Last Updated on October 14, 2022
This Saturday (April 23, 2022), is World Book Day, and in honor of that, our team has put together 22 books for event planners in 2022. This is a compilation—or best-of-the-best list, if you will—with books recommended for event planners coming from all over the place. We scoured social media, other blog posts, Amazon, and more to come up with this list for event planners.
In compiling this, naturally, we learned about hundreds of books for event planners. We didn’t want to just break it down to only the top 22 books for event planners, but also for other sub-categories, and after we get through the top 22 books for event planners, we intend on making this a living document and adding those as well.
None of the links below are affiliate links, and no authors paid for their book’s spot. We sell Social Walls, not books. 🤪
The Top 22 Best Event Management Books for Event Planners
In reverse order, here’s the top event management books for event planners.
22. The Event Manager’s Bible: The Complete Guide to Planning and Organising a Voluntary or Public Event
Anyone responsible for organizing a voluntary or public event will want to do it safely and well, complying with the legislation relating to different aspects of their event. This book will help you to research, plan, organize, manage and deliver any event, match, show, tournament or function that will be attended by more than a handful of people.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: As an event planner, there’s many, many, many things you have to plan and account for. A big one is permitting, and the Event manager’s Bible focuses a lot on helping you put on an event that’s safe and by the books. The approach is from a planner that’s done it for over 20 years, and essentially pitches it as a “don’t do what I did” kind of read.
Author, historian, and world-renowned speaker James C. Humes—who wrote speeches for five American presidents—shows you how great leaders through the ages used simple yet incredibly effective tricks to speak, persuade, and win throngs of fans and followers. Inside, you’ll discover how Napoleon Bonaparte mastered the use of the pregnant pause to grab attention, how Lady Margaret Thatcher punctuated her most serious speeches with the use of subtle props, how Ronald Reagan could win even the most hostile crowd with carefully timed wit, and much, much more.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: Being able to get people to follow along with you cause is a very important capability, and there’s going to be times as an event planner that you’ll have to do it. Learn now, so when you actually need to speak, you’re able to do it with ease.
Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him–the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York’s Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood–he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: As Elvis Presley and several other famous people’s promoter, the author tells many first-hand stories of negotiating, working through problems, and navigating the event industry.
Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works, what doesn’t, and why. She investigates a wide array of gatherings–conferences, meetings, a courtroom, a flash-mob party, an Arab-Israeli summer camp–and explains how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience.
The result is a book that’s both journey and guide, full of exciting ideas with real-world applications.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: The author, Priya Parker, has a well rounded background and ability to bring together experiences in ways that can change your guests. She goes through all sorts of event types, and in each case makes you think about ways to make your events unique—and if you want to stand out as an event planner, it’s a great read.
p.s. She has some amazing resources on her website.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, impeccably researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This book is an excellent read not only for introverts, but extroverts as well. Throughout the book the author explains how people are wired differently and that no wiring is better than another type, just different. She talks about the science, but also everyday anecdotes. There is a portion that talks about public speakers and how some of them work, but in general I’d classify this as business or maybe even self help book. Just about anyone is going to find some great takeaways from it.
For the Meeting and Events industry to continue to survive and thrive as we know it today, it must make radical changes. Meeting Professionals and Event Organizers must examine the complete design of the meeting, not only from the perspective of the experience, but the perspective of content and the value the process is bringing to all stakeholders. In this new book, Maarten makes the case for these radical changes and shows what is necessary for this new approach to become an integral part of the Meetings and Eventsindustry. Written in an easy to follow style, this new book should be a must reading for any Meeting and Event Professional.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: To summarize this book, it’s primarily about taking control and actually focusing on having a good meeting. Instead of throwing dozens if things together and calling it a meeting, actually thinking about each component and how it affects the other pieces and makes for a great meeting.
While this book hasn’t seemingly been able to get a lot of Amazon reviews, it does seem to be a sleeping gem among event planners with several recommendations. It’s by its own definition, a “prologue of a series of books” that the author intends (intended?) to write about the meetings industry. He’s written several other books, but they don’t seem to be tied to this book. It is a quick read, though, and it might just be what you need.
16. The Power of Participation: Creating Conferences That Deliver Learning, Connection, Engagement, and Action
Today, the most common reason that people give for attending face-to-face meetings is making valuable connections. Yet, time and time again, “networking” is relegated to meals and socials outside the sessions, and events are filled with lectures followed by a few minutes of audience questions. The Power of Participation provides conference presenters, organizers, and marketers with a comprehensive toolkit of simple techniques for creating participative sessions that involve the audience in their learning. Adrian Segar shows how you can turn passive attendees into active participants, which boosts learning, adds opportunities to meet and learn with peers during sessions, builds community and engagement, and improves desired action outcomes at your events.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This book is a deep dive into the individual sessions and how to make them more engaging and fulfilling for your attendees. It talks at length about creating environments that your guests can use to connect with your other attendees, even those guests that are reserved or introverted. Ultimately the best things we can do as event planners is connect people, and this book is great at helping you do that.
