Los Angeles Event Planning Checklist
Event planning in LA can be stressful. So many items to juggle and tasks to manage. And it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve planned an event, every single one is different. Each event comes with its own unique challenges, highlights, and “things to do.”
You have to make sure there is food, drink, music and entertainment, service, ambiance, plus make sure all “the little things” are properly addressed and taken care of, too. Details when it comes to Los Angeles event planning matter. When even the smallest one is missed that can make a big impact on the success of your event and how well it’s received by your guests.
In an effort to help make your planning process slightly less stressful, it’s important to have a checklist of tasks that need to be done. You can use a template if you want (there are a ton floating around the web), but a better idea is to simply create your own. That way your event planning checklist is tailored to your specific event and there will be nothing left to chance. It’s easy to miss to-do list items, especially if you’re planning a large gathering. Keep reading to learn about our top tips from entertainment to organic catering.
Consider Your Event Goal
Is it a wedding? A bar mitzvah? A graduation celebration? Maybe it’s just lunch catering for your office. Figuring out what kind of event you are hosting and what the goal should be is paramount to planning a successful event. It gives you a focus so that you can make sure all the items on your checklist align with your event goal. If something doesn’t align with the event goal, it’s highly probable that task may not even need to be on your checklist in the first place. All items on your checklist should point toward the goals of your event.
Consider Your Budget
The budget you’ve allocated for event planning in Los Angeles can also help you determine what needs to be on your checklist. For instance, if your budget doesn’t include entertainment, then you wouldn’t need to include things like hiring a DJ or scheduling guest speakers. Some events might be “strictly business” and that will determine how you plan it and what kind of vendors you need. If your event is something like a wedding, you’ll need to consider hiring vendors like photographers or videographers.
Consider Your Venue
Where you intend to host your event can help you populate an event planning checklist, so nothing falls through the cracks. Location and venue will dictate the vendors you may use, plus you will need to make sure you have a good point of contact during the planning stages. That way if you need questions answered or need access to something, you know exactly who to speak to with no red tape or delays. You’ll also need to make a checklist of different things related to your venue. Will your event be outdoors or indoors? Will you need to rent tents? Is your venue accessible for everyone that includes people who may have disabilities? These are pertinent questions you need to ask during the planning stages of your event, before it’s too late to course correct.
Consider Your Event Dates
One thing that is important to put on the checklist is to schedule your event date. You’ll need to plan on booking your venue well in advance. LA event planning is big business and a lot of venues book six months or more out. If you wait until the last minute, you may not get a date at your chosen venue. This can put a big monkey wrench in planning an event because most of your plans will revolve around the venue itself. Change the venue and you may as well change everything else, too.
Consider Your Vendors
Every list should include the types of vendors you will need for your event and potential backups in case your first choice falls through. You might need a DJ, live band, or some other type of entertainment. Some events may include guest speakers that you will need to research and select ahead of time. You’ll want to find a great caterer that can provide a wide range of food options (think sustainable) and ambiance that fits your event theme and goal. Some events might need sponsorships, which comes with its own set of tasks for an LA event planner to check off.
A Few Key Checklist Items
Some tasks pertinent to every event checklist might include things like:
- Decide your event theme.
- Decide your event goal.
- Decide on your budget.
- Decide your event date.
- Decide how many guests.
- Create your guest list.
- Select and book your venue.
- Ask if there are preferred vendors for your venue.
- Select and hire your caterer.
- Plan your menu with your caterer.
- Hire your entertainment.
- Rent any needed equipment.
- Don’t forget decor. Your caterer may be able to help.
- Plan the “flow” and how you will use the space in your venue.
- Hire a lighting designer, depending on the type of event.
- Send out invites and/or promote the event.
- Create the event program.
- Create emergency plans.
- Create contingency plans.
- Create contingencies for your contingency plan.
And so much more! Really, there is no checklist template ever made that will be perfect because every event is so different. However, if you’ve ever done any LA event planning in the past, your prior experiences can sometimes be a great way to help you figure out what should go on your current checklist.
By looking back to past events, you can evaluate some of the things that went wrong and implement those learnings into your checklist, so the same mistakes aren’t made twice. You can also evaluate things that went well and include them as action items on your event planning checklist.
Remember, the event planning process is tough. No checklist is perfect. Try to capture as many to-do items and objectives onto your checklist that you can come up with and mark them off when complete. This will help keep you organized and hopefully help you avoid missing anything that may be vital to the success of your event.