🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

Pre - event checklist template.

Key to Event Success: The Pre-Event Checklist Template

A checklist to plan out all the important details ahead of time is the key to pulling off a smooth event without any embarrassing mistakes.

Pulling off a seamless event is no simple feat.

Like a wild juggler frantically keeping bowling pins aloft, event planners spin in circles handling endless to-do’s.

A single dropped ball can lead to embarrassing gaffs or total chaos!

To prevent your next event from going up in flames, it’s time to bring in the safety net of all safety nets – the almighty pre-event checklist.

This indispensable planning weapon helps ruthless organizers like you flawlessly orchestrate all event moving parts.

From wrangling speakers to smoothing vendor logistics to avoiding wifi wipeouts, these complete pre-event checklists serve as foolproof guides mapping out critical groundwork.

Forget scrambling last minute or leaving things to chance. 

Today we cover key areas of event preparation so you can plan effectively.

Learn how to confirm logistics, order supplies, communicate with vendors, promote your event, and manage other critical pre-event tasks.

With every detail and deadline meticulously laid out, you’ll have more confidence going into the big day.

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Why You Need a Pre-Event Checklist

Event planning consists of countless moving parts.

Without diligent preparation, it’s easy to miss important deadlines or let key details slip through the cracks.

A pre-event checklist keeps everything organized so you can execute a seamless event.

Benefits of using an event checklist template include:

  1. Staying on top of deadlines: With time-sensitive tasks clearly outlined, you won’t miss submitting permits, sending invitations, or ordering catering.
  2. Avoiding last-minute scrambles: With at-a-glance visibility into outstanding to-dos, you can re-prioritize and handle urgent needs proactively.
  3. Facilitating teamwork: Share checklist tasks across your event committee so everyone knows their responsibilities.
  4. Learning from experience: Look back at your finished checklist to improve planning for future events.

Types of Pre-Event Checklist Templates

Since events themselves vary greatly in type and size, there are pre-event checklists tailored to different needs.

Here are some of the most common event checklist templates:

General Event Planning Checklist

Covers key tasks like venue selection, vendor booking, marketing, run of show, staffing, and more.

It’s ideal if you’re organizing a corporate event, sales conference, gala, fundraiser, or wedding.

Conference Planning Checklist

Great for multi-day conferences with various sessions and speakers.

Additional details include agenda planning, speaker management, A/V setup, and conference packages for attendees.

Virtual Event Checklist

Lists critical steps for live streaming, webinars, or online summits.

Focuses on digital event promotion, online event platform setup, speaker preparation, contingency planning, and other virtual event considerations.

Get “The Event Success Playbook”

Our proven event planning playbook has step-by-step strategies to increase qualified leads 25%+, grow revenue, and boost engagement.

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Download a Pre-Event Checklist Template for Event Planning

To simplify your event planning, here are three handy pre-event checklist templates available as free downloads:

1. Master Event Planning Checklist Template (PDF)

This event organizing checklist covers defining the vision, building a budget, selecting a venue, building a website, promoting the event, curating programming, and managing pre-event logistics.

Download Our Event Organizing Checklist Template Here

2. Conference Planning Checklist (PDF)

From determining your core aims to promoting across channels and courting speaker commitments, this comprehensive checklist outlines key steps for planning a polished, professional conference primed to elevate your brand and captivate audiences.

Download Our Conference Planning Checklist PDF Here

3. Virtual Event Checklist

This virtual event checklist for planning and executing a successful virtual event, covering strategic planning, content development, marketing, production, and post-event follow-up.

Download the Corporate Event Planning Checklist

With these templates, planning your next event is a breeze. Download one to get started creating your customized pre-event planning checklist today.


Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results


Critical Pre-Event Planning Tasks

We’ve covered key areas that effective event checklists address.

Now let’s drill down on some of the most vital jobs.

These pre-event planning tasks are essential to execute properly well in advance to ensure smooth onsite events.

