When you run a small business, hosting events can help you promote your services and find potential clients. This business event planning checklist will help you cover all your bases and make the most of these events.

This guide will list the business event planning checklist, including: 

  • Outline the details 
  • Develop a budget 
  • Create an invite 
  • Plan the decor and layout
  • Decide on the food and activities
  • Establish a marketing plan
  • Write a day-of to-do list  
  • Follow up on guests

1. Outline the details

The first thing to do on your business event planning checklist is to outline the details of your promotional event. This means outlining what type of event you’ll hold, as well as the location, date and time. You can also outline how many people you’ll invite and create an invite list with their email addresses so you can send them invitations. 

On top of these details, consider the event’s main goal or purpose. Going into your event with clear intentions can help you turn it into a success. Use your goal to establish measurable objectives so you can track the success of the event. 

For example, maybe your event is for a new product launch. In this case, you’ll know to focus on the product and how you can convince guests that it’s worth trying. You can measure the success of the event by looking at the sales of your new product after the event.

Be sure to start this planning well before the event, so you have plenty of time to put everything together and give your guests notice. 

2. Develop a budget 

Once you outline the logistics, develop a budget for the event to avoid spending too much. The amount of money you want to spend will help determine the size of the event. To do this, research typical budgets for your type of event and think about how much you’re comfortable spending. Though these events can help you build valuable relationships and increase your income, spending too much can hurt your earnings instead. 

As you decide on your budget, make a list of everything you may need, including:

  • Event space 
  • Food and drinks 
  • Invitations
  • Marketing 
  • Decorations 
  • Activities or entertainment

Then, look at vendors for these things and ask for quotes to estimate how much things will cost. With this information, you can outline the amount you want to spend on each part of the event and your overall budget. 

3. Create an invitation 

Once you have your invite list, you can create an invite to send, so people can be aware of your event and put it in their calendar. You could send these events by email, mail or both. Canva is a great place to design invitations to send as PDFs, or you can order invitations on a platform like VistaPrint.

You can post your invite on social media accounts if you want to invite as many people as possible instead of a designated guest list. To keep track of how many people might show up, try sharing registration links or posting a poll. You could also make an event listing using platforms like Eventbrite to share these links on your social media platforms and website.  

4. Plan the decor and layout 

Next, you’ll need to decide the layout of your event. Will it be like a conference or open house with standing tables or booths? Or will it have a sit-down dinner? What furniture and chairs will you need? You can gather the necessary plates, utensils, and table clothes. To make the event look professional and eye-catching, you’ll also want decorations that promote your brand.  

5. Decide on the food and activities 

Another important aspect of your business event planning checklist is deciding on food and activities. If you plan to serve food, you may need to hire a vendor or caterer and decide on a menu. On the other hand, if you have a food business, such as a restaurant or coffee shop, you may be able to supply your own food. But, you’ll still need to prepare enough and plan for it. 

Then, consider what entertainment or activities will draw people to your event. For example, you could hold a raffle or offer live music.

6. Establish a marketing plan 

Establishing a marketing plan for your event will help you successfully promote your business to the attendees. First, consider your event objectives and outline your marketing around them. 

Then, put together marketing materials with your logo like business cards, flyers, brochures, banners, and free merchandise to pass out. You could even provide attendees with discounts to encourage them to buy from your business. This event plan can also include advertising for the event, promotional content on social media, and dedicated event emails. 

To create buzz around your event, you may want to provide photo opportunities or create a hashtag. These tools will encourage people to post about your event on their social media accounts. If people post about your event, you can gain promotion beyond the event itself. 

7. Write a day-of to-do list 

Before the day of the event, put together a checklist of everything you need to do to make your event run smoothly. This list will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or disorganised as people begin to show up. 

8. Follow up with guests 

After the event, consider sending out a thank you email or asking guests for feedback. Following up with guests can help you remind them of your business and encourage people to buy from your business.  

Organise your business finances with Countingup

As your business event helps bring in new clients, you’ll have more money to manage. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.