Event planning tips for people who are NOT event professionals

published on January 18, 2022
Working Smarter Trends and Technology

Let’s face it: not every event is going to be planned by a professional. Some events don’t have the budget, or they are too small or too informal. But when left to a layperson (i.e. not an event professional), an event can still be meaningful and memorable.

We reached out to some of the event industry community’s most influential members to ask them a simple question: What is one event planning tip you'd give to people who are *not* event professionals?

Here’s what they had to say!

Event technologist and podcast host Tess Vismale emphasizes the importance of backup plans:

“Have a plan A, B, C, +D and make sure you hire a person whose only job is to monitor the flow of the plan in real time.”


Partnership Manager at Braindate by e180, Jillian Cardinal, highlights the importance of designing an experience for who your attendees are today:

“Think of the entire journey, experience, story, behaviour/emotional change for attendees. Event design shouldn’t be confined to “official dates.” How can you make attendees feel the glimmer and become immersed in this world you’re creating—pre, during, post-event? Also: Human-centric design is critical. Who you were planning for pre-pandemic or even months ago has changed. Connect with them and see who they are NOW. How can they achieve their desired ROI at your event? Meet who they want? Learn how they want?


Self-defined “learnaholic” Shawn Cheng keeps his advice short and sweet:

“Remember to breath, especially when things do not go accordingly to your plan”


The VP of Global Events with Bizzabo, Devin Cleary, stresses the importance of clear communication:

“Always over-communicate! It’s not enough to know basic event details. Marketers need to ensure that attendees are well verse before their event (e.g., Safety protocols, tech instructions, networking opp.). Create an attendee journey / nurture 1-2 months prior. Always negotiate w/ vendors! Instead of requesting a quote, figure out how much you’re willing to pay. Share a lower figure w/ the vendor (between 5-10%). This way, even if the vendor negotiates up, you’ll stay on budget and save.”


Industry veteran, Adrian Segar, cuts straight to the chase and suggests not doing it alone:

“Work with recommended event professionals (get references!) to design, plan, and produce your event. It's not as easy as you might think!”


And last (but certainly not least), the Obi-Wan Kenobi of events, Julius Solaris, encourages optimizing:

“If you want to plan events like a pro, make it fun, engaging and think about the details. Think how can you make it different? How can you make it better?”



Read this next: 10 Stunning images of Montréal

Discover more ways that Montréal works for you