7 Steps of Successful Event Planning for Professionals

13 October 2019

Text by Sarah Hill for

For you and your event to be successful you have to put the work in prior to the event and ensure that your event planning is meticulous and well thought out.

Every successful event professional should have a tick list to ensure that all bases are covered to make this particular event the best one yet.

Here’s my guide to seven steps to keep you on track with planning a successful event.

Step One – Understand the brief

All clients will send over a brief and because they know their event inside out assume that you do too. My first tip would be to ask questions, and lots of them!

You won’t be successful unless you understand what the client is looking to do. What is the event for? Why are they holding it? What are the objectives of the event?

It’s not just about “are they sitting in theatre or cabaret or what kind of drinks they want at the drinks reception?” Really understand the nitty gritty of what the event is for and this will help you propose the most relevant venues for the best event. A good relationship with your client is needed to get a detailed brief.

Step Two – Search the venues

Really look at the brief you have been given and see how you can propose the venues that suit that brief best. Perhaps there’s a link between the venue and the content or topic of the event… really show that you’ve studied the brief and thought about the venues that you propose. Remember with venues that it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ formula and the key to event planning at any successful agency is proposing venues that your client wouldn’t be aware of themselves or that have an interesting link or quirk that is really going to appeal to your clients and their guests.

Step Three – Shortlist and site visit

Let your client shortlist their top 3 or 4 venues to go and site visit but remember that you’re there to guide them. If there’s a particular venue that you feel works perfectly which they haven’t picked, remember you’re there to advise your clients so don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. A good event planner should have a trusted relationship with their client. Also remember on site visits that you’re there to add value so ask those questions to the venues that your client wouldn’t think of!

Step Four – Constant Communication

COMMUNICATE – with everyone! Your team, the venue, your suppliers and your client.

You’re there to make your client’s life easier but you need to let them know that you’re on top of everything, particularly with a new client who perhaps hasn’t seen you in action. Anyone is only as good as the information that they’re given so it is key that you’re in constant communication in person, on the phone and then on email to ensure that all elements of the event planning are covered.

Step Five – Don’t forget the finishing touches

It’s the little things that people remember so those all important finishing touches are key to a successful event, making it one that people will go away talking about.

Be it pillow gifts for the partners on an incentive trip, or glitter girls in a party, a Celebrity DJ or the ability to give live feedback in a conference – anything that is going to stick in your guests minds for the right reason is a positive.

Get to know your client and their guests to pitch it right when adding in those additional extras and remember a little goes a long way!

Step Six – Ensure everyone knows the plan

This means you, your client, your team and the venue and suppliers. Everyone should have the same schedule and work from it throughout.

By putting together a detailed schedule this will alleviate any concerns your client may have by seeing that all bases are covered.

Share this with your client. There is never any harm in them seeing how much time and thought has gone into the planning of their event.

Step Seven – Enjoy it!

Yes event days are long and yes they can be stressful but make sure you enjoy it. And more importantly by you being there it will mean that your client can actually enjoy the event too. Your client will thank you as they’ll take the credit from their side and their trust in you will have grown ensuring that they will want you to plan your event next time. We all work in events because we love what we do and the transformations that we make happen for every event, so take the time to look at what you’ve done and be pleased.

So there you have it, these are my 7 steps of Successful Event Planning for Professionals.

If you follow this for each and every event you do you will be organised, your events will run smoothly, your clients will be happy and you will have numerous repeat clients.

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