Organizing an event is a huge undertaking that requires many moving parts. It’s nearly impossible to carry out an event without a high level of organization. A perfectly planned event is rare, as unforeseen obstacles will often arise, especially in this moment of uncertainty. That’s why it is essential to create an event planning roadmap that can be shared with all members of your organization. This is where the event brief comes in handy.
Why create an event brief?
An event brief will help you keep track of everything you need to consider when planning your event. A disorganized event planning process more often than not will result in a lower quality event experience for attendees and staff, and sometimes a lost opportunity to host that event again. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that a well-planned event can help you reach all of your goals for the event. There is no magic when it comes to planning an event, the key is all in the details. And there is no better way of keeping track of the event details than through an event brief.
What is an event brief exactly?
An event brief is an all-encompassing guide on the planning and execution of your event. An extensive planning guide will allow you to keep track of everything in one place. It’s the best way to keep your entire planning team on the same page with a clear vision of what needs to be done and by who. Even if you have only a few team members or feel like you’re short-staffed, this won’t be a waste of time. In fact, it will save you time in the long run. Typically, an event brief will contain a detailed event description, a list of measurable goals, important dates and deadlines, audience information, staff profile, budget table, and more. Be sure to check out the template to get a good start on creating your own event brief.
Help yourself when planning and organizing your event. Click the “Download Now” button to get our event brief template that will help make your event easier to organize.
To go along with the template we have included a guide to help you fill out and modify the template.
Provide a description of your event.
A detailed event description is the most important piece of the brief, as it will maintain an overall vision of the event. All event planning activities should revolve around this information, which is why it should typically remain close to the top of the event brief. To an outside organization, who will want to see your event plan, a brief shows strong organization, dependability, and a clear focus. Making finding partners more likely to work with you. Information near the top or on the first page of your event brief should include:
- Event title
- Event Description
- This should only be 3 paragraphs max
- Event date(s) and time
- This should include the dates and hours your event will be live
- If this part is not concrete, include a rough estimate of the date and hours
- Type of event
- Is it a conference, meeting, exposition, etc
- Will the event take place in-person, virtually, or hybrid
- Location and Venue
- If you haven’t secured a venue yet, you can lay out a list of possible venues similar to the speaker wishlist section (see below).
- You should include a link to the event agenda. Highlight where changes can be made since schedule changes are common and can occur at any point of the event planning process.
- It’s important to monitor the event website to be sure the site is up and that the registration system is working smoothly.
Outline the purpose and goal(s)
Every event has an overall purpose or a set of purposes, and you should be clear on what they are. It’s crucial to have them in writing so each team member is aware of why the event is being run.
Once your purpose is established, you can start setting concrete goals for the event. Each goal should fit within the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Some examples include making X-amount of profit by the end of the event, having X number of registrations by the start of the event, or an X% increase in members 1 month after the event.
Keep track of Important deadlines and dates
It’s necessary to make a clear note of important dates before and during your event, such as when set up begins, registration time frame, speaker rehearsal dates, etc. This will help you stay on track and be cross-referenced with the checklist.
Know your audience
Include an outline of your event’s attendee demographic. It’s important to establish a clear understanding of your audience to ensure the event will be well-catered to them specifically. You’ll want to list:
- Total # of attendees expected (overestimate to be safe)
- Profession, education, background
- Any other pertinent demographic information (age, gender, etc.)
What will be the event’s theme?
You’ll want your event to follow a central theme to ensure it brings a consistent look and feel for attendees. Keep in mind that everything purchased and designed should be in accordance with the theme. Make sure your theme is clear on the following:
The event budget is an extremely critical part of your event brief. To avoid overspending, start by setting a strict maximum spending limit. From there, you will need to list out every item and its estimated cost, no matter how small. Once it’s been purchased and deployed, be sure to update the budget sheet with the actual cost. Diligently tracking the budget will ensure the total costs are less than the maximum spend limit. You may also break your budget up into different item categories, like catering, print materials, A/V equipment, venue, staff/security, and more. Since the budget should be very detailed, it can be created in a separate spreadsheet that should still be shared with other organizers and relevant staff.
Creating an income section will help set up the event budget. Here, you can list out each source of revenue you expect to earn, such as merchandise and sponsorships with the expected and actual earned amounts. Once you have a total, you can use it for your goals and/or budget.
Create a task checklist
Having a comprehensive checklist for every planning task is essential to be confident that nothing was overlooked or forgotten before the event. You can also list the due date and status of each task that can be updated by other organizers and staff to ensure no task is being done twice and time is not being wasted.
Keep tabs on partners
You’ll want to have a list of all of your event partners(A/V company, event management platform, sponsors, exhibitors, and/or any other external organizations involved with your event.)Losing their contact information can cause errors that could have been avoided with attentive communication.
Compose your speaker wishlist
Securing great speakers for each session of the event can be difficult, so make sure you have backup options and know where you are at with each of them. You’ll want to list their contact information and whether they have been contacted or confirmed.
Know your staff
It can be difficult to keep track of each staff member and efficiently delegate everyone’s roles and responsibilities. It will be beneficial to include their name with their role and contact information. Not only does this allow you to see who is involved with what part of the event, but it can also save you time from having to scramble to try to contact a certain staff member. You can share it with the whole team to make collaboration smoother.
Do not underestimate the power of having your event’s plan written out and organized. It will save tons of time and stress in the long run. With an event brief, you can keep track of all the information you need and be more comfortable leading up to the event. The template is available to download now above!