Planning an evening event: event objectives

  • The goals of an event point the way to success © KölnTourismus GmbH, Volker Voigt
    The goals of an event point the way to success © KölnTourismus GmbH, Volker Voigt

Please note:
This checklist assumes that you are planning an evening event to which a select group of participants has been invited and for which no participant fees will be charged.

Step 1:
The goals of an event point the way to success


  • Why is the evening event being held? What is the occasion?
    - Is it an anniversary?
    - An evening event following a higher-level event (e.g. a conference or a trade fair)?
    - An event meant to maintain customer loyalty or acquire new customers?
    - An event expressing appreciation and/or thanks to employees?
    - A reward to celebrate a cooperatively achieved goal (e.g. the conclusion of a project or the introduction of a product)?
    - A tribute, e.g. to long-serving employees?
    - An award presentation?
    - etc.
  • Who will be attending the evening event?
    - (Former) employees with/without partners, with/without children?
    - Business partners with/without partners, with/without children?
    - (Potential) customers with/without partners, with/without children?
    - The people from a specific department?
    - A group of executives?
    - A project group?
    - etc.
  • About how many people will be attending?
  • What dates would be ideal?
    - Please note: If the evening event follows a higher-level event (e.g. a conference, team-building session, trade fair etc.), the date of the evening event is of course determined by the date of the main event.
    - Alternatively, is this an independent event with a specific purpose? In this case, you must decide on the most suitable date for this evening event.
    - On which days would you have the largest possible number of participants? It’s essential to take vacation periods and holidays into account!
  • What would be the best starting time, and how long should the evening event last?
    - The best starting time and the event’s optimal length will depend on its content and structure as well as the external circumstances (e.g. the time when the previous event ends).
    - Open-ended or with a fixed ending time?
  • Where should the evening event be held?
    - Where will the main event (e.g. the trade fair) take place?
    - When selecting the venue, must you consider where the guests will be coming from?
    - Should the event be held at the headquarters of the host company or institution?
    - etc.
  • What location should you choose?
    - Type of location (hotel, event location, the company’s own premises, a tent etc.)?
    - Requirements for the location (premium or basic, number of stars etc.)?
    - Does the type of location (urban, seaside, historical, futuristic etc.) match the theme/motto of the evening?
    - Available facilities — are they suitable for the number of participants and the event’s structure, timetable and requirements (e.g. is it a casual get-together or a gala)?
    - Are additional spaces needed for supporting programmes (e.g. children’s programmes or exhibitions)?
    - In certain cases, will additional tents be needed?
  • Must overnight accommodation be available?
    - If the meeting is held at an event location, you may need to reserve hotel accommodation nearby.
    - Will upgrades for VIPs be needed?
  • Will transfers or shuttles be needed for groups or individual participants?
    - From the airport or train station and back?
    - From the hotel/back to the hotel?
  • What will be the tone of the evening event?
    - Will there be an integrated official ceremony?
    - Is it a party?
    - A festive gala?
    - A get-together with networking opportunities?
    - Casual or formal?
  • Which structure would be ideal?
    - The event should have a well-structured and discernible flow, and the guests should always be informed about the timeframe in advance (unless there is a surprise programme).
  • What would be the ideal programme for achieving the aims of the evening event and conjuring up emotions and lasting memories for the target group?
    - A programme in line with a certain motto?
    - A formal reward programme or an award presentation on the stage?
    - A show programme?
    - Speakers?
    - A central stage programme or a decentralized programme among the guests?
    - Activities in various rooms (party area, lounge, special activities etc.)?
    - Music: dinner, party, DJ, band, a certain theme (Irish, Brazilian, classical etc.)?
    - Presenter?
    - A children’s programme?
  • What kind of catering should be chosen?
    - Reception?
    - Buffet?
    - Menu?
    - Premium quality?
    - What kind of drinks?
    - Motto?
  • How should the participant management and the overall communication, from the invitations to the feedback questionnaire, be organized?
    - Does a motto/key visual/central theme already exist, or must it still be developed?
    - Should a corporate design be taken into account?
    - Which aspects should be analogue, which should be digital?
    - Would an event website and/or an event app with information about the event be desirable?
  • What is the available budget?
  • Will the event be planned and organized in-house or with
    support from an agency?
  • Would partner companies like to participate in the evening
    event? (E.g. as a sponsor)?


Download this checklist here:
Checklist 1b. Event objectives - planning an evening event

Go to step 2: Checklist 2b. Concept & calculation - planning an evening event



Version: 2019
Responsible for the content:
welcome Veranstaltungs GmbH
Frauke Landsberg