Bringing People Together: A Quick Team Event Planning Checklist

A friend once told me that company events are important because they build empathy between team members; you’re more likely to help each other out and work cohesively as a team when you know each other as humans. Bringing people together can improve productivity, increase motivation, encourage collaboration and creativity, and improve communication (Sodexo). You might even have a little fun too!

I firmly believe in the importance of socializing with colleagues. I’ve been planning small events for so long it’s essentially second nature, but folks around me have expressed that knowing where to start is more difficult than it looks. If event planning for your team isn’t your forte, I wanted to share a quick checklist to set your next office event or outing up for success.

Prepare an Outline of Event

  • Name of event:

  • Primary point of contact:

  • Date of event:

  • Time of event:

  • Target audience:

  • Objective (why are we doing this event?):

  • Budget:

4 Weeks Before Event

  • Outline of Event Completed

  • Budget request and outline provided to relevant stakeholders

  • Secure speaker/talent if needed

  • Book a space

  • Announce to your internal listservs or team members

2 Weeks Before Event

  • Confirm headcount for the event

  • Create a seating plan if appropriate

  • Identify any dietary restrictions or preferences for attendees

  • Select and book catering (include theme of the event in the catering if possible)

1 Week Before Event

  • Send an event reminder and confirm attendence

  • Make any needed adjustments to space, seating plan, or food if headcount has changed

  • Create and print any materials needed

  • Secure any swag you plan to provide to attendees or talent

Day of Event

  • Set up the space - decorations, table and seating arrangements, etc.

  • Ensure any technology is functioning properly - microphones, projectors

  • Have fun!

Day After the Event

  • Confirm number of attendees and budget used to relevant stakeholders

  • Send a thank you note to presenters/speakers/guests

There are lots of other elements that might come into play, but if you start with this checklist you’ll have a good foundation to build a great event around!

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