Field Guide: Event Planning

Whether you're orchestrating a company meet-up, a big wedding for a client you’re working for, or a small birthday party for only your friends, planning an event requires meticulous organization, clear communication, and a touch of creativity. That's where Basecamp comes into play!

Basecamp is not just another project management tool; it's your all-in-one digital command center for event planning. We know what we’re talking about - we use Basecamp ourselves to organize our IRL company meet-ups around the world.

Before diving into the details of each project tool, please acquaint yourself with two key Basecamp features:

  • Templates: This is a great time saver if you do the same sorts of projects over and over. You don't have to start from scratch each time - you can use convenient project and to-do list templates!
  • Working with Clients: Engage key stakeholders directly in your event project. Whether it's the main participants (e.g., bride, groom, birthday person) or the professionals you collaborate with (e.g., videographers, caterers, photographers), Basecamp allows for seamless discussions and file sharing in a centralized space.

Then, when you are ready, discover how to utilize the project tools in Basecamp to set up your project and plan your event:

Jump to:

💡TIP: You can rename project tools or add multiple ones based on your needs.

Message Board

The Message Board tool is an ideal centralized space for discussions, making it easier to keep everyone informed and engaged in the planning process.

  • If you're planning a meet-up, you can utilize it for posting all kinds of announcements, sharing an upcoming meet-up agenda, discussing venue options, posting reminders for our team, gathering feedback from last meet-up, etc.:

  • If you’re planning a wedding, the Message Board can be used for discussing all kinds of things with your Client - wedding date confirmation, dress code and theme details, RSVP and Dietary Preferences, etc.
  • If it’s a birthday you’re planning, then use it for talking about the initial planning details (date, time, venue), gift ideas, games and activities, menu, etc.

The Message Board is an irreplaceable tool for communication, so please make sure to utilize it according to your needs!

💡TIP: Your account admins and owners can tweak message categories to better match the events you're setting up.


The To-Dos tool is perfect for breaking down the planning process into manageable tasks, ensuring that every detail is taken care of. It acts as a comprehensive checklist, allowing you to assign to-dos to different people, set due dates, and monitor progress, ensuring seamless execution of your plans.

💡TIP: We invented “Hill Charts” to give you a visual, intuitive sense of how things are going with your to-dos. You can track multiple to-do lists on a Hill Chart - check out how it works!

  • When planning a meet-up, there is a bunch of things you have to keep track of: venue selection, catering arrangements, entertainment bookings, guest communications, etc, etc, etc. With the help of to-dos you can delegate responsibilities effectively, ensuring that every aspect of the event is covered, from initial planning stages to the final wrap-up.
  • If you’re planning a wedding, To-Dos can be instrumental in organizing tasks such as finalizing the wedding attire, coordinating with the photographer, managing invitations, and arranging transportation for guests. It helps in keeping track of vendor payments, rehearsal schedules, and any last-minute adjustments, ensuring that the big day goes off without a hitch.
  • For birthday planning, you can create to-do lists for a variety of tasks: brainstorming gift ideas, planning entertainment and activities, coordinating catering and food arrangements, and preparing the guest list. It’s also handy for organizing decoration ideas, arranging party favors, and setting up reminders for sending out invitations. By having a clear overview of all the pending tasks, you can ensure a memorable and well-organized celebration:

Docs & Files

All the important documents and files related to your event can be stored in the Docs & Files tool for easy access and reference:

  • Meet-up: Drop your meeting agendas, presentations, keynote recordings, and branding materials right here. Anything and everything that’s part of your meet-up? It belongs here.
  • Wedding: This is your go-to spot for vendor contracts, guest lists, RSVPs, and those ever-evolving invitation drafts. And don’t forget to throw in your visual boards with all your cool decoration ideas and color schemes!
  • Birthday party: Decoration inspirations, guest list, party themes, draft invitations, and all those fun photos & videos - this is their home.

💡TIP: You can share documents and files (or entire folders) with others even without inviting them to your account. Learn more about sharing with others here.

By using Docs & Files in your project, you can ensure that all necessary documents and materials are stored in one place, easily accessible to all people involved in the event, making the planning process smoother and more efficient. Sharing all the photos has never been easier!

External Doors

While Basecamp has everything you need to plan a project successfully, we totally understand that you may use other services. That's why you can use Doors and make those services accessible right from your project page:

  • Meet-up: Virtual meet-ups also need to be organised, so feel free to put your Zoom or Skype or other video conferencing tool to have quick access. Plan any outside activity? Link to shared documents in Google Sheets to organise attendance lists. Someone uploaded your meet-up photos somewhere else? No worries, you can link it up using a Door!
  • Wedding: Doors are perfect for linking Pinterest boards - your decoration ideas, color schemes, and dress designs are always at your fingertips. Google Sheets can be linked for guest lists, RSVPs, or vendor contracts. Have a wedding website? Link it as a Door for easy access to all wedding-related information.
  • Birthday: If you have a party planning app, you can open a Door to it. Planning a loud party? Link to a Spotify playlist or another music service where you have curated music for the party, allowing attendees to add their favourite tunes. If you organise a birthday party for a client, you can link to a feedback form after the party to gather opinions on what went well and what could be improved for future events:

💡TIP: You can customize each Door with a title, description, and image, making it intuitive and user-friendly for everyone involved in the project.


Whether planning a meet-up, a wedding, a birthday, or anything else, sometimes a posted message just doesn’t cut it - you need the immediacy of a live conversation. The Chat tool is your go-to space for real-time interactions with your project members:

💡TIP: Want to express more emotions? You can share your favourite GIFs in Chats, it's really easy!


