8 Event Planning Books to Level Up Your Event Management Game

Abby Foutch

Let’s cut to the chase—you’ve landed on this blog because you’re looking for ways to level up your event management game, but don’t have the time nor energy to wade through countless lengthy reviews on Amazon, and hey, we don’t blame you. 

That’s why we did the dirty work and developed this tried-and-true list of 8 event planning books you should check out to help you level up your event management game.

No matter where you are in your career or what your learning goals are, we’ve rounded up a lil’ some some for everyone. Whether your focus is on starting an event planning business from the ground up or leveling up your current standing, we did the research, so you can do the learning.

Note: Swoogo is not affiliated with any of the authors or books on this list—no biases here. Pinky promise.

Let’s get started.

Check out these 8 event planning books

  1     Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events: How to Create, Adapt, and Market an Engaging Online Experience

Author: Ben Chodor & Gabriella Cyranski

Year: 2021

Swoogy’s Pandemic Pick: As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on the global economy and population, the need to effectively and efficiently connect people has never been more urgent. This comprehensive guide explains everything a planner needs to know about going virtual––from understanding a new audience to adapting content to a new medium, to marketing effectively & much more. Chodor provides expert advice and real-world instructions for delivering engaging hybrid, virtual, and streaming events & webinars for companies of all sizes across all industries.

2     The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice

Author: Todd Henry

Year: 2011

For The Creative: Event professionals are coined by their need to be incredibly creative—heck that’s in the job description. But, sometimes it can be hard to generate new ideas on demand. The Accidental Creative serves as “a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible”. Unleash your creative potential and discover your rhythm with the Henry method.

3     The Business Of Event Planning: Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Of Successful Special Events

Author: Judy Allen

Year: 2010

For The Planner: Planning your first corporate event, but don’t know where to start? The Business of Event Planning is a comprehensive guide that covers every aspect of the event planning process in exhaustive detail. Allen breaks down all of the basics whilst highlighting the importance of organizing and strategic planning. Suitable for first-timers or seasoned event profs, this book offers A+ advice for running a successful event of any size. 

4     Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide To Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives, And Other Special Events

Author: Judy Allen

Year: 2009

For the Practical Planner: Judy Allen coming in hot with another Event Planning gem. This best-seller is loaded with practical advice on choosing the perfect event venue, preparing and managing budgets, scheduling, staffing, collaborating with other professionals, and designing events. But that’s not all! It’s also loaded with forms, checklists, and tips for managing events, as well as examples and case studies of both successful and unsuccessful events.

5     Event Management For Dummies

Author: Laura Capell

Year: 2013

For the First-Timer: They really make one of these for everything, huh? Event Management for Dummies is an easy read that serves as a great starting point for anyone wanting to break into the event planning industry. Packed with loads of helpful tips and tricks, it covers all aspects of planning and running a successful event––from budgeting, scheduling, and promotion, to finding the perfect location, sorting security, health, and safety, and much more. Don’t know where to start? Pick up this book.

6     Start Your Own Event Planning Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide To Success

Author: Cheryl Kimball (Entrepreneur Media)

Year: 2015

For the Budding Entrepreneur: A go-to starting point for the planner looking to break away from the pack. Take your passion for events to the next level and learn how to start, run and grow a successful event planning business. This guide will help you—write a solid contract, find reliable vendors, identify your niche, scout potential clients, evaluate the competition, and market your business.

7     Into The Heart Of Meetings: Basic Principles Of Meeting Design

Author: Eric de Groot & Mike van der Vijver

Year: 2013

For the Meeting Planner: Into the Heart of Meetings defines meetings as a form of communication. The duo introduces the fundamentals of meeting design, highlighting the power of human dynamics involved in facilitating a memorable meeting.

8     The Face of Digital: How Digital Technologies Are Changing The $565 Billion Dollar Events Industry

Author: Marco Giberti & Jay Weintraub

Year: 2017

For the Techy Teammate: The Face of Digital—a must-read for any business whose future earnings rely on face-to-face events. An easy and insightful read, the heralded powerhouse highlights how the traditional face-to-face industry is being refueled by digital technology. A ‘How To’ step-by-step manual for anyone looking to create transformative change––especially relevant to the current climate of the industry. 

Wrap up

Staying up-to-date with the industry and learning from seasoned professionals will help you level up your event management game. The learning shouldn’t stop with your framed diploma or degree. 

So dust off your reading glasses, throw some love to your Amazon cart, or kick it old school and peruse the aisles of your local bookstore and kickstart your event management career today. What are you waiting for?