Here are the key questions that will assist you in creating a strategy for your event. Angelfish would be very happy to discuss this with you and assist you create your plan.

Planning questions

What are your strategic aims for the event?
  • Why are you having the event?
  • Who is the target market?
  • What is the mix of that market?
  • What is the message?
  • How are you going to relay the message/what medium?
  • How are you going to measure success?
  • What would be success?
  • What is the follow up plan to the event?
Roles & responsibilities
  • Who is going to champion the event?
  • Who within your company is going to make decisions?
  • Who is going to coordinate the event?
  • Who is going to direct all the different suppliers?
  • Who is the leader of the overall event?
  • Who is managing the design of the brand?
  • Who has to be involved with the development of the Brand?
  • What branded material is needed for the event?
  • What is the budget for branded materials?
  • How is this linked with other marketing initiatives?
  • What, if any, are your branding guidelines?
  • What is the message you are trying to convey?
  • Who do you wish to see this experience?
  • Business to business?
  • National press?
  • International press?
  • Who is to be interviewed?
  • Who is leading the whole press campaign?
  • What is the positioning of the whole company?
  • Live interviews for radio & TV? Who is to do this?
  • How does this campaign fit into the existing PR?
  • What are the challenges that come to mind/ politics of the company?
  • What is in the press packs?
  • Who gets the press packs?
Agree a budget
  • Venue
  • Food & drink
  • Entertainment
  • Date
  • Outside suppliers
  • Follow up marketing
Decide type of event
  • Seated dinner
  • Finger buffet
  • Cocktail party with canapés
  • Sporting event
  • Fun and creative
  • Includes partners
  • Includes family
  • Mix of sexes
  • City/Country
  • National/international
  • Formal/informal
  • Passive/Active
  • Interactive
  • Educational
  • Social
  • Promotional
  • Staff only
  • Partners
  • Clients/existing/new
  • Family
  • Specific market/sector
  • Preferred location
  • Accessibility
  • Size of venue required
  • Cost
  • Possible theming needs
  • AV requirements
  • Unusual venue
  • Fully functional venue
  • Create a Venue
Timing & date
  • Decide date range
  • Decide dates you cannot do
  • Decide which days of the week you are prepared to consider
  • Decide if all your marketing material will be ready
  • Look at other opportunities around the chosen date
  • Look at general social calendar e.g. Easter, school holidays, other competing events internal/external
Guest list & numbers
  • Estimate numbers early
  • Who will be on the guest list?
  • Will they all mix at the one event?
  • How to coordinate the mix of invited guests?
  • Does venue allow for numbers?
  • Does budget allow for numbers ?
  • How current is the guest list?
  • Buffet
  • Seated
  • Canapés
  • Themed
  • National/Traditional food
  • Cash or account and what limit
  • Type of drinks required
  • Free bar
  • Tray served/self serve/bar served
  • Decide live band needs
  • Decide preferred music style
  • Decide if speaker is needed
  • Sporting entertainment
  • Active entertainment/clients participate
  • Theatre entertainment
  • Film/video entertainment
  • Actors/look-alikes
  • Speakers
  • Elect committee if required
  • How often does the board meet?
  • How often do the Shareholders meet?
  • Who is available to lead the project?
  • Financial support?
  • Event to be sponsored
  • Budget in place
  • Budget to be found



Sample preparation

1. Guest list, numbers
  • Create a spreadsheet/database as a guest list recording (where relevant):
    1. Guest name
    2. Contact details
    3. Department
    4. Dietary requirements
    5. Confirmed
    6. Table number
2. Design, print and send out invites
  • Design & plan all print material by?
  • Who is going to receive it & by what methods, e-mail, fax, post, hand delivered
  • What is the budget?
  • Who coordinates the mail out?
  • Plan to have final numbers at least 2 weeks before event
3. Prepare table/seating plan
  • Place cards
  • VIP guests
  • Table dressing
  • Top table
  • VIP needs
4. Venue
  • Arrange and carry out venue visits
  • Confirm venue and date
  • Plan theming
  • Plan lighting
  • Plan AV equipment
  • Plan any special requirements
5.Timing & date
  • Plan detailed timing:
    1. Start
    2. End
    3. Reception
    4. Meal
    5. Bar
    6. Entertainment
6. Menus
  • Buffet
  • Seated
  • Canapé tasting
  • Special dietary requirements


7. Bar
  • Finalise drink requirements
  • Staff
  • Serving
8. Entertainment
  • Sample band tapes
  • Decide band/speaker
  • Do you require a dance floor?
  • Do you need PA for a speaker?
  • Stage Manager
9. Source and choose suppliers
  • Florists
  • Caterers, informing of dietary requirements
  • AV specialists
  • Entertainers
10. Plan and select entertainment
  • E.g. Casino, caricaturist, speaker, band, singer
11. Finalise decoration, theming
  • E.g. balloons, back drops, linen, table centres, room colours, flowers, gifts
12. Labels, name badges
  • Prepare badges and pens
  • Prepare spare badges
  • Create guest lists
  • Registration lists


13. Finalise details with attendees
  • E-mail, fax or post directions and reminders to attendee’s approx 1 week before the event.
14. Event running order
  • Create detailed event running order
15. Prepare event material
  • Miscellaneous items to bring along
16. Other features
  • E.g. security, cloakrooms, raffle admin. & prizes, insurance