Written by a leader in event sustainability management, this book is a practical, step-by-step guide taking readers through the key aspects of how to identify, evaluate and manage event sustainability issues and impacts and to use the event for good – it’s for events of any style and scale, anywhere in the world.
Now in its third edition, this is the indispensable one-stop guide for event professionals and event management students who want to adjust their thinking and planning decisions towards sustainability, and who need a powerful, easy-to-use collection of tools to deliver events sustainably.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: The best events out there accomplish several things, like bringing together like minded people, increasing revenues for a locale/region, and accomplishing the business or industry goals of the organization putting the event on. But what isn’t talked about much is doing those things in a sustainable way, and with climate change becoming a bigger and bigger issue, doing events sustainably should be a goal for every event planner. This book helps to balance all the goals of an event with being sustainable and provides practical ways to do it and scores of things to think about while doing it.
In The Event Marketing Handbook, industry expert Allison Saget shows marketing professionals how to maximize return on investment for the dollars their companies spend on events. She believes that event marketing is a strategic, dynamic discipline linked to a firm’s business objectives and sales goals. The key, according to Saget, is a great BLT: Brand Recognition, Lead generation, and Thought Leadership. In this A-to-Z guide, Saget shows professionals how to drive results through integrated marketing activities, such as advertising, direct mail, and public relations.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: Investing money into events to showcase organizations as a thought leader, gaining brand recognition, and of course doing lead generation are all ways events should be used. This book by Allison Saget goes over all of these topics, and explains how to do them in non-wasteful ways. If you want to invest wisely in events, this should be a top read for you.
Whether you want to break into this burgeoning industry, or you simply need to plan an event and don’t know where to start, there’s something for all would-be event planners in Event Management For Dummies. Packed with tips, hints and checklists, it covers all aspects of planning and running an event – from budgeting, scheduling and promotion, to finding the location, sorting security, health and safety, and much more.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: We’ve all been “just starting out” at one point, and the “… for Dummies” books are always great starter books that give you a crash course in whatever topic you need to learn. They really drive it home quickly and succinctly. This book by Laura Capell is no different and perfect for any event management professional. It really is one of the best and most essential event management books—just about everything you’d want to know is touched upon.
In today’s world, where more and more of our communication takes place across wires and screens, Carnegie’s lessons have not only lasted but become all the more critical. Though he never could have predicted technology’s trajectory, Carnegie proves a wise and helpful teacher in this digital landscape. We may communicate today with different tools and with greater speed, but Carnegie’s advice on how to communicate, lead, and work efficiently remains priceless across the ages.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This classic book has over 62,000 reviews on Amazon and a must read for anyone, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter if you’re an event planner or not, this book by Dale Carnagie will help you to communicate, lead, and work efficiently. A lot of this book will seem basic, but that’s because you’ve read regurgitated copycats. It’s primarily written to get you to think about and focus on why you should do things, and less on exactly how. By the end of this one you should have a good foundation for how to run your event planning business and become influential in whatever you do.
Marketing Your Event Planning Business shows you how to gain a competitive advantage by setting yourself apart from the competition, pursuing new markets, and soliciting sales. It covers all the vital topics in event planning marketing, including how to diversify your client base, develop niche markets, improve your customer service, establish emergency business plans, and much more.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: When you want to work ON your business instead of IN your business, this is the book for you. This book is crammed full of how to approach things that’ll help you grow and manage your own event planning business.
We’re almost there… Just 10 more event management books in our list of the top 22 books for event planners in 2022!
The Top 10 Books for Event Planners
Before planning an event, there is much that must be done behind the scenes to make the event successful. Before any thought is even given to timing or location of the event, before the menus are selected and the decor designed, there are proposals to be written, fees and contracts to be negotiated, and safety issues to be considered. This book takes you behind the scenes of event planning and explains every aspect of organizing and strategic planning. This book will be of value to both the professional event planner and to clients who are dealing with planners.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: Similar to the #11 book, this book by Judy Allen also focuses primarily on how to run your event planning business. From proposals, to negotiations, fees, event planning tools, and more, this book has it all. It even has document templates you can use to get started with some of these items.
Boring Meetings Suck provides tips and tactics to deliver “Get-In, Get-It-Done, or Get-Out” style meetings, while also tackling what most prefer to avoid; that you don’t have to BE in charge of a meeting to TAKE charge of a meeting. This entertaining and take-no-prisoners guide is full of easily deployed SRDs (Suckification Reduction Devices) that will help you make your next meeting both efficient and effective.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: It’s simple: boring meetings do suck! This book is applicable for meetings in a board room with 5 people as well as for meetings in conference venues with thousands of attendees. It presents common items that suck, and then gives suggestions for making them not suck (as much). Some of the items are a bit dated, but still make you think, and ultimately that’s why so many event planners recommend this book.
