How to plan for an event

Planning an event can be overwhelming for so many people. But with just a little organization, it can be fun and very rewarding too.

I’ve had a few people ask me how I prepare for an event, so I thought I’d share some of my secrets here.

It’s all about the “Book”.

The biggest event I ever planned was a street fair called A.M.A.S.S. It was held in the old original Funk Zone of Santa Barbara and it was all about artists. The idea was to have artists assemble on Mason Street and get a chance to show their art in real-time.

Artists Making A Street Scene brought together painters, musicians, dancers, fire spinners and so much more. And I put it all together…with a lot of help.

My son, Adam started a local magazine that showcased artists, and A.M.A.S.S. was his brilliant idea to bring artists together. Stateside Magazine featured a different artist each month on the front cover, and no artists were charged to showcase their art in the magazine.

A.M.A.S.S. was a great way to raise funds for Stateside.

Local artists featured in Stateside Magazine
My book for AMASS and a few Stateside Magazines
How to plan for an event.
It all started with a vision
How to prepare for an event
Keeping our goal in front of us.
How to prepare for an event
The hard part!
How to prepare for an event
It was a great success and fun for all involved.

We closed the street, brought in bands, food, wares, and of course artists. It went on into the night and we estimated about 7,000 visitors our second year.

There are a lot of people who claim to be the ones who put together A.M.A.S.S., but I’ll bet Adam and I are the only ones with a book to prove we did it.

Any time I organize an event, I start with putting together my book.

It is the best way to get things rolling in the right direction. And it becomes invaluable at times.

During A.M.A.S.S., I had to pull out my book more than once to show someone our permits. Or to remind a store owner that yes he did sign the agreement to close the street.

A book is especially important for a wedding, in my opinion. And, sure, you can do an online one if you want, but there is something about having it all right in front of me, and making notes here and there that helps me the most.

Planning for a wedding or other even requires a book to help you get organized.
A wedding I planned from 2014
Planning for a wedding or other even requires a book to help you get organized.
Our beach reception in 2013

Get tabs you can write on and put all the information you are gathering into your book. Put everything in there…at first. You can always weed out the ideas that didn’t pan out or were vetoed later.

Planning for a wedding or other even requires a book to help you get organized.
Wedding planner

I’ve put together books for so many different events, big and small.

I once orchestrated a formal Thanksgiving dinner for 30 guests, and would have been lost without my book.

I even put together a small one for our trip to Europe last month. It was simple and fun and kept me organized. I brought it with us in case I needed to pull out rental agreements for our car hires or other rentals, and it turned out I did.

It was so helpful to put together a book during our planning for our 2 week trip to Europe.

Arguably the most important part of your book is a timeline. That’s what keeps it all moving smoothly. I created a loose timeline for our trip to help keep track of where we wanted to go. And I say loose, because we like to go with the flow on our trips.

It was so helpful to put together a book during our planning for our 2 week trip to Europe.

But if you are organizing groups of people, your timeline will be essential. Speaking of which, I better get back to work on that timeline for the next wedding I’m coordinating.

Reader Comments

  1. Leslie Clingan

    How I love your organization. When I read the title, I mistook event for a social gathering at your house. Have people over is a huge EVENT for me. Had no idea you had planned this fest of sorts!! Impressive. My hubs likes to plan our trips in similar fashion to the way you guys planned for Ireland. I just pack my suitcase!

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