Event planning is a popular career path for many. With low startup costs and millions of potential clients out there, even a novice can turn a single successful event into a lucrative career. However, an event planner is only as good as the equipment they have to hand. You’ll need a small arsenal of essentials at your disposal at every step, from meeting with clients, securing vendors, and visiting potential venues. All of this is before the event itself gets underway.
Unsure of what items you need to have in stock to pull off a successful event? Read on for a full breakdown of all the items every event planner needs in their repertoire. We also have articles on the best weekender bag for women, bag on wheels for work, and what essentials you need if you are moving.
What is Event Planning?
Event planners have a pretty broad remit. Event management typically starts with organizing and planning for an event itself. This could be a small-scale birthday party or anniversary celebration to an international conference for enterprise-level clients. Typical duties involve hammering out an event budget with clients, before getting to work on the specifics. This generally involves selecting an event venue, researching and selecting potential suppliers, and overseeing the event day itself.
A planner with extensive event experience may also be involved in a more involved capacity. This could involve event promotion on social media, or creating an event website and working alongside event marketing professionals. Furthermore, some planners will be tasked with guaranteeing attendance by keeping track of event registration. Management software can help with this, but you can keep things simple with a planning event template.
No matter the scale of the occasion, a planner’s ultimate goal is to deliver a memorable event experience that matches the client's brief. As such, a successful planner needs to demonstrate exceptional organizational skills, be agile enough to meet last-minute problems and have a meticulous eye for detail.
The 10 Essentials Every Event Planner Needs
Whether it’s your first foray into event management or you’re already deep into the planning process, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal to deliver a successful event. Need help putting together an event planning checklist? Read on for the ultimate guide on the essentials no event planner can be without.
It’s always a good idea to take a camera along with you to any event you’re planning. A high-end smartphone with a quad-camera setup can produce excellent shots, but if budget allows, it’s worth eventually upgrading to a DSLR camera. Any shots you capture can be used for your portfolio when pitching to future clients. What’s more, if you’re planning a wedding or milestone event for private clients, you can surprise them with standout shots for your contact sheet. If you do plan on taking photographs, make sure you have the permission of your clients beforehand.
2. Zip Ties
If you already have a couple of events under your belt, you’ll appreciate how useful zip ties can be. Planning a corporate event? Any audiovisual element is going to involve countless cables and wires. While an AV team should keep these in check, you’ll want to keep a close eye on trip hazards. If you’re worried about the safety of event attendees, you can quickly jump in with your trusty stock of zip ties. However, there are many ways you can use zip ties. Need to secure smaller bags? Zip ties make quick work of this. Forgot to bring a security lock for a camera bag? A zip tie can be used in a pinch.
No matter whether it’s a private party or corporate event you’re planning, you’ll need a lot of tape in your event planning arsenal. We’re not just talking about the kind of tape you use for gift wrapping either. You’ll need tape for every possible scenario. Use gaffer tape to secure loose cables to the ground or reach for masking tape if you need to mark walls without leaving behind any sticky residue. You’ll also want a few spools of electrical tape in your possession.
4. Event Itinerary
If you haven’t got a detailed itinerary in place, you don’t stand any chance of pulling off a successful event. Your itinerary should be an evolving document, maintained from the first moment you meet with a client. Make sure it includes key dates for meeting with potential vendors, along with delivery estimates for event essentials and payment schedules. You’ll also need an itinerary for the day itself. Your clients should be left to focus on enjoying the event itself, so it’s down to you to ensure everybody behind the scenes is doing their job correctly.
5. First Aid Kit
All event venues should really have first aid kits available, but you can’t leave anything to chance. At a minimum, you should have a basic first aid kit to handle minor injuries like cuts and scrapes. You can pick up stocked first aid kits relatively cheaply, although you’ll want to check what’s actually included. A few bandaids and a couple of safety pins aren’t going to cut it. Bolster your first aid stocks with liquid bandage solvent, self-adhesive bandages, disinfectant, and more.