Let’s face it. Most events are boring. But they don’t have to be. This highly actionable, fast-reading guide is chock-full of unconventional, un-borifying tools, ideas and strategies to help you design more captivating and unmissable events for less money and in less time.
Whether a veteran, newbie or “accidental” event planner, you’ll learn fresh strategies to smartly select speakers, manage logistics, set a content road map, as well as plan and execute rave-worthy events of all types.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This is one of the newer books on this list, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s got tons of tips and strategies for putting on inspiring, memorable, and fun events. The author is also very candid and very much provides a “you are not alone” vibe that newer event planners are sure to appreciate.
Providing a comprehensive guide to understanding, planning, promoting, and producing special events, this seventh edition of Special Events describes the theory and practice of all aspects of event management. Written for current and future event leaders, the text continues to expand its emphasis on the growing globalization of the profession, taking into account the skills leaders need to deal with other cultures, societies, and business practices to plan and deliver successful events.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: While each edition gets better and better, there are still lots of typos… but if you can get past those, there’s some really valuable information to be gathered from within these covers. So valuable that a lot of event planning courses use it as their book of choice. It goes over everything from sustainability to social media at events (though no mention of having a social wall ?).
This text chronicles and champions the development, changes, and challenges faced by the global celebrations industry for event planners. New interviews are included with experienced event leaders to give a better understanding of the field. New chapters are included on green events, corporate social responsibility, and theoretical case studies. Event measurement, evaluation, and assessment topics are integrated throughout a number of the chapters.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This is yet another “required reading” book for many event management classes, and for good reason. It has tons of case studies, examples, and interviews with event planners. It’s quite technical, thorough, and maybe even a bit boring for some, but if being a technical person is your jam, this is one of the most recommended books for event planners.
Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the “human scale principle”, using the “Velcro Theory of Memory”, and creating “curiosity gaps”.
In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds (from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship, to a new-product vision at Sony) draw their power from the same six traits.
Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: While this book isn’t a strictly event planning book, it really helps you hone in on messaging and tell stories that gets people interested, talking about, and hopefully to your events. If you run your own event planning business you’ll find the theories invaluable for learning to tell a story of why someone should hire you over the myriad of other event planners out there, but also if you planning an event, you’ll easily be able to tell stories that get more attendees.
Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. Rework explains why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.
What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You’ll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This book is all about doing the opposite of what everyone tells you to do. It’s not targeted at event planners specifically, but questioning everything is applicable to entrepreneurs in any field. If you’re running your own event planning business, you’ll find the way authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson question everything refreshing. You’ll learn about leadership, thinking outside the box, and zigging while everyone else is zagging.
Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: Coming up with ideas might just be one of the most important traits for an event planner to have. And this book by author Todd Henry provides a great “framework” for coming up with creative ideas on demand. Recommended by both event planners, and general business practitioners, The Accidental Creative is a great read for anyone. Take the journey and pick this one up.
2. Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide To Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events
This bestselling all-in-one guide to the event planning business is back and better than ever, fully updated and revised to reflect the very latest trends and best practices in the industry. This handy, comprehensive guide includes forms, checklists, and tips for managing events, as well as examples and case studies of both successful and unsuccessful events.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This is more of a guide than a book, and new event planners as well as event planners with decades of experience will find useful information to learn from here. Primarily written for corporate and business event planners, but a huge portion of our event planner sample said this was required reading.
Into the Heart of Meetings defines meetings as a form of communication. It describes the characteristic processes of meetings and how to influence them through Meeting Design. Based on many years of working together as professional Meeting Designers, the authors provide an array of tools that enable meeting organisers to obtain the best outcomes from their meetings as measured by their business value.
They introduce the principles underlying Meeting Design, as well as the main practical issues that Meeting Designers face and need to solve. The authors use countless examples, connecting their writing to daily working practice. Thus Into the Heart of Meetings is an explorative study, a textbook and a practical guide in one.
Why this book was recommended for event planners: This book was literally the most recommended book among ALL event planners. It’s essentially a guide that can help you plan events of any size while also incorporating design elements so that it’s enjoyable for the guest and accomplishes all your business goals.
If you could only pick up one of these event management books, simply because of the number of recommendations for event planners, it has to be this one.
What do you think about this list? Since you’re clearly an event planner, we’ve got two things we want you to know about:
First, since we know you like to learn, you should sign up for our blog’s newsletter here so you can get more great content like this;
Second, while you’re planning your next event and thinking about how to make it more social and engaging, you should consider Everwall. We make social media walls that boost engagement, are fun, and make you look awesome.
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