Comprehensive Event Marketing Plans

Robust marketing is how you generate crucial event awareness, promote engagement across key channels and drive registration numbers. Be sure to:

  • Set specific marketing goals to keep efforts targeted: Example goals could include 50 event signups, 15 new social media followers, 5 press mentions in target media outlets.
  • Map out integrated outreach strategies across email, social posts, search and display ads, PR pitches and other channels optimized to connect with your audience.
  • Create branded event hashtags supporters can use to rally interest, share updates and amplify social media buzz around your event.
  • Prepare media kits with essential assets like high-res event logos, organizer bios, images and past event facts to share with media contacts pitching your story.
  • Distribute press releases to targeted local and industry media lists to build interest and secure event coverage.
  • Time social posting schedules for maximum exposure on key platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Set up remarketing pixel tracking to serve ads about your event to site visitors across channels like Google, Facebook and Instagram to drive ticket sales.
  • Post to local events calendars, industry trade sites, alumni organizations, tourism sites and anywhere else your audience might discover and share your event details.

This comprehensive digital and offline event marketing across community calendars, outreach channels and earned media strategically timed leading up to your event will guarantee strong awareness, engagement and attendance.

Securing Strategic Event Sponsors

Lining up respected industry sponsors lends third-party credibility and financial support critical to event success. Be sure you:

  • Create tiered event sponsorship packages offering exclusive branding benefits and other perks for bigger sponsors. Popular benefits could include logo inclusion on wristbands, banners and emails, upgraded booth placement, more stage time for speakers, lead list access, product placement and more.
  • Tailor event sponsorship opportunities around sponsor product and service offerings to demonstrate specific value to each prospect.
  • Identify potential mission-aligned corporate partners from your attendee industry plus relevant non-profits to invite.
  • Reach out to partner prospects with confidence-inspiring details on your stellar event plan, the branding and access benefits of aligning with you and options to discuss further.
  • Manage sponsor relationships leading up to events by providing necessary co-marketing assets and support in fulfilling promised deliverables. Check in regularly.

Securing respected industry sponsors via targeted pitches and cultivated partnerships lends immense credibility while expanding collective reach and impact.

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Preparing for Event Day

With your comprehensive pre-event planning and checklists locked in, the final weeks before go time is when organization and preparation pay immense dividends.

Let’s review key tasks to focus on leading right up to events to have attendees raving.

Confirming Venue Setup Aligns to Your Vision

Your venue likely handles core setup and breakdown, but vigilantly supervising critical details is vital for smooth events, like:

  • Detailed room layouts: Physically walk through spaces ahead of time to validate seating arrangements, stage placements, decorator touches, ideal vendor booth positioning, bars, buffets, lounges, amenities like coat checks and nursing stations and all other details are arranged per your instructions.
  • Technology and A/V set-to-scale: All sound, lighting, WiFi/internet, presentation screens, teleprompters, cable runs and power sources (plus backups) are tested onsite to avoid any glitches derailing sessions.
  • Distribute vendor instructions: Supply all vendors and partners (caterers, transportation, décor team, entertainers, etc.) your final critical instructions including accurate timing for deliveries and setup along with your team contacts.
  • Visible navigational signage: Display easy-to-read directional, parking and sponsored logo signage so attendees intuitively find parking, session rooms, exits, restrooms, vendor areas and activities. Signage shows thoughtful event planning.

Conducting in-person walkthroughs allows ample opportunity to catch issues, align expectations with your venue team and handle any necessary adjustments proactively.

Organizing Your Support Staff and Event Teams

Your trusted event support staff running registration, managing technology, hosting sessions, engaging attendees and handling issues are what enable flawlessly orchestrated events.

