Event planning tips – Wellington Convention Centre

Table Setting - Dinner

Great events don’t just happen – they are the result of clear and thorough planning and a lot of enthusiasm and hard work.  The following information should be helpful for beginners to ensure your planning gets off to a smooth start. 

Helpful hints to get you started:

What do you want to achieve:

  • List key things you want your guests to get out of your event
  • How will your success be measured
  • What is the outcome for the event

What resources have you got:

  • How much will your event cost?  What is your budget?
  • Are you charging an admission fee to create income   
  • Who is available to help you organise the event

What is your timeframe:

  • Work backwards from the event date to ensure you can complete all your tasks along the way
  • Book your venue early to ensure availability

Who is attending: 

  • Allow for a minimum and maximum attendance
  • How will you contact them and keep them informed? (invites/reminders/media plan/marketing/brochures)

When is the event: 

  • Check the school holidays, public holidays and special events in the region do not clash with your date
  • What will the weather be like at this season (cold/hot/wet/dry)
  • What else is happening around that time that may create pressure to attend / competing workload

Do you know the venue:

  • What facilities do you need (plenary/breakout/media room/space for catering/exhibition area)
  • Make sure your event will fit in the spaces available
  • Take time to do a familiarisation tour of the venue – check how your event will flow in the spaces suggested

What are your requirements:  

  • Make a list of things to consider (eg: theming / entertainment / event branding)
  • Consider any health and safety risks issues that might need to be addressed
  • What sort of catering will suit the event?  (canapes / sitdown lunch or dinner / working meal)
  • Will your guests be standing or sitting to eat?  Choose a menu that will suit the style of eating
  • Consider when you will be breaking for food (what works in the morning is not good at the end of the day)
  • Are there any presentation components (will you need sound, lighting,computers and AV presentation equipment)

Have you thought about the following?

  • Do you require tea & coffee on arrival?
  • Do you require name tags or place cards for your event?
  • Do you need to provide your guests with a registration pack on arrival?
  • Are you planning to hold a dinner or cocktail party – do you need theming, menus, or entertainment?
  • Do you require registration at your event?
  • Does your event require a seating plan?
  • Have you considered the different dietary requirements of your guests?
  • Does your event need security?
  • Do you require your event to be photographed?


Once you have all these criteria sorted – you will be ready to get organising.  Our checklist may help you plan your timeline, or just ask our event team for help to make this a hassle-free occasion.                                                                 

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