The 5 Ws of Event Planning

You can think of your role as an event planner like a journalist who compiles an article. To tell the right story and ensure that all needs are met, it is important to answer the “Five Ws” regarding your event before moving on with the planning.

What are these five questions? These are the foundations of every story, and all events, as it turns out.

Let’s take a closer view:


This letter “W” is the goal for your event. What is the purpose of hosting it? What are your goals? These goals will ensure that every piece of your event is geared towards the same goal. An event that aims to attract new customers will be handled differently than one that aims to reward loyal customers.


Next, you’ll need to determine who your target audience are. You should also consider who your ideal attendees are and the people you would like to have in the front row if they were available. These people will be your inspiration for the event. This will allow you to plan with marketing personas, which will make the event feel more real and help you think through the outcomes.


It’s time to answer the question you were looking for: what is the event’s topic? What is the event’s topic? What message are you trying to communicate to your audience? Although it is good to have an idea from the start, your goals and target audience will drive the answer. It doesn’t matter if you have the most brilliant idea for a topic. It won’t be worth your time if it isn’t of interest to the people you are trying to reach.


Now it’s time for the logistics to hold the event. What venue will you use to host the event? Is the venue large enough to accommodate your intended audience? Or small enough that extraneous space doesn’t become an issue? Are there any specific requirements regarding catering and parking, such as power, wifi, or for presenters? These details will help you determine if the venue you want is available for your event.


The availability of the venue and the timing of the event will often determine the event’s timing. We recommend that you address this issue first. Once that is resolved, you can decide when to host your event. Consider whether there are any other major events in the same area at the same moment (think traffic, travel and reduced audience). Is your scheduled date in conflict with any major holidays or observances, either local or national? These questions will help you choose a time not conflicting with any major national or local holidays or observances.

We’ve now covered the five Ws in event planning. As you begin to plan, the sixth bonus question that you should ask is ” How?” This question will help you take concrete details about your event and turn them into an executable plan. How can you make this event a reality? How will it be set up? These are the practical considerations. The Whats, Whys, and More won’t matter without bringing your plan to life and getting actual attendees in seats, the Whats, Whys, and More won’t matter.

These six questions will help you plan and execute a memorable event. Good luck!

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