6. Tool Kit
It’s not uncommon for minor mishaps to occur at event venues. It could be a broken trestle table or an unsteady chair. A pre-event venue visit should really flag any such issues, but having a tool kit to hand on the day itself is always a good idea. A multipurpose screwdriver with swappable heads will come in handy time and again. During the planning stage itself, you’ll need far more tools in your repertoire. Measuring tape is a must as it will allow you to plan on how to best utilize venue space. Read about why rolling totes are the best tool bags on wheels.
7. Computer and Phone Chargers
You don’t want to be left without a dead phone battery in the middle of an event, especially if you’re waiting on important calls from vendors and entertainers. Always carry at least one spare phone charger with you at all times. You’ll also need a computer charger with you to ensure your laptop is fully juiced throughout the event. Ideally, you’ll also want contingencies in place. Sometimes, chargers will decide to suddenly stop working at the worst possible time. A handy stock of extra phone chargers will also go down well with guests who’ve forgotten to bring their own.
8. Laptop Computer
Although you’ll be very busy on the day itself with clients and vendors, you’ll also need to find the time to sit down and do some admin. Some event planners choose to do most of this work on tablets, but they’re not particularly practical if you need to get stuck into a spreadsheet or online management system. A laptop computer is your best bet here.
9. Box Cutter
You might have one of these tucked away in your tool kit, but it’s worth underlining the importance of box cutters. These indispensable tools will make quick work of cardboard boxes that have been sealed shut with stubborn tape. You can keep things simple with snapaway box cutters or upgrade to ones with self-deploying blades.
10. Protein Bars
A typical event planner will be on their feet for hours at a time. Event day itself can be exhausting and, if you can’t find the time to sit down for a much-deserved meal, you’ll need to recharge. Protein bars are perfect for this, providing you with the energy hit you need, even when you’re short on time.
The Ultimate Event Planner Bag
A well-stocked inventory of event planning essentials is all well and good, but you’ll need the right bag to cart those items from A to B. With the Hulken rolling tote, you have the ideal accessory for event planning.
With its generous capacity and streamlined design, the Hulken makes it easier than ever to stay organized. Whether you’re scoping out a potential event venue or overseeing the day itself, all the items you need can be easily sorted by category for instant retrieval.
What’s more, the Hulken is one of the most durable bags on the market. Made from hard-wearing polypropylene with a sturdy base board, the Hulken will serve you well for a long time to come, even if you’re calling upon it every day. Read more about how Hulken has been refined for durability and style.
A good event planner needs to be mobile. With the Hulken, you have a bag that won’t hold you back. Thanks to its stainless steel swivel wheels, you’ll have no trouble schlepping to where you need to be. The Hulken glides effortlessly over most surfaces and, when you need to climb a flight of stairs, slips easily over the shoulder for carrying convenience.
Despite being incredibly functional, the Hulken will not disappoint when it comes to style. Boasting pared-back aesthetics and a minimalist design, this tote makes the right first impression with clients. Furthermore, you have three classic colors to choose from.
The Hulken Size Guide
Whether you’re looking for a gargantuan bag to cart a full arsenal of essentials or need something more compact, the Hulken is the ideal solution. With two sizes to choose from, you’ll find the perfect companion for every event planning exercise.
- Bag Weight: 3 pounds
- Capacity: 2-3 grocery bags
- Open Dimensions: 16" x 12" x 20"
- Folded Dimensions: 20" x 16" x 4"
- Bag Weight: 4 pounds
- Capacity: 4-5 grocery bags
- Open Dimensions: 20" x 16" x 24"
- Folded Dimensions: 24" x 20" x 4"
For more information, here's all you need to know before you buy a rolling tote.
The Perfect Bag for Event Planners
The life of an event planner is rarely simple. However, you can make your routine that much easier by investing in a quality tote. You need something that’s versatile, durable, and travel-friendly. With the Hulken, you have everything you need for planning and executing a successful event.
Not only that, but the Hulken can also double up as a foldable grocery bag, foldable laundry basket, shopping bag with wheels, travel bag with wheels and handles, wheeled tote bag for work, and much more! Find out why teachers love the Hulken, why moms are raving about it, what the best bag for photographers is, and all about the perfect bag for home organizers.