The Life of an Event Planner
First of all, a lot of people often ask how long an event takes to plan. That, of course varies greatly; depending on the size of the event, an event can take three months, six months, even a year to plan. Larger events can take even longer to plan. For example, they are already working on choosing the city for the 2024 Olympics.
Why does it take so long? What has to be done so far in advance of the event? Here's a really basic overview of some of the elements that have to planned very far "out" prior to the event:
*Six months to one year before the event is to take place, the event planner (me) receives her assignment. A meeting or event concept and a general set of dates will usually be decided upon.
*Then she (me) will need to find a venue that can accommodate the event. She will need to pick a venue, and many venues book up years in advance. If it's a family reunion, she needs to choose a host city, and then a host hotel. Finding the right venue or hotel for your event can be the toughest part of the job; and THEN you have to work with their available dates….so the earlier you are able to book, the better.
*Registration must be set up, and the attendees need to be invited to register. If people are coming in for the event or if the event is hosted somewhere else, travel must be arranged, and hotel rooms booked.
*The main entertainment needs to be selected and booked. DJ's often book out years in advance, so this needs to be determined as far out from the event as possible.
*The content, must be finalized. Keynote speakers need to be selected and booked, and all material needs to be written, proofed, and printed. Presenters need to be provided with scripts, or create their presentations; and this takes time.
*For either a wedding or an event, the technical requirements need to be figured out and solidified. Is there staging? Lighting? Sound? Screens? Multi-media presentations? Good A/V or production companies usually book far in advance.
*Does transportation need to be provided? If it's an event, where will people park? If you have to work with the city on permits or securing lots, this can take a long time!
*Who will design your event? Quality on-site designers often book months in advance.
As you can see, there are a lot of important elements that need to be factored into your event. Quite often, you'll find the "perfect" element (venue, DJ, presenter, florist) only to find they are already booked on your event's date. So the more time you have to plan, the better!