20 Must-Read Books and Blogs for Event Planners

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If you work in the event industry, you’ll know that there are certain experiences which almost beg to be written down.

In such a frantic business, with so much in-built complexity, advice and professional wisdom can be essential. Thankfully, there are plenty of guides which offer exactly these types of tips and insights.

We’ve put together our list of the top 20 must-read guides for anyone working in the world of events. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, we’re sure you’ll find some invaluable wisdom in the links and resources below –

1. The Bizzabo Blog is a great resource for eventprofs. This Prioritisation Guide for planning events, courtesy of Stephen Kim, is a really useful primer for thinking about and understanding the whole planning process.

2. Event Management for Dummies by Laura Capell. Something of a classic in the field, this was first published in 2013 but still offers one of the clearest, no-nonsense guides to the industry.

3. Organising a Conference (3rd edition): How to Run a Successful Event by Pauline Appleby. One of the greatest go-to guides for running a large-scale event: this book will take you through the important steps, one by one.

4. The good people over at Hull City Council have put together a helpful quick-guide on how to plan and run an event – the checklist they provide at the end is especially useful.

5. The Event Manager’s Bible (3rd edition): The Complete Guide to Planning and Organising a Voluntary or Public Event by D. G. Conway. Another classic in the world of events, the additional focus on planning voluntary events gives this book an extra dimension to other similar guides.

6. If you need a quick and simple guide – just for reference’s sake or because you’re hosting a small event at home – this Essential Guide from the folks at Social Tables is a great resource.

7. If it’s another quick and easy guide you’re looking for, then this ten point guide from We Are The City provides a good initial set of questions to help you think through your event.

8. Does your business have more of a focus on corporate events? If so, you may well already be familiar with Event Manager Blog. This 2018 article on corporate event planning is a great overall piece packed with insight and ideas.

9. Essential Tips for Organizing Conferences & Events by Alison Robinson, Fiona Campbell, Phil Race and Sally Brown. This is a recommendation for those with a specific interest in setting up conferences. You might be from an academic background or setting up an industry conference: this book will help you negotiate your way.

10. Are you looking for ideas and inspiration? Anyone who works in events for a decent length of time will be familiar with Eventbrite (and if not, now’s a great time to check them out!) This article has plenty of event formats and ideas to help you on your way.

11. If you’re looking for more general inspiration – and don’t have a huge amount of time – Thoughtfully Simple is a nicely written blog which covers a wide range of topics. From simple decoration tips, to planning weddings and baby showers: there’s something there for everyone.

12. Conferences: A 21st Century Industry by Tony Rogers. Although essentially an academic approach to the conference industry, this is still an eye-opening read which is of value to those with a professional concern in gathering people and speakers together in one place.

13. Looking for direct insight from an established pro? This interview with event planner Steven Duggan is full of interesting detail and makes for a very enjoyable read.

14. Leading Great Meetings: How to Structure Yours for Success by Richard M. Lent. If meetings are the main function that you help to organise, this is a very readable guide to improved methods and productive approaches.

15. Mission Critical Meetings: 81 Practical Facilitation Techniques by Ava S. Butler. A collection of core insights on how to run meetings with a greater degree of success and productivity. If you help to run or plan meetings, there’s a lot of food for thought here on how to make the whole process run much more smoothly.

16. Do you worry that your events are a little stuck in the past? This blog post (the second one courtesy of Event Manager) carries some great up-to-date ideas on how to freshen up your events for the digital age.

17. Are you more interested in the field of Small Business event planning? The folks at Small Biz Trends have written a handy blog post which offers some good planning tips.

18. Confessions of an Event Planner by Judy Allen. If you want to get under the skin of the industry, there’s no better way to do it than by reading this intriguing book based on first-hand event experience.

19. The Practical Guide to Managing Event Venues by Philip Berners. For those who work behind the scenes at a venue, this is a compelling read: full of interesting observations and, you guessed it, practical guidance.

20. Ok, we lied. There is no number twenty. Feel outraged? Feel free to tweet @Zipcube and we’ll personally send you a recommendation based on your interests.