January will be a dry month in more than one sense. Fortunately, we’ve found some of the best event planning books to keep you occupied. Read them while everyone else recovers from Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
On our list of the best books for event planning, we’ve included books for everyone regardless of experience level. Whether you’re a brand-new event organiser or have decades of experience, there will be something for you here.
Event planning books for beginners
We’ll start our list off with some books for novice event planners. They’ll cover all the basics and get you off to a good start. But even seasoned event planners can benefit from reading them.
Susan Friedmann does a good job of explaining the ABCs of event planning. Pick this book if you focus on business meetings as a budding events planner.
If you’re just starting out, then there is no shame in reading a “For Dummies” book. Laura Capell covers everything from strategy and budgeting to entertainment and logistics.
Andrea Driessen has written this no-nonsense guide for the casual event planner. It challenges conventional industry wisdom, so it’s also a good choice for seasoned professionals looking for inspiration.
Event planning books for intermediates
Have you been in the game for a while? Here are some books that’ll give you deeper insights into the events industry and how to plan successful events.
Dr. Joe Goldblatt combines event planning tutorials with interviews, case studies, and general trends in the global events industry. Everything from theory to practice is covered in this book.
5. Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide To Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events
In this book, Donald Getz takes a close look at how events are planned and executed. He also looks at the concept of event tourism and gives some advice on planning events abroad.
George G. Fenich is a widely read author in the events industry, and this book covers the A-Z of planning a successful event. It’s a concise guide for the busy event planner who has work to do.
Event planning books for experts
The events industry is all about making money. If you take your business seriously, then it’s all about profitability. The following books look at how to make serious money from your events.
John Beech, Sebastian Kaiser, and Robert Kaspar are conference experts. They have compiled key theories, working models, and case studies into this easily digestible event planning book.
If you feel held back by a financial crisis—global or personal—then this book is for you. Judy Allen explains how to market your event planning business in hard times and with a minimal budget.
This book by Jack J. Phillips, M. Theresa Breining, and Patricia Pulliam Phillips is all about the bottom line. Expect lots of data and models to help you calculate the profitability of your events.
Allison Saget specialises in the BLT sandwich of event planning: brand recognition, lead generation, and thought leadership. This book is an essential guide to making events profitable.
Judy Allen has covered all the boring-but-necessary aspects of the event planning business. This book will guide you through how to write proposals and how to negotiate contracts.
Rob Davidson and Anthony Hyde help venues get more out of hosting events and meetings with this book full of sales techniques and negotiation tools to use.
Corporate event planning books
Conferences and business meetings are some of the most profitable events in the industry. These books focus on that specific sector and dive deep into what makes it so lucrative.
14. Designing Successful Professional Meetings and Conferences in Education: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
Susan Mundry, Edward Britton, Senta Raizen, and Susan Loucks-Horsley are four event planners who have put together this in-depth guide packed with conference learning activities.
15. The Power of Participation: Creating Conferences That Deliver Learning, Connection, Engagement, and Action
Adrian Segar analyses the most common problems faced by event planners in the meetings industry. He then provides tips on how to improve the outcome of meetings and events.
Maarten Vanneste sees event planning as a form of architecture, and this book introduces his concept of “Meeting Architecture.” Read it if you don’t like planning around your limitations.
Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver want to make meetings of all kinds less dull. This book is a guide on how to design meetings to be the most productive and entertaining parts of your day.
18. Event Planning Made Easy: 7 Simple Steps to Making Your Business or Private Event a Huge Success from the Industry’s Top Event Planners
This book by Paulette Wolf, Jodi Wolf, and Donielle Levine is geared towards corporate event planners. Read it to learn from event planners who have worked for major brands like Disney and McDonald’s.
Event planner autobiographies
The most successful people usually have the best advice. If you want to learn from their successes and failures, pick up an autobiography and immerse yourself in their story.
Andrea Michaels is a founder of the international corporate events company Extraordinary Events, which has been inducted into the Event Solutions Hall of Fame. This book is about her rise to success.
If you think your job is stressful, then read this book by Jerry Weintraub. He was the concert promoter for Elvis, so you can expect a veteran take on event planning.
What if you could learn from a famous event planner who has organised events all over the world and written best-selling books on the subject? With Judy Allen’s book, you now can.
Danny Meyer has built a successful empire of restaurants. This is his autobiography. Event planners and venue owners can learn what it takes to survive in one of the toughest industries.
Miscellaneous event planning books
To round off, we have some miscellaneous books that are relevant to any events professional regardless of niche. Learn about sustainability, etiquette, as well as health and safety.
Sustainability as a trend won’t go away anytime soon. So if you want to make your event both financially and environmentally sustainable, pick up this book by Meegan Jones.
24. Event Planning Ethics and Etiquette: A Principled Approach to the Business of Special Event Management
The events industry is built on healthy and mutually beneficial relationships, so it’s crucial to build a network. Judy Allen explains what to do and what not to do in this book on social etiquette.
25. The Event Safety Guide: A Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Live Entertainment Events in the United States
This book by The Event Safety Alliance covers everything you need to know about health and safety at events. Some rules are specific to the US, but the principles can be applied universally.
Ready to dive in?
You should now have enough event planning books to keep you busy in the new year. Feast on the wisdom inside them so you can apply all your newly-acquired knowledge to make 2020 your best year yet.
Know of any books we missed? Let us know about your favourite event planning books in the comments section below so everyone else can benefit!