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Event Planning Template & Checklist

Putting on an event is no small task. There are tons of details to keep up with—from pre-event planning to post-event follow-up—no matter the size of your event. That’s why having a plan you can share and track is a must if you want to throw a successful event.  

We created 2 free event planning templates designed for events at any scale. Many events follow a similar blueprint, so templatizing your process will help save you a lot of time when you’re planning future events. Just make a copy of your timeline, and adjust it to fit your current event.

Choose your template based on the level of detail you want to build into your event plan. Use these templates to plan corporate events—such as client meetings, off-site retreats, seminars, or product launches. Or adapt them to charity functions, holiday parties, and more.

Event planning template

This template is perfect for mapping out your big picture plan. Create a high-level timeline for your next event so everyone knows what needs to happen when and can track progress easily.

Event planning checklist template

Use this template to stay on top of all the little details and to-dos. Keep all your tasks organized and on track so every event you plan goes off without a hitch.

Event planning template

If you’re looking for a high-level event plan you can use to map and track key activities, our event planning template is a great place to start. This template enables you to establish a general timeline for major tasks that need to be accomplished so you can keep an eye on how your plan’s progressing along the way.

Having your event plan laid out in a simple timeline form makes it easy to:

  • Keep event stakeholders informed about project status with high-level updates that are easy to digest 
  • Streamline communication among your event’s key players so you don’t have to wade through a bunch of different email threads to know what’s coming up next or where your project stands

Create your event plan in TeamGantt

Event planning stages

There are 4 event planning and management stages you’ll want to include when writing your event plan: planning, promotion, execution, and wrap-up. Feel free to go into as much (or as little) detail as you want, just as long as you account for these general phases in the organization of your plan.

Planning

The goal of the planning phase is to hammer out all the approvals, logistics, processes, and services needed to proceed with the event. Some examples include finalizing a budget, developing a guest list, arranging transportation, and setting up the event registration process.  As the event planner, this is the heart and soul of what you do and where the bulk of your efforts will be focused. 

Promotion

This stage is all about getting the word out so you’ll have strong attendance at your event. It includes all marketing, PR, and promotional activities. Having a shareable plan in place for event promotion makes coordinating initiatives and keeping everyone in the loop a whole lot easier. 

Need to build an in-depth promo plan for your event? Give our event marketing & promotion plan template a try. 

Execution

Event execution is less of a phase and more of an onsite to-do list for all the moving pieces that need to come together on event day. Documenting these activities beforehand minimizes event day stress and helps ensure your event runs smoothly from start to finish (minus the unpredictable mishaps that are bound to happen from time to time).

Wrap-up

Once your event has come and gone, your work isn’t done yet. You’ll need to tie up loose ends, follow up with attendees, and take note of how the event went so you can improve your process the next time around. 

Free event planning template

Ready to plan your next event? Save time by using our event planning template to map out a timeline so your team knows what needs to be accomplished each week with important milestones that have to be hit. It’s flexible enough to adapt to any process and can help you start knocking out that to-do list faster.

This template may be particularly helpful if you already have a set of internal documents you use for planning events and simply want a high-level timeline of the process and key deadlines. The bonus is, you can attach or link any internal documents (e.g., budget, event proposals) to your plan to keep everything organized in one place. 

Event project plan example

Your event plan is your roadmap to a successful event. Let’s look at 2 samples of how you can plan and manage event execution in TeamGantt.

Gantt chart

A gantt chart provides a visual timeline of your event plan. You can group activities by type or phase and set the expected time frame for each activity you need to accomplish. That way your team and stakeholders have a clear picture of what’s happening when so you can ensure tasks stay on track. 

Bonus tip: Each task in the event planning sample outlined below is color-coded to indicate status. In this example, green tasks are on track, yellow tasks are at risk, and red tasks are falling behind schedule. 


List 

At TeamGantt, we’re a little biased toward gantt charts—but we know they’re not for everyone. That’s where our List view comes in handy. Viewing your project as a simple list may be helpful for status meetings with your team, boss, or other stakeholders.

Event planning checklist template

This event planning checklist is a highly detailed plan that walks you through every step involved in planning and executing a successful event. Use it to schedule out all the nitty-gritty tasks you need to complete before, during, and after your event. That way you can feel confident you’re on track and in control of your event. 

Here are a few signs an event planning checklist is right for you: 

  • You’re solely managing, or primarily responsible, for an event.
  • You need a single place to keep track of all your event to-dos.
  • You’re planning a complex, custom, or new type of event and want to be able to break large tasks down into smaller components.

Create your event planning checklist in TeamGantt

How to create an event planning checklist

An event planning checklist allows you to break your plan down and tackle all the individual tasks it takes to get your event off the ground.

Consider these core activities when creating and organizing your own event planning checklist.

