A custom event plan is essentially the itinerary for your event. It is part schedule, part instructions, and part stage production cues. Any event planner, party planner, or wedding coordinator worth their weight in salt will have an event plan in their minds if not on paper to keep all the details in order. It can make or break any corporate event, wedding reception, or quinceañera.

Advantages To Having a Custom Event Plan

There are many advantages to creating a custom event plan in advance of your event. It keeps the hosts, vendors, and entertainers on the same page; communicates times and expectations of all the involved parties; and points out gaps in coverage that need to be addressed. For example, a business executive may mention that the event should include an award presentation, but the corporate event DJ notices there is not a name assigned to the task. Because the DJ needs to know who to provide with a microphone, he asks who will be presenting the awards. By addressing this oversight ahead of time, there is no embarrassment on the day of the event.

In short, a custom event plan reduces stress and helps the event run more smoothly. In many ways it is an exercise in proper delegation and communication that allows the host of the event (or the bride and groom) to have fun.

How To Create A Custom Event Plan

To create a custom event plan, first ask yourself the purpose of the event you’re planning. If the purpose is to celebrate an anniversary, you won’t want a corporate motivational speaker giving a speech. If the purpose is to celebrate a Sweet 16 birthday, you don’t want to plan an open bar. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the event?
  • What elements must be included in order to achieve that purpose? (E.g. Sing “Happy Birthday”, introduce the bride and groom, product demonstration, or a slide show of the most recent sales numbers.)
  • What additional elements will you have to create the proper atmosphere for your event? (Music, buffet, silent auction, dancing, gifts, etc.)
  • In what order would the various elements best fit together to accomplish your purposes? In other words, when do you want each element to happen? How long will each take?
  • Who needs to be involved or responsible for which element?
  • How will you communicate this information to all of the individuals involved?

What To Include On A Custom Event Plan

Responsibilities for an event begin long before the official start time. Think through the schedule of the entire day in order to have the most effective event plan. Let’s look at a wedding reception as an example. Here are some elements that you might want to include:

  • Pick up flowers
  • Hair and makeup appointments
  • Decorate reception area
  • Pass out boutonnieres and corsages/bouquets
  • Sound check for musicians
  • Transportation to and from the venue
  • Arrival times
  • When pictures will be taken
  • Toasts
  • Special dances
  • Dinner served
  • Cake cutting
  • Bouquet toss
  • Bride and groom depart
  • Gifts delivered to newlyweds’ home
  • Return tuxedos