Helpful Hints: 10 Basics Tips for Planning an Event


Brooke Doty, CMP | Conferences & Conventions Coordinator
Brooke has 17 years of experience in the meetings/hospitality industry and has been a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) for 10 years. She has held the positions of Fundraising Chair, Social Media Chair, Vice President of Communications for the Virginia Chapter, and is the current Co-Chair of the chapter’s Annual Conference.


  1. What is the purpose of the event?
  2. What is your budget?
    It might be zero. Get creative. Use your connections.
  3. Who is your audience?
  4. Are there competing events?
    Day/time conflicts.
    Events of similar audience/theme/type.
  5. How/when/where to promote the event?
    Develop a marketing schedule.
    Mix of print/email/social media. (Where is your audience more likely to see it?)
  6. Document everything:
    Contracts (Get everything in writing.)
    Meeting notes.
  7. Physically walk through the event space before set-up
    Things always look different in person than they do on paper/in your head.
  8. Triple check A/V
    Rehearse if possible.
    Have a back-up plan if something doesn’t work.
  9. Be flexible!
    Something will go wrong. Expect it. Roll with it. Have back-up plans.
    Stay positive.
  10. Post-event review/surveys.
    Survey all involved parties (Attendees, sponsors, staff, vendors…)
    Hold a post-con meeting to discuss surveys; plan for next event.

If all else fails, hire a professional!