How to Plan an Event for Beginners

how to plan an event for beginners events planner

Figuring out how to plan an event can be one of the overwhelming yet highly rewarding experiences. 

For people who love details and design, it's a dream assignment. It's your chance to get creative and watch all of the little moving parts come together into a fun and hopefully profitable event.

But before you get fixated on ice sculptures and jazz bands, let's start with the basics. Here's a quick primer on how to plan an event people will remember for all the right reasons.

Set Your Goals

What are you hoping to achieve with your event?

Do you want to get more leads and customers? Are you hoping to build a professional network? Do you want to promote a new product or service?

There are plenty of reasons to add events to your marketing mix, but you need to be realistic and specific about what you hope to take away from it.

This is also a great opportunity to consider whether an event is even right for your goals.

Create a Timeline

When learning how to plan an event, it's helpful to work backward. For example, you might already have a tentative date in mind. From there, you can start creating a timeline to find a venue, secure vendors, send invitations, advertise, hire help, and other specifics.

Depending on the size and scope of your event, vendors may need to be booked several weeks in advance. 

Develop an Event Planning Budget

The least glamorous part of event planning is setting an event planning budget. How much do you need to spend to get the job done without going overboard?

The simplest thing to do is to make a list of all your must-have expenses (e.g. a venue, food, entertainment, supplies) and most-desired expenses (e.g. swag bags, decor, etc.). 

Look at costs of these items in your area to get an idea of what you might need to spend on each.

Also, consider the ROI you're expecting from the event to help you justify how much to spend.

Using a budgeting calculator can be invaluable to this part of the even planning experience. 

Map Out Your Vendor Needs

Use your list of expenses to start contacting vendors and getting price quotes. You can outsource a majority of your event needs, including food, music, table and linen chair covers, equipment setup, and cleanup, to name a few.

From there, it becomes a matter of following up with vendors, keeping an eye on the budget, and inching closer to event day. 

Best Advice on How to Plan an Event: Ask for Help

Knowing how to plan an event as a beginner can be a fun experience — if you make it fun. Things can and will go wrong, but don't let that discourage you. 

You can get more from the experience when you ask others for help, especially if you know people with event planning experience. The more events you plan, the better you'll get. And hopefully, the more effective your events will be!

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