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The ultimate event planning guide and checklist for 2024

With 86% of marketers stating that events are critical to reaching key business objectives, these occasions are becoming increasingly important for marketing strategies. Event management can be a stressful occasion for many, with a ton of moving parts and varying details to manage, there are a lot of things to consider. A comprehensive event planning checklist is invaluable to alleviate some of this pressure. 

From selecting a venue and securing speakers to following up with thank-you notes, conducting post-event evaluations and ensuring everything runs smoothly, a checklist can help organise everything into one place.

In this article, you will find an exhaustive guide to event planning. This will help you navigate the entire process, from pre-event to during and after. You can also tailor this list to suit your specific needs, providing event management solutions for all. 

What is event planning? 

With around 95% of people stating that in-person events can have a major impact on achieving business goals, event planning is becoming increasingly popular among marketing professionals. But, before we dive into your event planning guide, we will first uncover what it entails to plan an event. 

Event planning can include anything from conferences and networking events to weddings, fundraisers and more. It requires organisation and planning to ensure the smooth coordination of timings, attendees, venues, budget and attention to detail. 

Event planning can appear a daunting task, but with the right tools you’re sure to breeze through the process, many of which can be found below.  

Step-by-step event planning guide

Now you know a bit more about what it takes to plan an event, we’ll next take you through a step-by-step guide to help you create an event project plan and guide. Below you will discover a variety of tips and resources which can be used as a checklist to get you started. 

Pre-event planning checklist

  • Digital event app

Using a digital event app for event planning offers a ton of benefits that streamline the entire process. These apps provide great tools for enhancing communication and engagement among attendees, speakers, and organisers with real-time updates, notifications and interactive features. This allows you to access key information all in one place with ease. 

Using a digital event app from Touch Stay provides one place for spotlighting your brand, linking to sponsors, customising content, providing surveys to attendees and organising your event from start to finish.  

They are also excellent tools for data collection and analysis, enabling organisers to gather valuable insights into attendee preferences and behaviour after the event. This data can then inform future planning strategies, which we will explore more later in the article. 

  • Research

When working on event planning and management, research is key. Thoroughly understanding the target audience allows event planners to tailor the experience to meet the needs of their attendees. It is important to also research the venue to ensure it aligns with the event's goals and accommodates the expected number of guests comfortably. 

Other areas to research before your event include suppliers, vendors and partners, providing informed decisions which will help contribute to the event's quality and cost-effectiveness. Market research is another area that requires attention as this helps identify industry trends and competitor activities, allowing planners to differentiate their events and offer a unique experience. 

  • Project management and delegation

Event planning management requires skills in project oversight and delegation. Your team should be there to assist in all aspects of your event, allowing you to split the workload and take off some of the pressure. 

When organising any event, there are often several moving parts. From finding a venue to planning the guest list, providing refreshments, organising suppliers and vendors and much more, one person can't manage the whole process. 

With this in mind, a good level of project management and delegation is required when planning an event. Event planners must use the strengths of their team and assign roles accordingly. This will ensure the smooth running of the event, all while sharing the workload. 

  • The event programme

An event program is essential for anyone planning an event. It serves as the roadmap for a successful event and provides attendees with essential information about the schedule, speakers, activities, logistics and more. This also ensures clarity and smooth navigation throughout. 

A well-crafted program also enhances engagement and anticipation by highlighting key attractions and moments, generating excitement among attendees. Additionally, it serves as a valuable communication tool for organisers, ensuring everyone is aligned with the event's objectives and expectations.

  • Branding and advertising

Branding and advertising play vital roles in the success of any event, serving as the main ways to attract and engage attendees. 

Creating a strong and consistent brand also helps differentiate the event from competitors making it memorable for potential participants. You can implement advertising with a selection of readily available tools. With the use of social media, email marketing, leaflets, posters and more, organisers can effectively reach their target audience and attract potential attendees. 

  • The venue

The venue is a vital part of any event. From ensuring it can hold the number of guests, to providing an atmosphere that aligns with your purpose, this is something that should not be overlooked by event organisers. 

Before booking a venue, it is first important to know how many people will be attending, alongside the sort of space your event requires. For example, do you need a stage for speakers? Is there a screen for presentations? Does the venue have a sound system? Can you provide a space for catering for guests? Can those who need assistance easily access the venue? Once you know more about your guestlist and the type of event you plan to organise, this will help determine the venue. 