Planning and logistics

This is all about getting the nuts and bolts of your plan in order. Your budget, schedule, and guest list are important factors here. Don’t forget to include less glamorous tasks like shipping and transportation services too, if needed. 

Venue details

Unless you have an existing relationship with a venue, it takes time to land the right location for your event. Keep track of vendor research, RFPs, and quotes until you find a winning venue that’s both on budget and available for your event. 

Vendors

The vendors you’ll work with will depend on your event type and scale. Common event vendors include caterers/food and beverage, photographers, and florists. You may want to track the entire process—from research to deposit—in your checklist, and note any follow-ups you’ll need to do to ensure everything’s good to go when event day rolls around. 

Furniture and decor

Some venues build furniture and decor into the packages they offer. That makes things easy! But you’ll still want to track the time it takes to choose and order these items. If onsite rentals aren’t an option, set up tasks for renting or procuring items like tables and chairs, linens, and specialty lighting.  

Presenters and entertainment

This is the main attraction that draws guests in! Whether you’re planning for a sales meeting or a talent show, you’ll need to make sure everything is booked and the proper equipment is ready to go. Consider things like A/V services, presenter and/or entertainment schedules, and music (even if it’s just going to be in the background).

Marketing and promotion

What’s the point of an event if no one attends? How you promote your event can make or break turnout, which is often the key indicator of success. Emails, social media, and PR will help you get the word out on the front end. You may also want to distinguish your event with event-specific branding and materials. 

Check out our event marketing & promotion template for a more detailed promo plan.

Registration

Capturing attendee information is critical for finalizing headcount, managing onsite check in, and following up with thank yous, pictures, and/or sales calls after the event. So be sure you have a solid system in place to make registration and follow-up seamless—whether you build your own process or use tools like Eventbrite or Facebook for your event. 

Event schedule

You’ve got a lot of to-dos to keep up with on the big day. Creating an event day checklist helps you keep calm and focus on the most important things. Jot down a list of day-of tasks and reminders, like clients or stakeholders you need to check in with, vendors you need to meet onsite, or items you need to pick up. If any tasks need to happen at a specific time in the event schedule, be sure to make note of that in your plan. 

Post-event

You can extend a positive experience to your guests even after the event dust settles. Send thank you notes or emails to attendees, settle outstanding payments with vendors, and take time to reflect on what went well and what you can improve for the next event you plan. 

Free event planning checklist template

We know it’s not easy to build such a detailed event checklist from scratch, so we created a template to help you out. Use this event planning checklist template as a starting place to get your event plan in order so you can manage and track important tasks and milestones on a granular level.

This template features the core activities outlined above, but it can be adapted to work for any event planning process across a pretty wide range of events—from small engagements to large corporate gatherings. 

Looking to plan a conference? Check out our conference event plan template for specific guidance on that topic. 

Event checklist sample

Let’s walk through a few examples of how you can use our event checklist to plan and track your event. 

Gantt chart

Just because this event plan acts as a checklist doesn’t mean you can’t see how tasks stack up over time. It’s the best of both worlds: a detailed task list and a visual project timeline. 

Here are some gantt chart features you may find helpful as you flesh out your event checklist. 

Drag and drop scheduling 

This makes it super-easy to build out your timeline and reschedule tasks if (and when) plans change. Adjusting your schedule is as simple as dragging and dropping tasks into their new rightful place.

Progress

The % Complete feature shows you how a task or project is progressing along the way. Simply update the task percentage to indicate how much work’s been done. Tasks that are 100% complete can be officially checked off your to-do list!

Dependencies

Sometimes one task needs to happen before the next can begin (like hiring a caterer before deciding on a menu). Dependencies ensure tasks always happen in the right order, even if you move things around. 

Checklists

Want to break tasks down even further? Task checklists enable you to account for the tiniest to-do and make sure it gets crossed off your list. This is a great way to capture all your event day tasks and mark them as complete as you go. 

Task collaboration and document storage

With TeamGantt, your important files and conversations can live in a single place. Attach documents such as quotes, proposals, budget spreadsheets, vendor contact info, and more! Use comments to communicate updates and collaborate with team members on all the hard work that goes into an event. 

Calendar

Calendar view enables you to turn your event checklist into a calendar in one click. That makes it easy to see what’s happening at a glance and evaluate how tasks are stacking up on any particular day, week, or month. 

My Tasks

This simple view makes it clear to see what you need to work on each day. It pulls in all the tasks you’re assigned to across projects, which can be super-helpful if you’re running multiple events. No more digging through emails or Excel spreadsheets to plan your daily to-do list!

Plan your event with TeamGantt

Ready to start planning your next event? Use our event planning template or event planning checklist in TeamGantt, and save time on project setup!

Customizing the template is quick and easy, thanks to TeamGantt’s drag and drop simplicity. And since everything’s online, your whole team can collaborate on activities in real time.

Sign up for a free TeamGantt account today, and get access to event planning templates—plus many more helpful project templates—in our library