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Event planning checklist

Step by step to the perfect event

Whether it's a small family birthday party or a large company celebration for some 400 employees, both have one thing in common: only with good planning will the event ultimately be a success. While the preparations for a party at home are usually intuitive, a large event requires highly structured event planning methods. Today we present a comprehensive event planning checklist, so that you are guaranteed not to forget anything at your next event.

Event planning – but: Where do I start?

The planning effort automatically increases with the size, duration and scope of the event. The more complex the event, the more difficult it is to start planning. At the beginning of each planning phase, you should therefore ask yourself the following question: "How can I set priorities and ensure that important tasks are on the agenda?" Separating the important from the unimportant is already essential at this early stage. A standardized checklist for event planning, which can be adapted according to your requirements, serves as a decision guidance here.

Event planning checklist

What important elements should be included in an event planning checklist?

Concept phase

This phase is about giving the event a rough structure. You should ask yourself what you want to achieve with the event, who your target audience is and also think about the best time for the event.

‒ Determine the goal of the event
‒ Define target group
‒ Match type of event (conference, seminar, company party, etc.) to goal and target group
‒ Rough personnel planning/possibly commissioning an event agency
‒ First reflections about place and date of event

Program phase

This phase of event planning is about providing the event with a certain character. The program is roughly defined in terms of content, requirements for location and service providers are analyzed and the organizational phase is prepared.

‒ Define program content
‒ Create program schedule based on the content
‒ Check if there is sufficient know-how in the team or if external support is required
‒ Define requirements for event location
‒ Draw up requirements for catering and other service providers
‒ Create communication strategy
‒ Draw up a rough budget
‒ Create time schedule for organization

Organization phase

This phase is the key of professional event planning. The organizing team puts the strategic and theoretical considerations into practice. The more detailed the planning in this phase, the less work you will have to do immediately before the event.

‒ Determine or request speakers/presenters
‒ Create fringe program & activities
‒ Define exact schedule

‒ Define requirements for event location (room size, number of rooms, technical equipment, furniture, parking, accessibility, etc.)
‒ Determine event location, possibly incl. site inspection beforehand
‒ Checking which fringe programs & activities are available

‒ Catering concept (service, buffet, meals, theme)
‒ Organization of breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee breaks
‒ Information about participants’ intolerances/special requests (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc.)
‒ Catering for the construction team on site on the days before and after the event as well as for external staff

‒ Create contact list of everyone involved
‒ Plan signposts, stage design, decoration on site
‒ Possibly request additional technical equipment
‒ Organization of arrival & departure as well as overnight accommodation on site
‒ Plan welcome desk in the hotel or information stand at the event location
‒ Organize cleaning during and after the event

‒ Planning of internal and external staff (project, catering, security, medical staff, cleaning, presenters/artists, transfer, media, etc.)

‒ Set schedule for “save the date”, invitations, posters, campaigns, etc.
‒ Create marketing plan
‒ Have printed material designed (name tags, invitations, posters, etc.)
‒ Have giveaways and clothing produced

Other issues
‒ Possibly inform any authorities/obtain permits
‒ Calculate possible charges or fees for copyrights
‒ On-site safety check (fire protection, escape routes, access roads for fire brigade/ambulance, noise protection, security, etc.)
‒ Check if you need special insurances

Detailed planning phase

This phase is about finalizing the preparations. Everything that was initiated during the organization phase must be accurately checked again and finalized in detail.

‒ Program (provide everyone involved with event schedule, discuss all event details with the location provider, organize set-up and dismantling works)
‒ Location (discuss final set-up, organize additional technology, internet options, organize branding at the event location, prepare rooms for event)
‒ Catering (discuss last menu details, communicate catering times as well as special requests/diets, define exact catering area)
‒ Logistics (coordination of arrival/departure, installing signposts on site, communicate contact list, discussing requirements with cleaning team, security staff, etc.)
‒ Staff (set dress code, briefing for all employees, behavior/instructions in case of emergency, address and telephone lists)
‒ Communication (send detailed information to participants, send out reminders, possibly kick-off last advertising campaigns)
‒ Miscellaneous (double check if all permits have been granted, sort important documents & file them centrally)

Implementation phase

Thanks to conscientious preparation, this phase is “only” about the smooth running of the event. Define responsibilities and have an emergency plan in your pocket for all eventualities.

‒ Rehearsal of the entire process (incl. technical check)
‒ Final briefing of all departments/employees
‒ Support for participants, guests, speakers, sponsors, partners, etc.
‒ Monitoring of program flow
‒ Briefing of photographers/media representatives

Follow-up phase

This phase is all about reviewing the event. After the accounting process, you should talk both internally and externally about what went well and what points can be improved next time.

‒ Billing with service providers and location provider
‒ Follow-up for guests (thank you letter, possibly survey)
‒ Follow-up report for press, social media, etc.
‒ Debriefing with project team

Every event is individual

From an intimate get-together to a major event, from a spectacular high-tech event to a traditional hut evening, from an informative further training session to an exuberant Christmas party - every event is different. And this fact entails various requirements, especially in the preparation phase. Therefore, adapt the event planning checklist to the needs of your event. What's the best way to do so? By keeping in mind the ten most important facts of any event as they will largely determine what the event looks like at the end of the day (or the planning phase).

Match the following ten areas to tailor the event planning checklist to your individual needs:

  1. Event topic/goal/message
  2. Time/period when the event is to take place
  3. Target audience attending the event
  4. Program content/program schedule
  5. Location of the event venue
  6. Logistics for people & goods
  7. Technical requirements (location & program)
  8. Organization of catering
  9. Organization of accommodation
  10. Decoration/appearance/design

Do you need support in planning your event?

Gurgl Carat will help you plan and carry out events in the mountains.

Organize congress

Planning an event is a very complex subject. To make sure you don't forget anything, it's best to follow a detailed event planning checklist. It is similar to a guide and lists all important organizational issues. But since every event is individual, also different facts are important for every event. Therefore, you should set your priorities already in advance and then adapt the checklist according to your needs.


Our event planning checklist will provide you with the greatest benefit if you have it with you right from start. After all, the course of the event is already set in the conception phase. If you are already in the middle of the planning phase, the list is a good reference point for your further organization. Check, for example, whether you might have forgotten something important or how to proceed.

Click here for the Gurgl Carat EVENT PLANNING  CHECKLIST