  • Budget planning

Budget planning is an important aspect of organising any event. This ensures that you are making decisions based on your finances and prevents event planners from overspending or over-promising guests things that cannot be delivered. 

By outlining income sources and anticipated expenses upfront, event planners can effectively allocate resources and prioritise expenditures according to their importance and impact. A well-defined budget helps minimise financial risks and ensures that the event remains within monetary constraints. 

  • Website and registration

Event organisers will also want to consider setting up a website and adding any important information here before the occasion. This will provide a place for attendees to go to get more details on the event before they attend. 

The website can also be used as a registration tool, allowing event planners to track the guest lists both before and during the event. These systems are perfect for looking into the numbers and data and provide an excellent system for organising your finances accordingly.

During the event checklist

  • Event programme brochures

Those looking at how to plan an event will also need to consider a checklist during the occasion. There are some excellent event brochure examples available that will help you create a detailed itinerary to help your guests know what to expect when attending your event. 

Event programme templates provide fantastic resources for organisers and attendees as they allow for seamless coordination. These brochures deliver a detailed schedule of events, speaker bios, venue maps, and other essential information, serving as a comprehensive reference for guests. 

  • Food and drinks

You will want to consider food and beverage needs before your event. Things like dietary requirements and the number of people you are catering for are essential when looking into the logistics. 

From this information, you can plan caterers and timings, alongside any staff that might be needed for the food and drinks. We recommend planning your catering options in line with your finances which should have been set out before the event. 

  • Speakers and entertainment

When looking into the different stages of event planning, speakers and entertainment are crucial aspects for organisers. You will need to provide speakers that are aligned with the branding of your events, and also supply deadlines for content and advertising, all while sharing any additional details with your guests. 

Be sure to spend some time working out the travel logistics with your speakers and entertainment to ensure that they can attend your event with ease. 

  • Health and safety

Health and safety is vital when working as an event organiser. Prioritising these measures not only mitigates risks but also fosters a sense of trust and confidence among attendees. 

From carrying out detailed risk assessments to implementing emergency protocols and providing sufficient medical support, thorough planning is essential to address any unforeseen circumstances effectively. Event planners will also need to adhere to health guidelines and regulations which will help minimise the spread of illnesses and ensure compliance with legal requirements. 

Post event checklist

  • Use your data

Around 19% of companies are unsure of their ROI from events, meaning that they have no way of determining the success of their efforts. With this in mind, we believe event organisation doesn’t end once it is over. There are also important things to consider after the event which can help you learn and improve moving forward. 

Collecting data both before, during and after the event will help planners assess how it went and therefore implement any improvements for next time. When using conference and digital apps or websites and registrations, you will have gathered a database of attendees. This can then be used to analyse your target audience, who attended and how to forecast future events. 

  • Event feedback

When setting up conference apps for attendees or using a website to track your event registrations, this database provides an excellent place to ask for feedback from your guests. 

Feedback is vital for future improvements, as it allows you to get an insight into what went well and what changes can be implemented. It is important to follow up shortly after the event to ensure that the occasion is still fresh in the minds of the attendees, providing excellent insight into the planning, organising and execution of the event. 

Event planning tools checklist

Now you have a little more information on the things to consider before, during and after your event. We’ll next provide you with a checklist of tools that can help with the event planning process. Inspect the list below to see the different types of instruments that can assist in your event planning strategies. 

Venue sourcing technology

  • Venue finder
  • Eventective
  • Peerspace
  • Google Maps

Event marketing tools

  • Canva
  • Facebook
  • Google Analytics
  • Webex Events

Event registration software

  • Cvent
  • Google Forms
  • HubSpot Forms

Digital event apps

Digital marketing tools

  • Get Response (email marketing)
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Eventbrite

Social media tools

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Task management and organisational tools 

  • Notion
  • Google Sheets
  • Asana


With so many tools and resources to help with planning an event, there are plenty of ways to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. When working your way through our checklist above, event planners will have everything they need before, during and after the occasion, guaranteeing every aspect of the event has been covered. 

We also recommend using the apps, tools and software available to event planners to help assist with every step of the process. These will guide you through the planning stages from start to finish, taking the stress out of the logistics. 

If you’re planning an event and need some support, Touch Stays event app has everything you need. This powerful event planning tool allows organisers to update content when things change quickly, provide information to multilingual audiences, access automatic updates, help participants plan their visit with pre-arrival access and much more. 

Get in touch for more information, or check out some of the other guides available.