The Best Ways to Keep Your Event Planning Organized

Whether you’re planning a small party or a huge conference, organization is key to keeping your event on track and your sanity intact. We work with so many talented event coordinators and party planners in Pittsburgh, and we’ve been taking notes on how to keep event planning running smoothly. Here are the key tips event professionals use to keep your planning organized and successful.
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Know Your Audience…
If this hasn’t already been decided, figure out exactly who you need to reach. Are you trying to reach a mass audience? Or just a small niche crowd? Is it a local event or will people be coming in from out-of-town? What will the age span be, and will anyone need special accommodations? Knowing your precise audience and demographics early will help you make the right decisions the first time around, rather than having to backtrack if you realize your venue isn’t big enough or you’ll need to arrange transportation unexpectedly.

...And Check the Calendar.
When deciding on the date of your event, check local event calendars to see if anything major is scheduled on the same date. You don’t want to compete for attendance, or worse, have to reschedule once planning has started!

Make a List of Everything You’ll Need…
Start making a detailed list of every item you’ll need to buy or rent, from big things like furniture rentals right down to the cocktail napkins. Never rely on mental notes alone! As soon as you think of it, write it down in a dedicated notebook or add it to a spreadsheet.

…and a Checklist of Everything You’ll Need to Do.
Don’t underestimate the humble checklist. The most organized people keep checklists. Whether it’s on traditional pen-and-paper or in the Google Keep app, checklists give you an at-a-glance view of what you must accomplish. Plus, it’s always rewarding to check something off!

Communicate Early and Often…
Check in with vendors, volunteers and employees on a regular and consistent basis. You’ll find your own balance between micromanaging and laissez-faire, but it’s better to stay on top of all of your resources. They’ll appreciate your accessibility and reliability, since communication is a two-way street.

Don’t Worry, Be Appy!
Whether you’re an event planner, a conference manager, or just hosting a small event, apps are available to help you stay organized. There are many paid apps to help you build lists and track your progress, depending on your needs. Google’s cloud-based Drive tools (like Sheets, Docs, and Keep) are free and sharable, so everyone working on the event can see and edit the document in real time. That’s much easier than emailing files!

Event planning is much more enjoyable when you make it stress-free. Stay organized, communicate clearly, and get ready for a successful event!

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