The Best Event Planning Books Ever Written

The best event planning book recommendations as chosen by real event pros

Sure, you can get all your event and meeting planning information from the internet like most of us do these days. (We gathered all of the web’s best event planning blogs.) But what about good, old-fashioned books? Nothing is more satisfying than stacking your scholarly resources on a bookshelf so that everyone who enters your house knows how learned you are.

Of course, reading books is great too. And when it comes to event planning, there are some real kickers out there. This week we’ve been building a resource library for event planners. It includes all of the great articles and eBooks that Guidebook has put out into the world on various event planning subjects, but now we’ll round it out by listing the best event planning books.

This list was sourced from a few of our favorites as well as the books that you told us you like. It includes some books directly on the subject of event planning, but also just some generally good books that anyone could find value in. So dig in, queue up your Amazon Prime account and get ready to become a well-read event planner!

Looking for additional tips on event planning? Check out our 10 Step Event Planning Guide and huge Event Planning Checklist for more!


blue-book-27x35Confessions of an Event Planner: by Judy Allen

An event planning book with character! Lots of characters, in fact. Judy Allen takes you through some of the most common event planning scenarios and walks you through how to deal with all of them. It’s lively, fun, and you’ll learn a lot. It’s like cramming years of experience into your head all at once.

red-book-27x35Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier by Joe Jeff Goldblatt

Effectively the bible of special events, Joe Jeff Goldblatt takes readers through every aspect of producing an event. You’ll get theory, new topics like greener planning and super-useful case studies.

yellow-book-27x35The Event Marketing Handbook : Beyond Logistics and Planning by Allison Saget

If you’re going to use an event to make money, you need to read this book. Throwing an event is great in theory, but there’s a lot that goes into calculating the costs and ensuring ROI. Allison Saget walks through it all and gives you the straight dope on BLT (brand recognition, lead generation and thought leadership).

blue-book-27x35Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide To Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events by Judy Allen

It’s the undisputed king of event planning books. Judy Allen has build an empire on texts for event planners and this cornerstone certainly doesn’t disappoint. Choosing budgets, scheduling, staffing – it’s all there and more.

red-book-27x35Into the Heart of Meetings: Basic Principles of Meeting Design by Mike van der Vijver

Whenever you’re getting people together to learn new things or work out a problem, there’s going to be some sort of meeting involved. But how can we move meetings beyond their traditional stigmas and creating meaningful meeting designs?

yellow-book-27x35How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

It’s a classic and it never gets old. Learn why being “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise” will get you far with your co-workers and clients.

From our readers

blue-book-27x35The Business of Event Planning by Judy Allen

Judy Allen strikes again with yet another amazingly helpful book. This time she’s walking planners through the business aspects of events – all the stuff that can be harder to get a handle on without a ton of experience: proposals, contract negotiation, safety considerations and the like.

red-book-27x35Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln by James C. Humes

Events and public speaking go hand in hand. Learn from the masters – 21 of the best orators in the history of our world – on how to deliver extremely effective presentations.

yellow-book-27x35Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

David Marquet literally turned ships around as a Navy officer, and the insights he gained from doing so translate into some elegant thoughts on leadership. Tired of feeling like you’re hoarding control? Learn how to confidently give it over to others!

At Guidebook, we created our own event planning resource called The Guide to Modern Event Planning: How to Throw an Event in the Mobile Age. Download it now for great insights from fellow planners and step-by-step instructions on planning events with a mobile mindset!

modern event planning ebook

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