30 event planning books every #EventProf should read

Event Planning Books

Staying relevant is a constant challenge every event planner meets. With new technology coming out constantly and the market expanding in leaps, the task sometimes seems impossible. Luckily nowadays we have more sources of information than ever. From blogs to TED talks and social media, staying updated seems easier than ever, but today we’re going to talk about one of the oldest sources of information ever, books!

Ever heard of them?

Here’s a list of 30 books every #EventProf should read.

books for event planners

#30 Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln by James C. Humes

This book gives 21 tips on how to give great speeches like some of the most notable leaders in politics. Among the useful advice, you’ll find interesting tidbits and information on some of the most intriguing characters in history. The author James C. Humes is a historian and has written speeches for five American presidents.

#29 The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

The Happiness Advantage dives into the world of positive psychology. Based on scientific studies, this book dispels some of the myths surrounding success and satisfaction in the workplace. This one should be read by any professional.

#28 How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s work was first published in 1936, and 15 million readers and 80 (80!) years later it’s content it’s still relevant. Unlike what some people may think, it is not for awkward individuals who don’t know how to relate to others. How to Win Friends and Influence People is for anyone who wishes to make the best off their relationships may them be professional or personal.

#27 The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema

Are you the best at what you do? This book will help you to focus your business and figure out how to maximise your qualities. Particularly recommendable for people who own their own businesses.

event planning books

#26 Contagious by Jonah Berger

“How do I go viral?” every content creator has asked themselves at some point. Contagious sheds some light on why some things catch on and others don’t. The New York Times bestseller is written in an approachable language and divided into six important characteristics every brand must have in order to become popular. If it was named the Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing association then it must be for something, right?

#25 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

An unexpected choice for this list. Not all event planners are extroverts! Susan Cain’s work debunks many of the myths regarding introverts and sheds light on lesser-known facts like, for example, introverts can be great leaders! This is not only a must-read for introverts, but for anyone who wants to improve their teamwork skills. Know it or not, chances are you work with an introvert.

#24 Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements by Geno Church, Greg Cordell, Robbin Phillips, and Spike Jones

A marketing book for the professional of the XXI century. Brains on Fire talks about strategies business can apply to strive in the contemporary market.

#23 Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Many people have been talking about the ‘flow’ recently. That moment when everything seems to come together and time just flies by as you work. If you’re not the ‘new age’ or ‘self-help’ type then don’t worry, this book speaks in an approachable way from an every-day life point of view. If you’re still not convinced, you can watch Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk here.

event planning recommended books

#22 Meeting and Event Planning For Dummies by Susan Friedmann

No book list incomplete without a For Dummies title, right? This book is recommended for beginners as it covers all the basics.

#21 Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

Want to learn from a successful online business? Look no further, in this book the CEO of Zappos himself tells you how they did it. Not surprisingly, in the end, it all comes down to happiness.

#20 Brain Rules by John Medina

Dr John Medina, a molecular biologist takes you to a journey into your brain. Using sense of humour and scientific research, this book teaches you how to best use one of your most important organs. Did you know that exercise improves the cognitive function? Brain Rules also lays to rest the long debate about men and women’s brains being different – yes, they are.

#19 Designing successful Meetings Susan E. Mundry, Senta A. Raizen, Susan Loucks-Horsley, and Edward E. Britton

This book was written by professionals in the industry and it is based on their personal experiences. The all-you-need-to-know text on meetings design and planning.

event planner books

#18 StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Do you know what you’re good at? But do you really know what you’re good at? Chances are you don’t, and that’s nothing to worry about because, guess what, most people find themselves in the same situation. This book promises that by the time you’re done reading it you’ll know what you thrive at.

#17 When I stop talking, you’ll know I’m dead by Jerry Weintraub

Jerry Weintraub is the quintessential self-made man. He started from little and went on to direct A-listers in million dollar budget movies. If you’re interested in the fast-paced, luxurious and expensive life of Hollywood and New York City then this is the book for you.