Depending on the type of the event you're organizing, the Schedule tool can be indispensable:

  • For meet-ups: List different sessions and talks, helping attendees plan their day. Set registration deadlines to ensure no one's left out and plan group activities for better networking and interaction.
  • For weddings: Line up meetings with caterers, florists, and photographers. Track payment due dates to dodge last-minute issues, organize rehearsal dinners and other events, and set RSVP dates to help with final preparations:

Screenshot of a Schedule tool where you can see events planned for future wedding

  • For birthdays: Mark the start and end time of the birthday party and share the Schedule link with guests, so they could sync it to their external calendars, schedule the time for entertainers or performers, allocate time for setting up decorations before the party starts, set a reminder to send out invitations well in advance.

With the Schedule tool, you can ensure a smooth and well-organized planning process for any event, allowing all collaborators to be on the same page regarding important dates and assignments.

💡TIP: You can choose what to show on your Schedule - events and assignments with due dates or events only.

Card Table

The Card Table is a versatile tool that can be tailored to fit various planning scenarios. It is our take on Kanban boards, so it's a great place if you need a more visual method for organizing your event. Some ideas for:

  • Meet-ups:

Venue Scouting -

    • Columns: Potential Venues, Contacted, Negotiating, Booked.
    • Cards: Venue names with capacity, amenities, and cost details.

Speaker Line-up -

    • Columns: Proposed, Confirmed, Prepared (presentation ready).
    • Cards: Names of speakers with topics.

Feedback Collection -

    • Columns: Pre-event Queries, During Event, Post-event Feedback.
    • Cards: Questions or feedback topics to address.
  • Weddings:

Wedding Timeline -

    • Columns: 12 Months Out, 9 Months, 6 Months, 3 Months, 1 Month, Wedding Week.
    • Cards: Tasks or milestones for each time frame.

Vendor Tracking -

    • Columns: Researched, Contacted, Booked, Deposit Paid, Final Payment Made.
    • Cards: Vendor names with service details (e.g., florist, caterer).

Guest List Management -

    • Columns: Invited, RSVPed Yes, RSVPed No, Attended, Thank You Card Sent.
    • Cards: Names or families with meal choices or other notes.

  • Birthdays:

Food and Drink -

    • Columns: Ideas, Shopping List Made, Purchased, Prepared.
    • Cards: Menu items or dishes with ingredients.

Activity Schedule -

    • Columns: Proposed, Confirmed, Set Up.
    • Cards: Party activities or games with required materials.

Post-Party -

    • Columns: To Do, In Progress, Done.
    • Cards: Tasks like "Send Thank You Notes", "Return Borrowed Items", "Upload Photos".

As the event organizer, you can maintain a clear overview of all tasks, ensuring that every aspect of the event is well-coordinated and executed.

💡TIP: If you can't take action on a Card at the moment, you can put it on hold right on the Card Table.

Email forwards

When you're planning events, you're likely juggling emails from various vendors, collaborators, and attendees. Keeping track of these emails can be challenging, especially outside their context. With Basecamp, you can seamlessly forward these emails straight into your event project, making the Email Forwards a handy tool for consolidating and organizing information:

  • Meet-ups: Forward emails from vendors and venue providers to keep track of them, or gather feedback from the attendees after the event.
  • Weddings: Forward emails from vendors to have all quotes and contracts in one place, or forward hotel booking confirmations and travel itineraries for guests traveling from afar.
  • Birthdays: Forward gift suggestions from family or friends that were sent to you via email, or your venue and entertainment booking confirmations.

By using the Email Forwards tool, you can ensure that all pertinent information is stored in one central location (your event project), making it easier to reference. It also makes it easier for you to keep team or family members in the loop.

💡TIP: You can forward an email into Basecamp, and reply directly to the original sender right from your project!

Automatic Check-ins

If you don't want to use emails to gather feedback or keep in touch with the stakeholders, the Automatic Check-ins tool is made for you. You can use it to collect regular updates without the need for manual prompting. It works best if you invited everyone to your project and plan your events in advance:

  • Meet-ups: Set up daily or weekly check-ins for your organizing team to share updates on venue arrangements, speaker confirmations, and other vendor confirmations. Set a one-time check-in to gather feedback from attendees about what they enjoyed and what could be improved for future events.
  • Weddings: Schedule weekly check-ins with your vendors (caterers, florists, photographers) to get status updates. Touch base with your bridal party about tasks like dress fittings, bachelor/bachelorette party plans, and rehearsal dinner details.
  • Birthdays: Use daily check-ins leading up to the day to ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. Send out a one-time check-in asking attendees to share their favorite moments or photos from the celebration.

In all these scenarios, the Automatic Check-ins is a proactive way to keep the momentum going and ensure that everyone involved in the planning process is on the same page.

💡TIP: Use check-ins at the right times in the right spots. Nobody wants to be notified on a Friday evening!

Of course, you don't have to use every tool to plan your event. Feel free to pick and choose the ones that suit your needs and turn off the rest. Beyond the project-specific tools, there are several features outside your projects that can be helpful in your event planning journey:

  • Lineup: Perfect when planning multiple projects and events. It is a great visual timeline showing you what was just worked on, what's in play now, and what's coming up next. You can even add markers!
  • Boosts: A quick and personal way to react to any Basecamp item.
  • Pings: Don't want to chat in a project? Opt for 1:1 or group Pings!
  • My Stuff: A one-stop hub for your assignments, bookmarks, schedule, drafts, boosts, and recent activities. Everything about you, in one place!

In this guide, we used three different scenarios - a meet-up, a wedding, and a birthday - to demonstrate the versatility of our tools. While these are just a few suggestions, we hope you find them enlightening and that they spark your creativity! ✨ And if you need any assistance with Basecamp, you can check our our learning center, help pages, or send us a note at Support. Happy Basecamping!