The Event Planning Checklist You Didn’t Know You Needed

June 19, 2020

Pulling off a flawless event requires careful planning and preparation. With a number of moving parts to manage, it’s easy for some action items to get lost in the fray. But the process of planning an event doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Armed with a bit of foresight and a thorough event planning checklist, your conference, annual meeting or trade show is guaranteed to get rave reviews from attendees. As we kick back into gear with in-person events, our comprehensive event planning checklist breaks down every step of the process to help you navigate the intricacies of event planning, at every phase:

A printable version of this event planning checklist is available free for download. 

The Planning Phase

 Event planning for larger events and conferences ideally begins 8-12 months prior to the event. Be sure your organization’s initial discussion around the event includes these event planning checklist items:

Draft a budget to submit for approval. Consider the cost of:
 
EXPERT TIP: A mobile app created specifically for the event can be an excellent way to track goal performance, 
such as live event app polling and registration tracking through mobile check-in.
Determine your goals for the event:
Search for sponsorships:
Propose potential dates for the event:
Research ideal venues:
Consider event merchandise:
Consider your catering options:
Plan your entertainment and speakers:

 

The Preparations Phase

Once you’ve gotten your budget approved and plan prepared, you can begin to execute the initial steps in the event, conference or trade show. Expect to finalize topics discussed in the initial planning steps around 4-6 months before the event. This is the phase where you begin executing the plans you’ve previously laid out.

Make a decision on the venue:
Book your desired speakers and entertainment:
Order branded merchandise:
Book your caterer:
Create a mobile app specifically for the event:
Draft a tentative schedule for how the event will unfold:

The Promotional Phase

About 2-4 months prior to the event, your organization should launch marketing efforts (although more time may be needed depending on the scale). Complete the crucial event marketing checklist items below, to draw your target number of attendees:

Create event website with online registration setup:
Launch marketing campaigns and build marketing collateral:
 EXPERT TIP: Include the download information for your conference app on all marketing materials to drive downloads.
 EXPERT TIP: Ask yourself, what does my ideal attendee read? Where to they shop? Where do they live? 
What do they watch, or listen to?
Send event reminders:

The Finalization Phase

The finalization phase should occur around 4 weeks prior to the event. This is your chance to:

Finalize venue layout and set up:
Make event materials available on your event mobile app:
Confirm planned activities are in order:

The Post-Event Phase

After the event is over, there are just a few more steps your organization must take to wrap things up, including:

Measure event success against pre-established goals:
Manage finances and receipts:
 

Take Your Event to the Next Level With MobileUp

Having a strong and thorough event planning checklist is integral to organized event planning. A custom branded mobile app for the event not only supports you throughout the planning phase, it can be essential to driving attendee engagement the day of. On a larger scale, your mobile presence in members’ lives should be consistent, not episodic. 

A year-round app solution like Engage 365 from MobileUp can drive year round engagement for your company, while helping you build your brand and cultivate an atmosphere of member communication and retention. MobileUp is a leader in the creation of cost-effective conference and event mobile apps that enhance the guest experience. Having a branded mobile app condenses all of your event resources and communication efforts in one place, making sure your event runs as smoothly as possible. Alleviate the stress of event planning with MobileUp today.

Recent Articles from MobileUp

Before you go...Interested in receiving more insightful tips for association managers?

Sign up to have this content delivered directly to your inbox.