Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Successful Event

January 19, 2023 Susan Serena

Is planning an event on your to-do list?

Whether it's a birthday party, wedding or corporate event, here are the steps you need to take to make your event planning in New York a success!

Set a budget

It's important to set a budget for your event before you start planning it. If you don't know how much money you can spend, it won't be possible to plan an event that works within those parameters.

If you're unsure of how much money is available for the event, talk with your manager or supervisor and ask for help setting up a budget. Make sure that everyone involved in planning the event will know about it so they can make decisions based on that information.

Once the budget has been decided upon, keep track of all expenses related to the event so that nothing falls through the cracks (and thus gets left out of your final calculations).

Many people end up spending more than they intended at these types of events because they didn't keep track of every single cost involved.

It's also important to keep in mind that the budget doesn't have to be set in stone. If you find that there are certain items that need to be added or removed from the event, it's not a problem as long as everyone involved agrees.

Find a venue

The first step to planning a successful event is finding the right venue. There are many things you'll need to consider when choosing a venue, including its location, size and capacity, availability and fees.

Before you decide on any particular venue, ask if they have any restrictions or special requirements such as needing an alcohol license or renting their own equipment.

If your event is during busy times of year (such as during school breaks or holidays), it might be difficult to find an appropriate venue at an affordable price because they're often reserved far in advance by other prospective clients.

You may want to start looking for a venue at least two months before the date you intend your event so that there's plenty of time available if something comes up later on down the road that prevents us from using our original choice (for example: maybe we unexpectedly get asked last minute by another client).

Identify your audience

Identify your audience. An event is only as successful as the people who attend and enjoy it. This means that it's important to know who your audience is, and what their interests, needs, and communication preferences are. It also means understanding how best to reach them.

Identify the goal of your event. What do you want attendees to get out of this experience? The answer to this question will help determine other aspects of planning such as budgeting, timing and location (for example).

Create an event program

An event program is an important part of any event, and it should be designed to be both useful and aesthetic. To create a well-designed event program, you'll need to know what information needs to go into it and how best to distribute it.

Other helpful resources include:

• A press kit

• A media guide

• An agenda

• E-mail templates

Collect registrations and sell tickets

Once you've decided on your event and have a solid budget established, it's time to take care of the logistics. The first step is collecting registrations and selling tickets. There are a few different ways to do this:

  • Use a registration form that people can fill out online or by printing it out and mailing back in.
  • Use an online ticketing system where attendees can register online and pay with their credit card or PayPal account.
  • Collect payments through a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal (or directly through your bank) and use that money to buy tickets for the event (you can also collect funds at the door).
  • Collect payments by phone through services like PayPal Here, Square Cash, Venmo or any other third-party mobile payment app provider (these are all pretty easy ways for people without smartphones or credit cards).

Send out invitations and reminders

Once you've got the date and location secured, it's time to send out invitations. The earlier you can send them out, the more people will be able to plan their schedules around attending your event. As soon as you've signed a contract with a venue and secured funding for your event, it's time to start sending out invitations!

You should also consider sending reminders about two weeks before the event so that people don't forget they're coming. Include all of these things in your invitation:

  • A link to the registration page of your website (you'll need this later when it's time to process payments)
  • A link to an event program (this will help attendees know what sessions are going on at what times)
  • A link to a hashtag (#) or campaign banner image that attendees can share on social media

Promote the event on social media

In order to get people talking about your event, you need to put it on social media. The first step is posting a few times before the event with information about the speakers, topics we'll be covering, and other relevant details.

After that, keep the hype going by sharing photos and videos after the event has taken place. If you have any photos of people speaking or attendees mingling together, use them!

It's also helpful if you can share links to blog posts written by speakers during or after their presentation. This way your audience knows what they're getting into when they decide which events they want to attend next time around!

Run the event day like a pro

If you're working with a venue, make sure to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. For example, if the venue's generator breaks down and there's no electricity, or if their sound system cuts out for some reason. You'll want to make sure that your event will go on as planned regardless of these issues.

If you're hosting an event at home or in another space where there is no staff or management team to help run things smoothly on the night of your event, it can help to write out an emergency plan ahead of time so everyone involved knows what their role is during any given situation (i.e., "if someone falls ill during our dinner presentation, then I'm going over there with my first aid kit," etc.).

This will reduce stress levels as much as possible leading up to and throughout this momentous occasion!

Follow up with participants after the event has finished

After the event has finished, it's a good idea to follow up with participants. This can be done via email or by phone. Thank them for attending and ask if they would like to stay in touch. If so, give them your contact information and encourage them to refer other people that may be interested in learning more about your services or products.

After you've collected feedback from attendees, it's important to act on it as soon as possible. Take any actions necessary based on the results of your survey and make sure you are adjusting your plans accordingly moving forward!

If you follow this checklist, you'll be well on your way to planning a successful event.

If you follow this checklist, you'll be well on your way to planning a successful event.

  • Start by making a list of all the things that need to get done—and then prioritize them. Make sure the most important tasks are at the top of the list so that they get finished first.
  • Next, decide how many people will help with each task and assign them accordingly—but don't forget that there could be other volunteers who want to pitch in!
  • Once everyone knows what they're doing, create a timeline for how long each task should take and decide who's responsible for checking in on progress periodically (so everything doesn't fall apart).
  • Finally, make sure everyone has some form of communication available so they can report back on their progress throughout the event (whether it’s using tools like Slack or Google Docs). The best practice is having someone always check in with each volunteer so no one misses any deadlines or gets overwhelmed by his/her workload.


That’s it! With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to planning the best event possible. Remember that no matter how much work goes into an event, there are always unexpected roadblocks and hiccups.

At the 2023 Event Planner Expo, you'll get to mix and mingle with the best event planning professionals in New York who can share the contingency plans they have in place for every situation. Click here to join us!


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