How Your Event Planning List Stops Procrastination

Early Planning and a Comprehensive List Are Keys to Success

event planning list

Are you postponing getting started planning your event? 

In event planning, procrastination is your enemy. As event planners, we start our work several months (even a year!) before an actual event takes place. Procrastination in this profession can be deadly and can cost you money and your business. Fortunately, with a comprehensive event planning list at your side, you can conquer procrastination and leave it dead in its tracks.

Everyone has procrastinated at one time or another.  In event planning, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the many tasks that need to be completed.  This can lead to taking no action at all, as you are unsure of where to begin. 

However, one of the biggest advantages in planning a successful event is to start planning early. “The early bird gets the worm," and other idioms remind us that the first one to arrive at the show is often the one who gets the best seat in the house. The event planner that starts planning early has a better chance of hosting a successful, less stressful event. 

Event Planning Work Can’t Wait

Event planning involves coordinating many different moving parts and managing numerous details throughout various stages of an event. All of these tasks cannot be completed a few days before your event. Depending upon the type of event and the scope, in planning a successful event, you must begin early to deliver the best possible results.


Event Planning Takes Time

If you do not allocate enough time to tackle a task, that task will not get done. And in event planning, that one unfinished task can set off a domino effect and multiple steps in the planning process that were based on that one task start to fall apart. If you fail to pick the room set up and seating arrangements with your client, then you can’t rent the tables and chairs.

If you don’t know how many tables and chairs you will need, then the table linens cannot be ordered. Neither can the centerpieces. You get the idea. One thing leads to another. You may run the risk of not being able to reserve the items you need.

The Event Planning List to the Rescue!

Consider the event planning list your secret weapon in the battle against procrastination. It gives you a starting point in the planning process and will not only keep you organized and remind you of details you might otherwise have overlooked, but it will also keep you on schedule. An event planning list will help you beat procrastination by guiding you through the event planning process with clear steps that have set deadlines.  

How to Put Together an Event Planning List

Start your event planning list as soon as the date has been set for your event and you have a signed contract in hand from your client. Do not begin any work until you have an initial deposit because otherwise your work will have been done for free.

1. Getting Started

When you sit down to prepare your event planning list, don’t focus on due dates.  That can slow you down. Envision your event from start to finish and think of all those things — large or small — that you need to do between now and the event itself.

Event planners know that events are made up of a series of smaller events that fit together to culminate in the final event. Start thinking of all those things that make up your event and jot them down as they come to mind. Organizing these items will come later.

2. Brainstorm!

Make a list on paper or the computer, whatever you find most comfortable. Think about décor, invitations, room set up, entertainment, staffing, food and drink, permits, insurance policies, and so on. The longer you mull this over and picture your event happening, the easier it will be to come up with individual tasks. Think of this as your brainstorming session.

3. What to Include in Your Event Planning List

Some items to include on your event planning list:

  • Confirm date and time with client and
  • Sign contracts with client, venue, and vendors
  • Secure hotel rooms
  • Hire entertainment (guest speaker, band, performers, etc.)
  • Mail invitations
  • Select menu
  • Determine room set up
  • Hire waitstaff
  • Confirm number of guests
  • Hire additional event staff as needed
  • Walk through site
  • Confirm all details

4. Schedule Early Due Dates

Once you have all the tasks written down you can begin working backward from the event to determine when each item needs to be completed. Anything that can be done ahead of time should be written down on your event planning list with an early due date. It is human nature to think we have more time than we actually do. So don’t waste it. 

If you can hire your entertainment months in advance, do it. If you can secure the caterer of your choice, proceed and get a signed event contract. Do research on local vendors if you do not already have relationships with any. Get a head start on anything that can be completed early on in the planning process.

Be sure to include regular follow-ups on your list to double check that certain key items have been completed, such as confirming with each vendor that they have received your signed contract and the date is on their schedule. Add an item to check back with your caterer regarding the sampling menu that was offered. Always allow extra time for each item on your schedule. 

Use the Event Planning List as Your Guide

With a comprehensive event planning list by your side, you can beat procrastination. The first step is preparing the list itself. Once that is accomplished, and tasks are itemized with due dates, it is easy to move from one to-do-list item to the next according to the schedule. Procrastination defeated.