Event Planning: Be Systematic for Success!

by Robbie Schlosser · 25 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

Event Planning?  A systematic approach is helpful for working on any project, and I always recommend people use a clear system for event planning.

I recently wrote about planning a Mardi Gras Party, planning wedding music, and planning an office holiday party.  Success with any project, not just event planning, depends on a systematic strategy.


Do any of these examples describe your next project?

  • Are you balancing lots of DETAILS that need to be analyzed, tested, understood, prioritized, and coordinated?
  • Are you working with close friends who need to absolutely LOVE the results?
  • Are you like Lady Gaga and you always need to SURPRISE people with something new and exciting?
  • Are you in charge and need to meet a deadline with perfect RESULTS, on time and under budget?

Start by considering the “big picture”.  Imagine the results, list the details you’ll need, create a “timeline”, and tackle the parts, one by one.  Get help wherever you can.  In every case, using SOME coherent system will help you reach ALL those goals, include all the important details, and measure your progress all along the way.

Have you ever planned a party?  Planning another event soon?  What event planning strategies will you use?


Thanks for reading my blog.  If you get one or two good ideas, please
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The Magnolia Jazz Band entertains regularly at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  If you’re ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.  In the meantime, please join our Facebook “fans”, and you’ll get reminders for our public events.

Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

By the way, does a friend need help selecting wedding or party music? Do them a favor: EMAIL this article, or SHARE it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

And if you find my blog useful, please LIKE it, TWEET it, and SUBSCRIBE for more ideas. Use those cute little icons below.

Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Robbie@MagnoliaJazz.com. Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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Merlyn Sanchez

Fantastic post! I spent several years in the hospitality industry and can’t tell you how many events went wrong because of poor planning! Your tips are spot on for a successful event.

Have a great day!

Laurie Hurley

Hey Robbie – nice to see you take to the airways with your message! Organizing and creating systems is in my blood, so I love putting together big events and projects, but I can understand why it’s a challenge for others. Your suggestions are excellent! Might I suggest since you are in the music industry that you have some of your music playing softly in the background (if it’s your composition) that would make a nice touch!

kristin konvolinka

Your organizational tips make my party planning phobia seem so silly. Imagining the outcome and then breaking it into parts makes perfect sense. I planned my own wedding a year ago, it turned out fantastic, in part because I knew exactly what I wanted, I was flexible and I knew when to turn it over to the pros. It totally wasn’t my thing though, it was a project of necessity.

Fiona Stolze

Hi Robbie,

I loved Laurie’s suggestion of adding some of your music to your video. That would be fabulous. You have a lovely presence on video and really pleasant voice to listen to. Oh, and thanks for the tips for organising events. I enjoyed this.

Fiona Stolze
Inspired Art and Living

Donna McCord

Loved seeing you and hearing your voice on the video! and the great advice, too. I am just now thinking about my daughter’s graduation from college which is coming up in May already! and a little stymied about what to do for her, when, how, etc. since her schedule is so undefined! So I will try to use some of your pointers and guidelines to help me organize my thoughts and focus on what it is I want to accomplish! Thank you for a helpful and entertaining post!

Judy Stone-Goldman

Wow – If I had an event coming, I’d want someone like you helping to plan it. I’ve not had to plan a big event, but I know I would be overwhelmed and would need a lot of hand holding. You bring such energy and enthusiasm, and it makes me feel like that positive energy would translate into the event itself. Although I’m not about to plan or host an event, your suggestions would be useful in other parts of life, too.

Good for you, venturing out into the video part of blogging!

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer

Brandy Mychals

Hi Robbie,
It was fun seeing you in a video…love systems and plan lots of events – organization (the type that is customized for each person) is very freeing! Keep up the good work 🙂
Brandy Mychals
Communications Coach
Effectively Communicate with Confidence

Pat Zahn

Robbie – I couldn’t agree more. Having a system is key to success with any event. I use a systematic approach to planning weekend scrapbooking retreats. I love finding ways to help busy people make the photo albums they want to make especially when they think they don’t have the time. Breaking things down into small steps allows you to do anything from cleaning your house to planning events. BTW, I’ve never seen you in person, so it was nice to hear your voice on the video. Do you sing as well as play the bass? You have a cool voice.

rachel h blaufeld

Robbie – you are a natural on video! I enjoyed this post…..mostly because it talks about goals, list making, asking yourself questions === being organized. I love feeling organized no matter what I am doing – business or pleasure.
I am 2&1/2 years away from Bar-Mitzvah date for my son (yikes)….I think your posts will get me through the planning!! Thanks, Robbie!

