Event Planning Checklist: Short Version

Events don’t have to be hard. Here’s a short-form checklist to make your job easier! You can follow this checklist for events large and small. Just cross out the things that you don’t need for your event.

Midwinter 2016, Chicago

For more details, refer to the pages in The Christian Conference and Event Planner. You’ll find details, job descriptions, sample forms and spreadsheets, timetables, maps, diagrams, and examples from actual events.

Planning an Event Made Easy

See The Christian Conference and Event Planner for more details on each step.

  1. Pray!
    1. Every successful event is founded on prayer.
    2. See “Chapter 6: Prayer” for items for a prayer list and how to establish a solid foundation on prayer.
  2. Determine the concept of your event.
    • What’s your event about? Figure out your purpose and the values.
    • See “Chapter 2: Concept Development” for details as well as information on how to get your concept approved.
  3. Designate a champion.
    • You need at least one person who carries the ball and with whom the buck stops. The champion, or event director, should oversee the rest of the steps below.
    • See Chapter 3: Event Director for a job description, org chart, time table and supporting documents.
  4. Set a budget.
    • Determine income and expenses and how to help your event meet your financial goals.
    • See “Chapter 4: Finances” for setting financial goals, estimating expenses, setting registration/ticket fees, and sponsorships.
  5. Recruit a team.
    • Recruit a group of people to help oversee the different areas of the event.
    • See “Chapter 5: Event Staff” to determine your leadership style, see tips for developing a well-rounded team, develop an org chart and recruit people. In addition, there is a sample agenda for your first meeting as well as sample org charts and planning documents.
  6. Book your facility or site.
    • Do your research, visit the site and make arrangements.
    • See “Chapter 7: Site” for how to set site requirements, where to research, how to negotiate fees. Use a 9-page checklist for what to look for when you visit a new site. Sample forms, proposals, room layouts, site comparison features and site setup checklists are also found in this chapter.
  7. Determine your program elements.
    • Set a theme and purpose and narrow down the elements and flow of your program.
    • See “Chapter 8: Program” to see different types of program elements, determining pacing and schedule, and creating tools to help the program go smoothly. See sample schedules of different types of events.
  8. Book your speakers or talent.
    • Research and reserve speakers, artists, entertainers, or other talent needed for your event.
    • See “Chapter 9: Speakers” to see where to find speakers, how to select and communicate with them, and how to make arrangements so that they can have a positive experience and deliver results for your event. Included are sample speaker arrangement form, letters, agreement contracts, and specifics for breakout workshops.
  9. Determine technical needs.
    • List equipment needed, find the equipment, and arrange for people to set up and operate technical areas during the event.
    • See “Chapter 10: Technical” for types of equipment, finding equipment sources, questions to ask when going offsite, and logistical details to remember.
  10. Plan for hospitality.
    • Make arrangements for food and decor.
    • See “Chapter 11: Hospitality” for determining types of foods needed, planning the menu, finding sources for food, hiring caterers, making arrangements and serving the food in a timely and smooth  manner. See how to determine a decor theme and how to stretch your decor budget. See sample menus, food calculations, hospitality equipment, traffic flow diagrams and sample timetables.
  11. Arrange transportation.
    • If people are coming offsite, make plans for transportation for attendees.
    • See “Chapter 12: Transportation” for information about transportation options, how to negotiate air fare, arranging ground transportation, and arranging transportation for speakers.
  12. Set up registration/ticket sales.
    • Determine registration procedures and policies, plan on-site check-in and assemble welcome items and supplies.
    • See “Chapter 13: Registration” for details on pre-registration and setting up registration onsite. Chapter includes sample registration letters and tracking registration statistics.
  13. Find vendors or exhibitors.
    • Determine exhibit requirements and set up exhibitor process.
    • See “Chapter 14: Exhibits & Vendors” for how to arrange booths, setting exhibitor fees, making logistical arrangements, and communicating with exhibitors, as well as sample maps, contracts, and reservation forms.
  14. Promote your event.
    • Create a marketing strategy and utilize different communications channels to get the word out.
    • See “Chapter 1:5 Publicity & Graphics” for details on types of promotional channels, producing publicity materials, and creating on-site graphics.
  15. Recruit volunteers.
    • Determine your volunteer needs, create a system for recruiting, communicate with and train your volunteers
    • See “Chapter 16: Volunteers” for where to find volunteers, how to process and assign them, how to prepare training and evaluation, as well as tips to motivate  your volunteers. See sample calculation worksheets, sign-up forms, recruitment boards, event instructions and sample documents.
  16. The week before, assemble all materials and gather final details.
    • Get crisis plans in place, make final schedules, pack up supplies and assemble an on-site command center.
    • See “Chapter 17: Administration” and “Chapter 18: The Event” for more items to remember and a detailed packing list for those who go off-site (or in a location other than your office where supplies are not as readily available), and detailed event timetables.
  17. Run your event!
  18. Wrap up, evaluate and celebrate
    • See “Chapter 19: Wrapping Up” for follow-up procedures, summarizing the event, appreciating leaders and volunteers, celebrating and evaluating.


Interested in learning more about how to organize a Christian event or conference? The Christian Conference and Event Planner covers the nuts-and-bolts of designing, leading, coordinating and executing an effective event.

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