40+ Free Event Program Templates / Designs

Event planning is quite an involving process. You do not just need to get the venue ready, but you must also psychologically prepare the participants in good time. Different events have unique demands of the participants, so it would be wise to learn more about these, especially from a sample event program, and figure out the required demographics of the event participants. You will also benefit from an event program template to guide you through the process.

With this information, it is easier for the event planner to work around all aspects of the event, including entertainment, the choice of colors, things like the event MC, or even something as simple as the venue for the event. Even the way the event is advertised will greatly depend on the demographics.

Event Program Templates

Why do you need templates for event programs?

Not everyone is a professional event planner. You never know when a sample event program might come in handy. You might be called upon by a group you are a participant in, to plan a certain event. You might also have been an event planner before, but for different kinds of events than the one you are being asked to plan.

For this reason, an event program template would assist you. There are some benefits that you would get from templates, such as:

  • Ease of use – Most of the templates are so simple and easy to use. Even if you have never used them before, you will not struggle. All you have to do is download the one you fancy and edit it according to your event needs.
  • Professional development – Templates are usually designed by experts who have been in the event planning industry for a number of years. Therefore, they incorporate the basics of what different events need, to make your work easier.
  • Quality templates – You would not have been attracted to the templates in the first place if they were poor quality. These templates are professionally designed, attractive, neat, organized and are friendly to the target audience.

What must be included in an event planner?

Before you start drawing up or executing an event plan/program, you need to know all the important details that would make the event complete.

Any event has to be described. The description should be brief and to the point in your event program template, just enough to tell the audience about the organizers, the sponsors and the core objective of the event.

You also have to include details about the venue, time and date of the event as you can see in any quality sample event program. Should there be some activities that will be a part of the event, they have to be mentioned, and the order in which they will be performed. Without these details, your event program would basically be a flop.

Different Types of Events

There are several types of events that take place on a daily basis. Some of these are formal and others informal. They still have to be planned for efficiently, so they can be executed to perfection. The following are some of the common events that you could need an event program template for:

  • Family Events – These are usually a good way to bring the entire family together.
  • Wedding anniversaries and celebrations – If any of the wedding shows we have seen are anything to go by, wedding planning is an important event. Wedding planners are often in high demand in any country you visit. Wedding anniversaries are just as important as wedding ceremonies too, hence they too, demand proper planning.
  • Birthdays – These do not necessarily need a professional event planner, but they too need planning. If you are inviting a lot of people, or if the birthday is also doubling up as a corporate venture, you will need a professional event planner.
  • Executive Retreats –These are retreats that are organized by companies to get their staff or executives away from the stressful work conditions. They are aimed at helping the staff rejuvenate, think straight and be more creative when they resume their normal work. Most companies offer team building retreats.
  • Board meetings – The emphasis of such meetings is on visions and strategic goals of the company. There is a lot of strategic planning expected of these meetings. Proper event planning would include getting the right venue for the meeting and ensuring the participants are not interfered with.
  • Product launch – These are usually geared towards a critical and successful introduction of a new product into the market. To encourage even better media coverage, an event planner would also need to invest in effective product presentation.
  • Networking events – These present the ideal opportunity for personal marketing and establishing new contacts. They, therefore, must also feature proper event planning.

 

Event Program Designs

Checklist for event planning

Like any project that you undertake on a normal basis, you need a progress report for event planning. In your sample event program, you need to keep tabs on the event as it progresses, so you know whether you are on track or not.

One of the biggest concerns for event planners is usually time-keeping. As an event planner, your event program template must have a checklist to help you track the event as it progresses. The following are details of what must be included in your event planning checklist.

Permits

You cannot host any event anywhere without getting permission from the relevant government authorities. You must find out from the local government or any associated body, whether the venue will be available, appropriate for your event and so forth.

This is also to help you make sure you are not hosting an event that will end up conflicting with another event within the vicinity. You might need to pay for a permit to hold your event.

Assuming that you will be playing some music during this event, you would need to apply for a noise permit from the relevant authorities. Promotional signs must also be approved and paid for.

In some cases, you need to alert the local government so that they can even beef up security for the participants in the event. You might even request road closures, for which you would need appropriate application in good time for approval.

Drawing up a budget

Other than time, budgeting is another area where a lot of event planners struggle. Most people end up going over their expected budget, and that is not good for business.

If you are organizing a corporate event, going visibly under the budget will also draw negative sentiments towards you as an event planner, or your company. The budget has to be discussed before the event is planned. It will help you keep a close eye on your spending as the event gets executed. A good sample event program could help you know how to apportion costs to key budget items.

The venue

You might have the permit from the local authorities, but the venue might not be available for use at the date or time you need it. If it might be available, it also might not be ready for use as you would like it to be.

Take time and inspect the venue first, make sure it is in order, then look for the permits. After that, make sure you get a reservation.

The event program

You should have a list of activities that will be carried out during the event. These have to be listed in order, and the duration of time each activity will take. In case you are planning an event with a lot of speakers, you should have them listed accordingly, and let them know how long they have on the dais.

Sponsorship

It is an unforgivable mistake in event planning to forget to allow the sponsors their time in the limelight. Sponsorships bring in the funding for the event, and in an attempt to outdo each other, some even commit more funding than you had anticipated. Make sure your event sponsors are properly highlighted in your event program template and given the attention they deserve.

Sponsorship packages should be delivered in good time. Most sponsors prefer at least a one week notice so they can also get ready for your event. Some demand an earlier notice period.

