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Event Planning

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Event Planning

The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

For a memorable special event, start with complete planning, precise budgeting, detailed records and written contracts.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Details, details, details. That’s really what successful event planning is all about, and that’s the key to this very successful event-planning manual. Author Judy Allen notes, lists, copes with and gives an example of virtually every detail in planning anything from a sedate corporate event in a major city to a huge celebration on a remote island. She provides examples galore plus tips, questions and answers, sample cost sheets and schedules. How much floor space does a person need to be comfortable in a tent? Answer: 20 square feet. How many bathrooms should be available for a party? Answer: One per 75 guests. And don’t forget to ask about the stemware, adequate parking and even the photographer’s back-up camera battery. This author seems to have thought every contingency, as the book’s ambitious title promises. Her one glaring omission is that she does not include the party planner’s fee -’s guess is that she’d be worth it. We highly recommend this well-organized, very practical book to all event planners. Don’t send out press releases for your party without consulting Judy Allen.


Leave Nothing to Chance

Planning and producing a live event leaves little room for mistakes. Once the event starts, you can’t correct errors and shortcomings. In this way, coordinating a special event is like staging a live play; there are no retakes.

That’s why your initial decisions are critical. Successful event planning is the culmination of many small steps, including accurate record keeping, extensive planning and precise execution. Even then, you can anticipate that something unanticipated will happen.

The first steps in planning your event are establishing its purpose and budget. These critical parameters dictate the event’s overall direction and look. Base your budget on a preliminary estimate and include every possible vendor, piece of equipment or professional service that may be associated with staging the event. Break these down into essential items or extras, those enhancements that can add to the festivities, but that can be cut without damaging the event’s overall success.

This process will lead you to your first and most basic decision: if the preliminary costs exceed your budget, now is the time to rethink the event or develop an alternative...

About the Author

Judy Allen is founder and president of Judy Allen Productions, a full-service event planning production and consulting company. She also wrote The Business of Event Planning. She is a former New York Post columnist and a frequent contributor to industry publications, such as Meetings and Incentives Magazine.

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