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The Top 20 Event Planning Books to Read Right Now

Corporate business clients often need some food for thought to gain deeper insight into the event planning industry, the services they often use, and so on. Here’s a list of helpful books for event planning that may provide useful information on events organization and management and give event planners some real benefits for their business, for both corporate planners and their demanding clients. Enjoy our must-read event business books compilation.list of books for event planners

The top 20 books for event planners

Here are the top useful books for professional event organizers, who want to succeed in organising events.

The Power of Participation: Creating Conferences That Deliver Learning, Connection, Engagement, and Action by Adrian Segar

This is a good book on how to design and execute remarkable conferences. It’s one of the most useful books out there on large-scale event management and one of the most highly recommended books for event planning that will get you far with your co-workers or business clients, not only in the event management business but also in other aspects of your life

Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier  by Dr. Joe Goldblatt

This is more of a tutorial than just a book for the event organiser. This is an excellent step-by-step tutorial on event planning and event management. Dr. Goldblatt raises questions of theory, eco-planning, and social responsibility and also provides pertinent research to give the reader a complete picture of some of the modern event management processing problems.

Boring Meetings Suck: Get More out of Your Meetings, or Get out of More Meetings by Jon Petz

This fascinating book is written in simple language and differs from the other formal aids out there with Jon Petz’s great sense of humour. Petz looks at strategies for engaging audiences that will help you and your clients achieve your business goals.

Confessions of an Event Planner by Judy Allen

Judy Allen is a world-famous event planner and a successful writer with a dozen event planning books published; many of them have become bestsellers. If a young professional would like to consult with a woman who has organised large-scale events in more than 30 countries around the world, this book covers everything you need to know about effective event marketing and expanding your customer base.

Event Management for Dummies by Laura Capell

There can be no event planning books for beginners without books for dummies! This book covers event ABCs and everything from how to run your own event business to how to plan and conduct corporate events.

When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead  by Jerry Weintraub

Weintraub was Elvis’s promoter. One can only imagine how difficult his work was. The author provides his own experience to help the freshers in the event industry with one of his best event planning books. In this book, Jerry shares some personal stories from his managing career that will certainly inspire you.

The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics and Planning by Allison Saget

BL&T and modern corporate event management have much to do with the brand recognition, lead generation, and well-thought-out leadership issues. If you want to be an event industry business person, you need to read this book to learn how to invest money into events appropriately. There’s a great deal about budget calculations, costs, and ensuring ROI.

The Professional Service Firm: The Manager’s Guide to Maximising Profit and Value by Mark C. Scott

This book is an excellent source for professional event services. The companies engaged in such a business should provide excellent service and stand on two main pillars: the organisation of work within the company and building relationships with the customers. The book is written in dry business language, but it draws a clear picture of how to manage finances, distribute the workload, and build a marketing strategy.

Great Boss Dead Boss by Ray Immelman  

This is a rather unusual business book and is written in the form of a novel. The main character creates a prosperous company by motivating employees and building relationships between people within the company. The great storytelling method makes this book fascinating, and you can easily use many of the tips described in it. This is a real textbook on creating a corporate business culture.

The Architect’s Guide to Small Firm Management: Making Chaos Work for Your Small Firm by Rena M. Klein

This is a good book for those who want to start their event planning business and need some tips to survive in a fast-growing and ever-changing market. The book describes how the market for professional service delivery requires a great deal of individualisation of work and attitudes towards clients.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In , by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton

This book is one of the best tools for the practice of business negotiation. If solving problems and admitting mistakes is difficult for you, read this book once a month. The authors will teach you how to turn a problem client into a partner.

Event Management: An Asian Perspective by Glenn McCartney

This book describes Asian event planning achievements. The spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 are used as an illustration of how Asia has emerged on the world event stage and now successfully plans and hosts even the largest events. Conceptualised and written by a tourism consultant, the book will be useful for those dwelling on MICE event technologies, etc.

The Complete Guide to Planning the Perfect South Asian Wedding: Advice and Tips From THE Industry Expert by Sonal J. Shah

This book will come in handy for planners specializing in wedding ceremonies as well as industry niche owners. It is written by Sonal J. Shah, a premiere wedding planner for the South Asian community, who has managed to build her reputation on her ability to turn wedding fantasies into reality.

It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

This book is written in the form of short essays from a professional with 20 years of experience in recruitment. Actual research in psychology and case studies will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees or, if necessary, help you to find new ones.

Peter Callahan’s Party Food: Mini Hors d’Oeuvres, Family-Style Settings, Plated Dishes, Buffet Spreads, Bar Carts by Peter Callahan

This is a good book for event vendors, caterers, organisers, and businesspeople from a famous New York restaurateur, Peter Callahan, who shares his 30-year experience in event catering. The book has ideas for banquets and corporate events with a nice bonus of photos of events served by the author.

The Kama Sutra of Public Speaking by Radislav Gandapas

This book will teach you to love performances and treat them as a special kind of art. Before preparing the event speaker, use the techniques from the book to motivate the speaker first. Remember, public speaking is something anyone can do.

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh

This joint work of LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and entrepreneurs Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh is a useful book for a corporate business audience. The main message is the transformation of the work process into pleasure by understanding the nuances of teamwork. It is useful for managers and ordinary employees of the event industry as well.

Event Studies: Theory, Research, and Policy for Planned Events by Donald Getz

This book provides a deep analysis of events and their planning. A distinctive feature of the book is its fine compilation of closely related areas of event management and event tourism. The book is also remarkable for its analysis of professional development and a career in event management.

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

This is another book about driving creative projects to completion and is written by a productivity expert, the founder and CEO of Behance, Scott Belsky. He provides some creative organisation and productivity principles and techniques, shares and presents a systematic approach to planning team work, and also focuses on  generating and searching for the great ideas that will be needed to survive while preparing for events.

The Event Planner’s Quick Guide for Conferences (Above 500 Attendees) by GEVME

This is an eBook dedicated to organising large-scale events such as conferences, which regularly require a great deal more time to plan than any other corporate events. It is one of the best books about event planning and is based on real event management experience with the top tips for getting started in your conference management practices. It is written by the leading Singaporean event organisers.

Benefits you get from reading event planning books

A professional in such a dynamic industry as the event business should always learn and share. To be a professional planner means a lot of reading, planning, and writing. Without reading the best books for event planners, it is hard to grow as a professional, to challenge and troubleshoot, to delegate, and so much more. Innovative technologies and fresh industry insights are all based upon the previous experiences of the industry pioneers as well as their life philosophies and deep industry understanding of its cornerstones and perils. The key benefits from reading are self-improvement, constant growth, and industry promotion.

Tips on how to become a better event planner

Apart from reading good event planning books, stay curious by reading blogs, eBooks, and other related Internet-based materials. Generally, to become a good event planner, you will need to do the following:

  • Keep abreast of the world event industry
  • Visit events
  • Communicate with industry leaders
  • Read top event planning books
  • Watch related films
  • Have a deeper insight into business and psychology
  • Keep your professional profiles in order
  • Monitor the event industry labour market
  • Create and share case studies
  • Become a speaker at the professional events

Remember that the secret of event business success is constant work and the constant accumulation of new knowledge and practice.


This book compilation for event business owners, event agencies, and experienced event organisers is a must-read list for all event industry workers. Reading these books can greatly increase your efficiency in this work. Additionally, with the purchase of a book, you will often get access to hundreds of extra useful online resources.

If you still have not yet read any books on event planning, you are welcome to start reading right away.

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Also, feel free to add your comments below.

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