Promoting the event

If you are certain you have done everything to get ready for the event, you need to market and promote it accordingly. For event promotion, you need a number of paraphernalia like brochures, posters and flyers.

Today, successful event planning and promotion include a good social media plan to spread the word. You might have to hire a webcasting company for your event, or if you are tech savvy, you can stream the event online to reach an unprecedented audience.

Invitations and registration

In order to reduce the pressure on registration on the day of the event, it is wise to consider creating a registration form online for the participants. If you have a website, ensure the registration form for the event is hosted online, and in a page where users can access it very easily and fast without distractions. This form should be easy to fill.

There are events that participants have to pay for. For these events, you need to let them know what is included in the money they are paying. Perhaps there is a dinner organized before the event, or they will get promotional merchandise after the event is finished and so forth.

Other noteworthy inclusions

There are some other things that most people do not really think about, but they will matter to your event with respect to the audience and size of the audience you are working with. You might need to hire different contractors for the event.

You will need a risk manager, a traffic management unit, volunteers at different points, a security plan, especially for visitors’ parking, food vendors, giveaways and so forth.

These might not seem important at all, but they matter depending on the demographics of the event participants and have to feature in your event program template.

Getting ready for the day of the event

You might have been planning the event for weeks or months, and the big day has arrived. There are 4 important things that will help you make this day a success:

  • An event brief. An event brief is important before the event begins. Have a meeting with all the participating personnel before the event starts. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them, and stress the need to follow the program to the latter.
  • Registration. Most events will need participants to register. The registration section should be set in a clear place. It should also be the information booth in case any of the attendants need anything.
  • Coordinator contacts. All the volunteers and members of staff taking part in this event are supposed to have a coordinator. This should help them get help as soon as possible should they need it.
  • Chain of command. There should always be a chain of command in any event. In the event of an emergency or for any other reason, the people helping you organize the event need to know who they contact first, or who they are supposed to report to. For easy communication, delegate duties in your sample event program efficiently so that one person does not feel overwhelmed.

After the event is over

Event planning does not just end with the event; it carries on even after the event has been finished. You have to conduct an evaluation of everything from the preparation to the execution of the event.

You must also remember to thank the participants, members of staff and volunteers for making the event a success because you might need them again in the near future.

Some event planners further ask guests for their feedback to see if there is anything they can change or improve on for future events.

Sample Event Program

Important things you should never forget when planning an event

In order to help you make this event a success, we have highlighted some of the most important things that you should never forget.

The core objective

Why is this event being held? What are you trying to achieve at the end of it all? There are a lot of people who attend events and at the end of it all, are elated at how successful it was. However, if you try to find out from them what the event was about, they will be hard pressed to give you a clear answer.

As an event planner, you have to make sure the mission and objective of the event are clear, so the participants know why they are attending your event.

Target audience

Nothing is as terrible as spending so much on event planning, only to end up with the wrong crowd. You have to carefully look at the target audience. Make sure the event is promoted with the target audience in mind.

Spread the word

Have you ever attended an event that seemed to be hyped, but the turnout was so low? Invite the right people. Share information about the event to the right parties and you will not have to worry about this.

From social media to traditional mail invitations, work on a feasible way to appeal to the audience you need.

Get the logistics right

Simple leaks sink a huge ship. If you do not take care of the seemingly simple things, you will eventually end up with a big problem. You might have organized a successful event, but the audience is struggling with parking. This will not go down well with them.

How much food is needed for the event? What food is being served? Are you serving food or snacks for this event?

Engagement

As the event goes on, if you can, always try and engage the audience. Mingle and interact with them, try to ensure they are having a good time.

To draw in the plaudits, get a motivational speaker, or someone who certainly is a crowd puller to the event. You can even spring the high profile speaker as a surprise on the guests – just make sure the speaker is worth the surprise.

Assuming it is an event where parents might come with kids, you need to have a playing area for the kids. Make sure it is appropriately staffed. Ensure you have all you need to keep the kids occupied and happy while the parents are busy at the meeting. This will definitely up your profile for future events.

Capture magical moments

You should always make sure you hire a qualified media crew for your event. People will want to see photos and videos of the event after it has run its course. In case your budget does not allow you to hire a professional photographer, speak to someone who enjoys photojournalism as a hobby. They might really come in handy.

Giveaways

This is all about appreciation. Your guests took time out of their busy schedules to spend some time with you, your team and grace your event. For this, you need to appreciate their effort towards helping you achieve your goals.

There are a lot of ideas you can work with for event giveaways. However, try not to spend too much on the giveaways that it overburdens your budget. You are not trying to please people or buy something that they need in their houses; you are simply appreciating them for going out of their way to grace your event.

Event Planner Program

Event planning and reporting

At the end of the event, you need to spend some time to put your house in order. You will need to present receipts and other reports to the relevant parties for remuneration or reimbursement. Make sure you keep all the records properly to ease the reimbursement process.

One of the important elements of reporting after an event is concluded is to think about the lessons you learned. Do you believe you managed the event well? The most common areas you would want to look at here, are cost and time management.

Highlight the areas where you did well and keep it up, or do better. The areas where you can still improve, work on them.

Most importantly, for event planning, you must take away some lessons. Each event you plan tells you more about your ability to plan an event smoothly especially if you use a good sample event program.

With a carefully planned out event program template, you learn more about your event planning company and your ability to handle a diverse client demographic. It is these lessons that you use to become better at event planning, and even get contacts from prospective clients for future business deals.