The ABC’s of Event Planning

Planning an event may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to tell you that, if you take a deep breath, you’ll see it may actually be as easy as ABC. Learn the ABC’s of event planning today.

A. Audience

When planning your event, before you can begin marketing and sending invites to potential attendees, you need to know who your audience is! Marketing your event to the right audience will help guarantee your event attendees are excited to be at your event and eager to learn.

B. Badging and Check-In

Before your attendees arrive, you’ll need to plan out their arrival experience. The check-in process is the first impression your attendees have onsite, so you should make it a positive one by incorporating badging and ticketing software, such as Cvent’s OnArrival.

C. Content

Without content, what is your event even about? Content sourcing is probably one of the most important aspects of planning an event. It involves aligning content with event goals, attendee expectations, and sourcing speakers to give engaging, informative, and entertaining presentations.

D. Delegation

Knowing how and when to delegate work is a crucial component of planning a successful event. As hard as it can be to trust someone else to get something done exactly as you want it, sharing the workload will likely result in a higher quality result! Know your team and play to everyone’s strengths when you delegate work.

E. Entertainment

Having entertainment at your event may not seem like the highest priority, but more and more attendees are expecting experiences at events, in addition to a fully packed session schedule. Entertainment doesn’t mean you need to have Beyoncé perform at your event, in fact, it can be really simple and cost-effective. Schedule a local band or talent group, plan an outing for everyone or host an activity such as a morning yoga session. Whatever your budget, there’s an entertainment option.

F. Finding speakers

Your attendees are coming to your event to learn, and what better way to do that than to fill their time with interesting and informative speakers. Make sure you start researching speakers and sending inquiries early in order to have a strong lineup at your event.

G. Goal

What’s the purpose of your event? Is it to increase leads and sales? Raise brand awareness? Something else? You should be able to answer this question before you begin planning anything else. Knowing your goal will help you plan your event so that you’re more likely to accomplish that goal. 

H. Hospitality

There are a lot of factors that go into hospitality – hotels, food, drinks, etc. Each of these components has a big price tag, too. Double checking your registrations and expected attendance is beneficial to avoid wasting money on extra pots of coffee and unused hotel blocks. Let Cvent help you be as efficient as possible with Cvent Hospitality.

I. Invitations

You’ve decided on the venue, the theme, the name of your event, etc. now you need to tell everyone about it! Make sure you send your invitations in a timely manner and that you send them more than once. You should also promote your event on other channels, such as social media and on your website.

J. Jump Through Hoops

More likely than not you will hit a few bumps in the road when planning your event. You need to be willing and able to jump through hoops in order to get your event organized on time. In the end, you’ll be happy you did.

K. Keynote

The keynote speaker, the big name, the kickoff, the session everyone wants to attend. Or at least, it should be the session everyone wants to attend. The keynote kicks off your event and usually has a big name leading it. It doesn’t have to be.

L. Lead Retrieval Software

One of the top reasons for hosting an event is to increase leads and sales. Make sure you are getting the most out of your event by using a lead retrieval software to identify, rate, and follow-up with the most promising leads. Learn more about Cvent’s Lead Retrieval.

M. Mobile Event App

A mobile event app isn’t just a fun tech experience to give your attendees. The benefits of mobile are endless. From increasing attendee engagement to improving your event’s ROI, going mobile is sure to positively impact your event. Learn more.

N. Networking

16% of event participants claimed they attended their last event for the networking opportunities it provided. That means you need to ensure you are planning some networking time into your event schedule. It can be as simple as a networking lunch or happy hour.

O. Organization

There’s a lot that goes into planning an event (as you well know). Staying organized and on top of everything that needs to get done is the only way it’s going to all come together. Keep a running to-do list and update your calendar regularly.

P. Publicity

One of the best ways to advertise your event and engage your attendees is via social media. Your attendees are going to be posting to their social networks already, so why not take advantage of that and give them an event-specific hashtag or filter to use. Your attendees are the new event marketers, and they will give you free publicity if you provide them with the right social tools to use.

Q. Quality vs. Quantity

In the argument of quality vs. quantity, quality will always win. Your attendees will appreciate the focus on high-quality content and speakers rather than a huge quantity of mediocre ones.

R. Research

Research is the first step of event planning. It’s part of finding your venue, sourcing your speakers, establishing a theme, and more. Take your time with the research stage of planning as the more effort you put in here the more prepared you’ll be down the road.

S. Sponsorships

Sponsorships are the best way to increase the ROI of your event, and when done well they can be a win-win for both parties. Need help identifying how you can increase sponsorships at your event? Check out our sponsorship package generator or read our sponsorship ebook!

T. Travel

Do you have attendees traveling to your event? This is an important consideration. If you have attendees coming in from all over, your venue should be close to or at a hotel and easily accessible via public transit. You may also need to provide more meals (if you weren’t planning on doing a breakfast, you may want to consider adding one in). As an event planner, you may also want to help coordinate your attendee’s travel. The good news is Cvent’s Business Transient is designed to help you do just that.

U. Utilize all of your resources

Planning an event can be really stressful, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re using all of your resources. Your coworkers, event tech, previous event plans, etc. are all at your disposal to make your life easier. For your next event, make sure you take advantage of everything available to you.

V. Venue

Finding the perfect venue is very important. You need to make sure it fits your event theme, can accommodate the number of attendees you plan to have, and works with the style of your event. Need help finding your venue? Check out Cvent’s Venue Sourcing Solutions.

W. Workback Plan

Knowing what you need to get done and when it should be completed are key to ensuring your event planning is smooth sailing. Before you dive headfirst into your planning process, spend some time laying everything out. Create a work back plan that clearly lays out everything you need to accomplish before the day of the event. Understand how long each task will take and how long before the event it needs to be accomplished so you can work on the right stuff. The more details you can include in a work back plan, the better prepared you are going to be. It may look scary and overwhelming, but it is going to greatly help you out.

X. X-hale (Breathe)

Breathing is a natural human behavior. It’s so intrinsic that we never even need to learn to breathe, we are born knowing how to do it. Why is it then that when we become stressed, we completely forget how to do this natural behavior? Breathing exercises may sound silly, but they are a proven way to help calm you down and refocus in a relatively short amount of time. Next time you find yourself stressed, take 2 minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breathing, it’ll help.

Y. Yesterday

What could you have accomplished yesterday? Identify the low-hanging fruit on your to-do list and get them checked off as soon as you can. It may not seem like much, but it helps you feel accomplished and gives you more room to focus on the bigger tasks you have.

Z. Zzzz’s – Make sure to get enough sleep!

Even though it may seem like there’s never enough time to get everything done, you need to make sure you’re taking some time for yourself to rest. Getting a full night of sleep may seem frivolous when there’s so much to get done, but it’s going to be more beneficial if you can take a break and come back to your work well rested with fresh eyes.


Written by Hannah Huston