Susan Berland

Great ideas, Robbie. The last “big” event I planned was our 25th wedding anniversary and vow renewal. The last smaller but bit enough event was my 60th birthday party. Your suggestions were used and were invaluable. Without a plan, who knows what I would have gotten! What I got was just what I wanted and I loved each event and had a great time!

Susan Berland
A Picture’s Worth

Louise Edington

Well done Robbie on the video and great tips.I love lists and the idea of creating a timeline (hint hint – 2 tips there). Nice to hear your voice again too after we spoke on the phone 🙂
Louise Edington
Finding YOUR Freedom

Bill Browning

Good info Robbie. I’m not an event planner, but have been involved in some pretty major logistical events. The 96 Summer Olympics being one. I set up the 150 or so Park n Ride sites over a 3 county area.

Planning and support are essential. Thanks.


Having planned many events in my time…using systems and tracking progress all the way thru is great advice Robbie! Where were you when I needed you?…kidding! Without a plan and a system in place, things have a tendency to fall thru the cracks…which can be detrimental to the function! And even with the best laid plans…I’ve found out…well you know the rest…which is why we need to track progress! Good job on the video and love the idea of adding your music…that would be an added bonus and benefit!

Rita Brennan Freay

Jennifer Duchene

Indeed no matter what one is creating, seeing the big picture and having a plan is important. Even when decorating with my clients, or helping them pull a room together requires big picture thinking and detail planning, so that it all works together. Love the video Robbie.

Jennifer Duchene
Home Makeover Mixtress blending lifestyle and laughter

Yvonne Elm Hall

I love the bullet points because you MUST know “who” you are and what your goal is before you know where you are heading and make a plan to get there.
Planning a small get together at my home for the end of this month — nothing large enough to have the band drive down though.
Yvonne Hall


Hi Robbie – These are great tips. And I love that you added the YouTube element! I think these ideas can be utilized across the board for planning and organizing.



Love seeing and hearing you! Great idea to get and keep yourself organized, as well as ask for help. Although many people can’t afford to pay for help, so at least setting up a systematic process for themselves will make the task much less daunting.

Lisa Vitale

Darcie Newton

Visualization is a powerful tool to accomplish any task. The trick is to really think through all the possible scenarios that could arise. Putting this ‘thinking time’ in will certainly pay off.

Darcie Newton
Discipline for profit, none for jammy zins and memorable necklaces

Lisa Ann Landry

In my training business I often go out a week at a time to deliver a training dates. Every speaking date is an event even getting to the location is an event. I definitely use systems each step of they way. Those system not only ensure a successful event but they reduce my stress by giving me peace of mind. I’ve found those who haven’t developed systems have all kinds a problems.

Lisa Ann Landry
I’m an exuberant force of light… Come light up your life

Carrie Hansen

Great job on your post Robbie! Loved the video, very engaging and you have such a nice speaking voice! The Lady Gaga comment made me smile 🙂 Also loved the list (I love lists!) Nice job Robbie!

Carrie Hansne
Studio C Interior Design

Soho event space

Don’t waste time in hiring professionals to do the event planning. The earlier you plan the better.

Manhattan event space

Great tips on planning a party. Gonna think of them the next time i organize one. Great music is a must in a party. Thanks for the article. Would like to read more of your wise tips.

Vivian Black

As an organized person, the idea of taking a systematic approach to event planning is really appealing to me. I am planning a big event for work and am balancing a lot of details and also have a deadline to meet. I like the advice to start by picture the big picture and imagining the results.

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks Vivian,
Glad this advice is helpful. Hope your event is a great success. Let me know!

Robbie Schlosser recently posted..Customize Wedding Music for Gamble Garden, Palo AltoMy Profile

Hasan Mehmood

I think doing all the work by yourself is good. It teaches a lot of things. so I would suggest to go with your friends and plan together.

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