3 answers

How long does it take to plan an event?

Asked Northfield, Minnesota

I am a junior in high school, looking into becoming an event planner. I was wondering how long, on average in takes to plan an event. #event-planning #event-management #coordinating-events #wedding-planner #meeting-planner

3 answers

Rachel’s Answer


You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>

Arun’s Answer

Updated Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Planning events takes a lot of organisation, effort and time. It’s best to start as early as possible and give yourself a checklist so you don’t miss important elements. Lists and spreadsheets will become your best friends. Always make sure you have contingency plans in place for things like unexpected weather or a speaker not being able to present.

Below is a general timeline of some common event tasks that may help you plan your next event. Remember that every event is different, even those held at the same venue, so it’s important to work out a plan that suits your needs.

6-12 months before the event

Establish the event goals and objectives Select a date and choose a venue Get cost estimates and create a budget Identify speakers and/or entertainers Seek out and contact sponsors or partners for the event 3-6 months before the event

Promote the event through the appropriate channels; for e.g. social media, radio, TV, newspapers Establish the audiovisual plan and equipment needed with your AV provider Finalise arrangements for speakers and/or entertainers Confirm if the venue requires any permits and confirm access for guests such as parking 2 months before the event

Send reminders to the attendee list Follow up with sponsors or event partners Release announcements about VIPs or keynote speakers to the media 1 week before the event

Do a final registration check of names Brief your team and volunteers about their event duties Finalise the seating plan Inform the caterer of final numbers Make copies of any speeches, videos or presentations Identify where photo opps and interview opportunities will be 1 day before the event

Ensure all signage is in place Do an audiovisual test Ensure registration and guest tables are prepared or decorated Ensure all promotional items or gifts are on site The day of the event

Have copies of all important documents, phone numbers, information and seating charts for the event team Ensure the event is running to plan and manage any issues as they arise Enjoy the event and the work you have put into it! After the event

Send thank you notes or emails to attendees and sponsors Post event photos on social media Conduct a post event evaluation to assess the event’s success against your initial goals and objectives Your event will be much more complex than this snapshot alone. We recommend creating a project plan to ensure transparency on all tasks and to ensure they are completed on time.

Doug’s Answer

Updated West Palm Beach, Florida

Quite frankly the amount of time you have for planning generally fits however much time you have until your event!

However, I think your question is how much time do you need at minimum to plan an event and the factor that determines that is the scope of your event. I've worked on Olympic Games where we there was years of planning, a bowl game where we have a whole year between each game and an intercollegiate athletics department with dozens of events each year where your planning was constantly evolving to meet the challenges at hand. It also depends a lot upon the resources at hand, such as the staff in place vs. the need to recruit and train volunteers and is your venue event-ready.

In the example of the Olympics, we needed every bit of the time we had and really could've used more in order to better train volunteers and fully develop our communications chains. But the farther back you push your planning means you have to allow more flexibility for change in the process.

We launched a bowl game in about 18 months from conceptualization to the actual event. Even then, we weren't on the ground in the community until six months prior.

As far as a college athletics department, your constantly planning for your next event. You generally set your schedules a few months in advance and then work on the details (i.e., event theme, promotions, spectator features, etc.) as the time counts down.

No matter the event, I've always found myself wishing for more time to prepare. But good event managers understand the importance of the time they have and work to use it in the most efficient manner possible.