background checks, read reviews, this could be very important in the long run.

Sponsorship for your events is a must. It’s a win win situation for both parties, multiple advertising avenues for sponsors and you benefit by not having to pay a through your nose for their product.


Wake early and have a good breakfast, you can’t predict how hectic the day is going to get. Keep contact with all committee members, ensuring no one has issues or unforeseen mishaps that needs sorting out.
Get the the venue and check on the set up: stage, decor, washrooms, caterer, bar service. Do a full walk through, ensuring things are flowing in a timely manner.
Ensure all committee members’ phones are charged for easy communication.
Walk with extra supplies (chargers, pens, pain killers, plasters, extension cords, paper)
Walk with a change of clothes.
When everything is set up just before the start of the event, relax look around and take in the hard work.

Kimberley James

Kimberley James

Kimberley is an aspiring writer, and owns her own bartender service. She is also the inventor of the board game {game name here}.

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