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Event and Festival Planning: Where to Start

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

March is a busy month for events and festivals that can play a crucial role in enhancing a business brand. For some, the event or festival has a brand of its own. My background in city district festival planning has led many people to asking me questions where to start, as there are a lot of moving parts. Planning ahead and attention to detail are important to making sure you don't miss opportunities to make your event the best it can be.

Photo by Madi Denton

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you prepare for a successful event or festival:

1. Define Objectives and Theme: Clearly outline the goals and objectives of your event or festival. Decide on the theme that aligns with your brand and appeals to your target audience.

2. Preliminary Budget: Establish a budget for the event, considering all the necessary expenses such as venue costs, marketing, equipment, permits, staff, and other miscellaneous expenses. Allow for some flexibility for unexpected costs.

3. Event Branding: Create a strong and consistent brand identity for the event. Design a logo, choose a color scheme, and use consistent messaging across all promotional materials.

4. Core Event Team: Assemble a competent team that will oversee different aspects of the event, including event management, marketing, logistics, and customer service. Clearly define roles and responsibilities.

5. Social Media Strategy: Develop a comprehensive social media plan to build excitement and engagement leading up to the event. Use various platforms to reach a wider audience and regularly post developments, updates, and teasers.

6. Event Insurance: Ensure you have the appropriate insurance coverage to protect against unforeseen incidents or liabilities that may arise during the event.

7. Identify Target Audience: Define your target audience and tailor the event's experience and marketing efforts to cater to their preferences and interests.

8. Explore Venue Options: Choose a suitable venue/outside area that can accommodate your expected number of attendees and aligns with the event theme. Consider factors like accessibility, amenities, and ambiance.

9. Engage Event Professionals: Depending on the scale of the event, consider hiring event professionals such as planners, decorators, caterers, and technical support to ensure smooth execution.

10. Event Promotion: Develop a comprehensive marketing and promotional strategy. Utilize various channels, such as social media, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and traditional advertising, to create awareness and drive ticket sales or attendance.

11. Logistics and Operations: Plan the event logistics, including registration and ticketing, security, transportation, and on-site facilities. Ensure that everything runs efficiently during the event.

12. Entertainment and Activities: Organize engaging entertainment and activities that align with your event theme and cater to the interests of your target audience. Try to book local music artists and vendors where you can!

13. Sponsorships and Partnerships: Consider seeking sponsorships or collaborating with relevant brands and businesses to enhance your event's offerings and reach a broader audience.

14. Post-Event Evaluation: After the event, gather feedback from attendees, sponsors, and team members. Evaluate the success of the event based on the defined objectives and identify areas for improvement.

By following these steps and putting in the effort to plan meticulously, you can increase the chances of hosting a successful event or festival that will significantly benefit your business brand. Want our free event guide? Email us today at, and we'll send!

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