Event planning can be overwhelming and daunting. My experience planning a myriad of events for previous jobs, internships and personal ventures still makes me ask the same questions: Where does one even start? Do I book a venue without knowing how many people will likely come? What is too much food? (Is there such a thing?)

Luckily, my experience has also led me to compile a list of the top 18 things you should check off your list in order to successfully plan an event.

  1. Catchy or Descriptive Event Title
    Make it rhyme. Make it slide off the tongue. Make it something people have fun asking others if they are also attending.
  2. Creative Collateral
    Buy into decorations that are not only memorable, but represent your brand perfectly
  3. Event Rollout/Announcement
    Press release, radio spot, social campaign, etc. Whatever type of announcement, ensure it matches your brand
  4. Lead up promotional content
    Share sneak peeks of food, drinks, speakers, giveaways, etc.
  5. Online Registration
    Set up an easy way for people to register and get tickets
  6. Venues
    Too tight, and people are sweating and mad. Too big, and nobody will connect with each other. Finding the right space for the right event may require a few site visits
  7. The Most Important: Good food
    We know you’ve been to a wedding where the food has ruined the entire experience
  8. Relevant Industry Partners and Sponsors
    Partner with companies your attendees already know and utilize. It’s good marketing for both you and the other brand
  9. A Well-Known Speaker or Emcee
    The right name attached to your event can get people excited before the party even starts
  10. Valuable Giveaways
    Not just monetarily, but it should mean something to your attendees
  11. Supplemental Online Engagement During and Post Event
    Give attendees another place to connect with each other
  12. Create a Hashtag
    This will make it easier to check exactly how much fun people had on social media
  13. Document your Event
    You can use this as engaging content at a later date
  14. Appropriately Staffed
    Whether you need 10 waiters or two bartenders, be prepared
  15. Great Customer Service
    One awkward conversation and a person could be telling a different story of your party
  16. Good Energy
    This is something you and the rest of your staff can control. If you have the right attitude from the beginning, others will follow
  17. Have a Backup Plan
    For just about everything. You don’t know when catering will just decide to not write your date down correctly
  18. Ask for Feedback Post-Event
    This is something LEAP does with every all-company meeting. Without this feedback, we wouldn’t know how to improve year after year