#16 Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger

The only fiction book in this list, Everyone worth knowing tells the story of Bette a twenty-something-year-old girl who suddenly finds herself working at a prestigious PR firm. The novel is a witty recount of the delicate balance between life and work while describing the insides of an industry where your reputation is everything.

#15 Theme Ideas Handbook by Jerry Busche

Ever had trouble coming with an idea for an event? This handbook will get you out of the tough spot as it’s got over 600 themes!

books about event planning

#14 The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

If you haven’t read this book then you’ve probably heard about it. As the title says, Covey takes you through seven habits based on Judeo-Christian believes to be effective not only at work but also in your personal life.

#13 How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael Gelb

Using the life of the Italian artist as a basis, Michael Gelb goes on to describe the process of self-development. Recommended for those who are always looking to improve their skills.

#12 Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

This book claims to revolutionise the rules in the world of business. It bravely dismisses standards in the industry like press releases and advises you on current methods. A good guide to keep close, especially if you’re the owner of a small company.

#11 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? Is the premise of this book written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. The handbook of making a message “shtick” is full of no-nonsense type of advice that may be applied to any person that works with communication.

event planning books to read

#10 Be our guest by Theodore Kinni

No one does hospitality like the Walt Disney Parks. This tell-all book explains how the company went from animation to become one of the biggest leisure travel businesses in the world.

#9 Switch by Dan and Chip Heath

The Heath brothers are back at it. This time they’re talking about one of the biggest challenges we face as human beings – change. Why is it so difficult? Filled with real-life examples, Switch will show how to discover what makes you tick and finally be able to apply those changes you want in your life or business.

#8 Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer

In case you don’t know, Danny Meyer is the Chief Executive Officer of the Union Square Hospitality Group. In this book, he explains how he went from owning a Restaurant to founding a company that’s at the top of the culinary industry in the US. Spoiler: hospitality has got a lot to do with it.

#7 Reflections of a Successful Wallflower: Lessons in Business; Lessons in Life by Andrea Michaels

Reflections of a Successful Wallflower tells the life story of Andrea Michaels, a trailblazer in the event planning industry. Learn how she pioneered the industry in this behind-the-scenes exclusive look into her life.

event hacks books

#6 Boring Meetings Suck: Get More Out of Your Meetings, Or Get Out of More Meetings by Jon Petz

We’ve all had awful work meetings. They’re boring, a waste of everyone’s time and seem to draaaaag on forever. This book will teach you how to improve them and if that’s not possible, then it will also tell you how to get out of them.

#5 Meeting Architecture, a Manifesto (Volume 1) by Maarten Vanneste

The award-winning book is a declaration for the discipline of meeting architecture. Simply put, learn how to organise better events.

#4 Marketing Your Event Planning Business: A Creative Approach to Gaining the Competitive Edge by Judy Allen

Judy Allen explains how to market your event planning business in good times or bad. Regardless if there is a financial crisis, this book will teach you how to grow your client base.

#3 Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier by Joe Goldblatt

Special Events covers the latest trends in the event planning industry. Through interviews with professionals in the field and case studies, this book will teach you all you need to know about what’s going on NOW in the business. On top of that, the book comes with web resources where you can find even more information.

best books eventprofs#2 Into the Heart of Meetings: Basic Principles of Meeting Design by Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver

Also known as the bible of meeting design, this book was written by the guys that practically originated the practice. Part textbook and part practical guide, Into the Heart of Meetings, will teach you everything you need to know about organising amazing meetings.

books for eventprofs#1 The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

Inspired by his day job in a consultancy and his podcast, Todd Henry wrote this book about finding your own rhythm and creating a process to be creative on the spot. Expanding on five key elements (focus, relationships, energy, stimuli and hours), The Accidental Creative will teach you how to generate brilliant ideas on a daily basis.


Did we miss a book an event planner should read? Have you read any of the above? What did you think of it? Please, leave us a comment below and remember to keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content.

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