Make sure these vital roles are set:

  1. Reliable event director: This core team member directs overall staff, makes executive decisions and personably handles attendee issues. They are in charge leading up to and during events.
  2. Swift registration crew: Well-trained staff digitally check in attendees, distribute credentials and guide guests seamlessly into events, even during peak flow times with a smile.
  3. Savvy technical director: An essential role, they thoroughly manage all A/V equipment and streaming, troubleshoot issues, assist presenters and ensure glitch-free multimedia.
  4. Polished emcees: Experienced hosts to confidently orchestrate programs as per the scripted schedule, transitions and podium banter you outlined keeping sessions flowing smoothly.
  5. Attentive green room director: An event VIP role caring for speakers’ needs from snacks to speech drafts to shuttling them on and offstage without missing a beat.
  6. Empowered venue point person: A staff member to address any venue challenges from parking to POS system failures to overflowing restrooms through direct contacts.
  7. Roving floaters: Extra hands to assist attendees with coats, gifts, directions or other questions, distribute handouts, gently troubleshoot issues and radiate your thoughtful event planning.

With all key staff fully briefed on your event vision, contingency plans and individual responsibilities pre-assigned, your team will operate in sync ushering in event success.

Event Technology

Especially for virtual or hybrid events, test key systems:

  • Registration/ticketing: Validate attendee access, promotions and payment integration.
  • Presentation upload: Speakers can successfully load talks without file compatibility issues.
  • Streaming quality: Cameras, mics and encoding are tested for high-quality video.
  • Internet bandwidth: Verify multiple high-quality streams won’t bottleneck venue WiFi.
  • Presenter equipment: Laptops, remotes, mics, teleprompters, video switchers, etc. work properly.
  • Backup power: Generators and battery packs are prepped in case of outages.
  • Presenter training: Schedule dress rehearsals and tutorials so presenters use the tech smoothly.

Confirming critical systems won’t crash keeps tech troubles from derailing events.

Key Insights for Seamlessly Planning Flawless Events

Planning events is tricky business!

But if you want your events to really shine, staying on top of all those critical pre-event tasks is so important.

When you look back at everything we covered here – venue planning, marketing, sponsorships – it’s pretty clear that being super prepared and having a great team behind you sets you up for success.

Here’s the thing though.

With so many moving parts, how can you actually make all that happen smoothly? These three big ideas can guide you:

1. Know What You Do Best, & Let Others Shine Too

As the planner, focus on the big decisions – venue, budget, event vision – where you can make the most impact.

Building up a team with different talents lets you delegate tasks better.

Give your program manager ownership of the schedule.

Have your social media whiz run Instagram promotions.

Letting others drive what they know well gives them purpose, while freeing up more of your strategic planning bandwidth.

2. Automate Tedious Tasks Where Possible

Today’s apps can take so much busywork off your plate.

  • Set up email drips to handle event promotion and signups without you manually sending each message.
  • Shared drives let venue staff, vendors and speakers self-serve assets they need versus you sending attachments.
  • Payment processors can instantly collect registration fees.

The more you can automate with technology, the more you can focus on creative decision making.

3. Learn From the Hits & Misses for Next Time

Your post-event checklist will highlight wins to repeat and gaps to improve.

Over time you’ll notice patterns, like if rainy weather always sinks attendance.

Factoring learnings into future event plans helps you get progressively more proactive.

And detailed post-mortems prevent team members from reinventing wheels.

Planning hitch-free events is truly a moving target.

But if you nail the preparation fundamentals - crafting next-level experiences through diligent planning, empowered teams, and continuous learning - you'll absolutely drive more hits than misses.

Craft Your Blueprint for Event Greatness

With countless moving parts, pulling off a flawless event is no simple feat. But with the right plan and partners, event success is within reach.

Let our award-winning team of experts at We & Goliath architect your blueprint for event excellence.

For over 20 years, we’ve helped clients orchestrate smooth, wow-worthy events that deliver real impact — driving up to 7X higher attendance and 3X more revenue.

Schedule your free strategy session now.

Together, we’ll map out a tailored plan to meet your unique goals, handling every detail so you can focus on the big picture. 

We & Goliath

We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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