Each event starts with an idea, then turns into a conversation, and with a little bit of work, becomes reality.

As an event coach here at Constant Contact, I’ve talked with hundreds of people who were at varying stages in the process of pulling together their event, and one thing was clear: Planning makes all the difference.

It doesn’t matter if you’re putting together a workshop for 50 people or a walkathon for 5,000, up-front planning is the foundation for every successful event.

Sometimes, taking a step back can be difficult and stressful, but it always makes the entire process easier for you and your guests — especially if you’re using an online event management tool like Event Marketing from Constant Contact.

So before you sit down at your computer to set up your event, think about and answer the following questions:

  1. What are your goals for this event?  What does success look like?
  2. How are you branding your event? Is there a logo, or a unique set of colors that you’re using?
  3. Where are you having your event?  Does this venue have a maximum capacity?
  4. Are you charging for your event? If so, do fees vary (e.g., is there an early/late fee, or a member vs. non-member rate)?
  5. Can people bring a guest (e.g., spouses, children, co-workers)?
  6. Are you selling items (e.g., t-shirts, hats, etc.)?
  7. Do you want to make visible to registrants a list of who else is coming?
  8. How do you plan on promoting your event?  Are you planning to send an invite to your email list, promote the event via Facebook and Twitter, etc.?
  9. Do you have a registration deadline?
  10. Do you need an event homepage in order to share details beyond the who, what, and where (e.g., speaker bios, testimonials from past attendees, etc.)?

When you collect your thoughts and put them down on paper, jumping into the logistics or using an online event managment tool will be a breeze.

What questions do you ask before you begin the event planning process? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. And to get even more insights, follow @CTCTEvent on Twitter.