The Best Event Planning Books
For inspiration and ways to grow your business, you’ll always look at magazines and blogs. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a deeper dive to master event planning. That’s where the best event planning books come in.
We recommend these books for bedtime reading or when you have a few minutes to spare. These books include industry-specific topics and niche planning niches like sustainability and event safety. Others will challenge you to rethink your knowledge of event planning.
We also include books that are not designed for planners but address important issues such as creativity and attention to detail.
You can browse the list to find books that will help you gain inspiration and knowledge. You can find your next must-read book here, whether you are a novice or seasoned professional, a global or sustainable event planner, a small business owner, or Fortune 500 corporate planner. Get ready to dive in!
The Power Of Participation: Creating Conferences That Deliver Learning, Connection and Action (2015)
Author: Adrian Segar
Who is it for Meeting organizers who want to stay on the cutting edge
It is great. This book covers a lot but is very practical. This book provides step-by-step guidance on improving meeting sessions so that passive participants become active participants.
An expert’s opinion: “This book should be OPEN on every meeting marketer’s desk and used every day.” — Paul Salinger (VP of Marketing at Oracle).
Into The Heart of Meetings (2013)
Authors: Mike van der Vijver, Eric de Groot
Focus area: Meeting design
Who is it for? Corporate meeting planners, meeting designers and new planners.
Why it is great: This book contains practical insights but takes a larger-picture view. This book is less about improving your process than restructuring your current thinking about meetings. It places meetings as forms and means of communication. It includes a section on international meetings. There is also useful and informative information about meeting design facilitation, programs and venues.
An expert’s opinion: “Don’t read this book if your goal is to find checklists, menus or room layout diagrams. Buy and read Into The Heart of Meetings IMMEDIATELY if it intrigues you and causes other events to fail.
Special Events: Building and Maintaining a New World of Celebration (2013/7th Edition)
Author: Joe Goldblatt
Who is it for? Students, professionals
Why it is great, This classic event-industry book is an institution in academic programs. It includes theory and practice. The 7th edition of the book now has new sections on event sustainability, technology, security, globalization and social networking. You can access video interviews with thought leaders about these subjects online using QR codes found in the book. There are detailed case studies about the SXSW music festival, the London Olympics, and a papal trip to Scotland. This overview is part of Wiley’s Event Management series. Joe Goldblatt, a series editor, wrote it.
A peek inside “Eventology” is the study and planning of events that promote social benefits. The event derives its name from the Latin e–venire, the result. Eventology refers to the scientific process of celebrating positive outcomes for society.
The Checklist Manifesto – How to Get Things Right (2011)
Author Atul Gawande
Focus area Getting every detail right every time
Who is it for Anybody who wants to be (and stay!) organized
Why it is great. You may already have checklists. But Gawande offers a method of organizing and thinking about them that helps you avoid critical tasks falling through the cracks, even when they are life-or-death. Gawande, a surgeon, discovered that checklists could be used to prevent medical errors, complications, or even death.
An expert’s opinion: “I finished reading The Checklist Manifesto yesterday in just one sitting, which is a remarkable tribute to the book Gawande created. The book is filled with interesting stories and it has changed my outlook on the world. It’s the best book that I have ever read.” — Steven Levitt (author of Freakonomics).
Sustainable Event Management: a Practical Guide (2017 3rd Edition).
Author: Meegan Jones
The focus area is Sustainability
Who is it for? Planners who place a high value on social and environmental responsibility
It is great: Sustainability has become a global trend and a priority in the event industry. This book offers some background information and practical steps on “use the event for good.”
An expert opinion: “Sustainability involves more than green operations. Meegan Jones clarifies that Sustainability requires multiple stakeholders, a comprehensive vision and detailed planning and evaluation. This book is a guide for continuous improvement.