The Ultimate Event Planning Checklist

Planning an event, whether corporate or recreational, is one tough task. In fact, Forbes identified event planning as the 5th toughest job in 2017. So, it’s critical to stay organized as you go through the planning process. Here at Gutterpy, we’ve developed a handy checklist for you to use to help guide you through the event planning process.

4-6 months before the event

Goals and objectives

  • Identify the target date for your event
  • Define the purpose of your event
  • Determine how many people you want to attend your event
  • Set the location of the event – will it be livestreamed?


  • Set your target profit goals
  • Budget the event expenses
  • Determine how much you’ll need to charge attendants to achieve your profit goals


  • Source vendors – who will you need to support the event (caterers, music, beverage providers, etc)
  • Identify speakers/presenters/entertainment based on the goals of your event
  • Determine what other support you will need to hire (marketers, designers, PR firms, etc.)
  • Recruit volunteers and organize planning committees to delegate tasks to

Branding & Publicity

  • Brand event (logo, theme, etc)
  • Create publicity plan (identify media outlets, determine what printed and digital materials will be needed, signage, etc.)


  • Determine how attendees will register – will registration be online? What registration service will you use?
  • Research any permitting requirements
  • Identify parking scenario (if necessary)
  • Determine if security is necessary

3-4 months before the event

Speaker and presenter details

  • Topics and subject matter
  • Presenter bio
  • Travel accommodations (if necessary)
  • Arrange contracts


  • Prepare program for the event – how will it be structured?
  • Draft scripts for emcee, introduction, thank yous, closing, etc.
  • Website – create website and ensure that registration links work, website has bandwidth to handle high traffic
  • Develop publicity pieces – press releases, newsletters, digital ads, social posts
  • Identify news sources and other media outlets to reach out to
  • Create Facebook event
  • Create and schedule email reminders for attendees
  • Submit event to online event calendars
  • Launch registration

2 months before event

Speaker/presenter details

  • Request copies of presentations
  • Finalize contracts
  • Finalize travel arrangements

Logistical details

  • Finalize seating, menu and headcount for caterer
  • Send reminders to presenters, attendees, volunteers, etc.


  • Release press releases and announcements to news outlets and media

1 week before event

  • Finalize presenter scripts
  • Brief volunteers on duties
  • Confirm everything needed from vendors
  • Submit final registration count to caterer
  • Confirm any media attendants and interviews
  • Organize any decorations needed

1 day before event

  • Put up signage and decorations
  • Deliver promotional materials and gifts to site
  • Review logistics and plans with volunteers

Day of event

  • Bring copies of instructions, directions, parking details and any other information needed
  • Check in with volunteer teams to make sure they are on track

Post event

  • Financials – review receipts, finalize registration revenue, etc. and analyze to see if you’ve met targets
  • Send thank yous to all involved – speakers, presenters, volunteers, vendors, etc.
  • Develop post event follow up plan with participants
  • Evaluate the successes and failures of the event

Whew, that’s a lot of work! One final thing… don’t forget to congratulate yourself on putting together a successful event!

And, if you are planning an event requiring canopies, be sure to check out our Gutterpy Pro tents which feature customizable branding and a modular system to cover large spaces!