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The Do’s and Don'ts of Event Planning

Mike Crockford
The Do’s and Don'ts of Event Planning

Whether you're an experienced professional or a novice trying to carve your niche, event planning can seem daunting. However, the challenge of orchestrating a seamless experience can be simplified and enjoyable with the right approach. In particular, an organized event planning checklist can prove invaluable, especially in lively event locales like Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton, VA.

So, let’s do a detailed exploration of the do’s and don'ts of event planning, filled with rich insights and practical advice to elevate your event game.


Part 1: The Essential Do's of Event Planning

Do #1: Lean on Your Event Planning Checklist 

An event planning checklist is your trusted companion, a roadmap that illuminates your path and keeps you on track. Tailor this checklist to your event's needs, ensuring it includes important elements like event goals, budget, venue, entertainment, and guest list.

Let's say you're orchestrating a music festival in Virginia Beach. Your checklist might account for permits, safety measures, artist contracts, and stage setup in this scenario. If you're coordinating a corporate event in Norfolk, your checklist will necessitate details like technological requirements, breakout rooms, and team-building activities.


Do #2: Invest Time in Venue Selection

The importance of an event venue in Virginia Beach or any other location, cannot be understated. It sets the tone for your event, creating the backdrop for your narrative. A well-chosen venue resonates with your event's ethos, accommodates guests comfortably, and offers requisite amenities. 

For example, if you're planning an outdoor wedding, the serene Virginia Beach Oceanfront Park, with its majestic ocean views and lush landscapes, could be a picture-perfect setting.


Do #3: Prioritize Effective Communication

Good communication forms the foundation of any successful event. Regular, clear communication with vendors, attendees, and your team must ensure everyone is on the same page and helps your event progress smoothly.


Do #4: Invest in Quality Partnerships 

In the world of event planning, your vendors and partners are crucial contributors to your success. Choose them wisely and ensure they share your commitment to quality. From your caterers to decorators, sound technicians to photographers, each plays a role in creating the overall experience.


Do #5: Plan for the Unexpected

Despite the most meticulous planning, unforeseen circumstances can and will arise. It's essential to have contingency plans for every possible situation. Be prepared for bad weather, technical glitches, and last-minute cancellations.


Do #6: Focus on Time Management

Time management is key in event planning. Develop a detailed timeline leading up to the event, assigning ample time for each task. Leave room for flexibility and ensure you stay on track as the event date approaches.


Part 2: The Crucial Don'ts of Event Planning

Don't #1: Overlook Your Budget

It's easy to be carried away by grand ideas, but overlooking your budget could lead to serious repercussions. Be sure to account for all potential costs, including those surprises that invariably pop up, and adhere to your budget. This includes costs for permits, insurance, and other contingency plans.


Don't #2: Forget about the Guest Experience

Your guests' experience is what will make your event memorable. Do not become so consumed by logistical planning that you lose sight of this crucial aspect. Incorporate engaging elements that cater to your audience's tastes and interests to enhance their experience.


Don't #3: Bypass Event Evaluation

Once the last guest departs, the work isn't over. One of the most important post-event tasks is evaluation. This step provides critical insights into what worked well, what didn't, & what can be improved for future events.


Don't #4: Lose Sight of Your Event's Purpose

Every event has a purpose, a reason for being. Whether it's a charity fundraiser, a corporate seminar, or a family reunion, never lose sight of your event's core objective. This purpose should guide your planning and decision-making.


Don't #5: Disregard Feedback

Feedback, both positive and negative, is a treasure trove of insights. Don't disregard it. Actively seek feedback from attendees, vendors, and staff. Use these insights to continually refine and enhance your events.


Don't #6: Forget to Take Care of Yourself

Event planning can be high-stress, and it's easy to forget about self-care in the hustle and bustle. Remember, you just can't pour from an empty cup. Ensuring your well-being is essential for your performance and event success.


Part 3: Leveraging Local Expertise for Event Planning

Local Tip #1: Familiarize Yourself with Local Regulations and Resources

Each city has its unique regulations and resources. Acquaint yourself with local guidelines around event permits, noise control, and other restrictions. This knowledge can help you avoid last-minute hiccups and utilize local resources optimally.


Local Tip #2: Build Local Connections

Establishing relationships with local vendors, suppliers, and venue owners can give you a competitive edge. These connections can offer invaluable insider tips, better deals, and a support system when needed.


Local Tip #3: Embrace the Local Culture

Whether it's Norfolk's lively culture or Hampton, VA's serene vibes, incorporating local elements into your event can enhance its appeal. Local food, music, or traditions can lend authenticity to your event and provide a memorable experience for attendees.


Local Tip #4: Explore Local Talent

Incorporating local talents, such as bands, speakers, or entertainers, can enhance your event's flavor while supporting the local community.


Local Tip #5: Utilize Local Advertising Platforms

Local newspapers, radio stations, or even community boards can be excellent platforms to promote your event. These can help you tap into local audiences effectively.


Local Tip #6: Plan According to Local Climate

Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton, VA, have unique climatic conditions. Plan your event keeping the local weather in mind to ensure maximum comfort for your attendees.



Becoming a seasoned event planner is a blend of meticulous organization, resourceful creativity, and flawless execution. By adhering to these dos and skillfully avoiding the don'ts, you're well on your way to creating events that are successful and leave lasting impressions.

With your event planning checklist as your trusted guide, select the perfect event venue, and weave in local cultural elements to make your event truly unforgettable. Remember, every event you successfully plan and execute is a stepping stone toward your next extraordinary endeavor. Here's to making every event count!

Mike Crockford
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