Most – if not all – professional event planners would agree that planning for an upcoming event or conference can be quite time- and effort-demanding. However, some event planners place less attention on the amount of time and work required to set up as well as run an event successfully, and consequently, commits some significant mistakes in the end.
Sometimes, these mistakes do result in frustrated audiences, meaningless use of budget, and in the worst case scenario, loss of credibility which can affect getting customers in the nearest future. In this piece, we have highlighted six biggest mistakes to watch out for – with tips on how to avoid them. Read along!
1. Planning Beyond Budget
One of the most critical factors of event management is the budget, which should never be neglected or overlooked. However, some event planners often fail to keep the budget outlined for an event at the back of their mind, and eventually, plan beyond budget. In such cases, event planners would eventually have to cover the additional cost. And sometimes, it can even affect the outlined payment for necessary materials such as food or AV.
If you ever fall into such a mess, the did have been done already. The best advice here is to assess your expenses and learn from your mistakes to prevent such situations in the future. You can use a party planning app to mark out your to-dos and what you need to get and put place. Also, ensure that 10-15% of the budget is set aside for wiggle room – it can be a life-saver during the last-minute of market push.
2. Doing it All by Yourself
Within the checklist of every event planner, factors such as scheduling, registration, event promotion, financial planning, among others, should be present. Regardless of your level of versatility as an event planner or the size of the event, you are prone to commit errors or fail in some aspects if you decide to tackle every demand on your own – this does not include the severe headache that comes with it.
Solution? Handpick a few people who you think are capable of your committee and event management platform can save you a lot of time and money, specially if it’s free to use. This committee will ensure that every detail of your event plan is covered and possible errors are avoided. Within the committee, endeavor to have a publicist, speaker liaison, treasurer, registrar as well as travel agents.
3. Underestimating The Required Amount Of Foods And Drinks
Imagine a multi-day conference that runs out of coffee or music festival with no enough water – without a doubt; it won’t be much of a success. The lesson here is that never underestimate the number of inventories you would need because if you do, you will have yourself to blame in the end.
If you ever fail to provide enough food and drink in an event, the first line of action is to apologize to your audience. Afterward, contact your caterer or local restaurant to supply more rations. In your subsequent event, ensure that your calculations are perfect and have a plan B in place.
4. Last Minute Event Promotion
Event promotion, as well as marketing, should not be left till later date because the more you put them off, the lesser time people will have to plan to be present. In fact, you have to inform some media outlets some weeks or months ahead before they can advertise your event or conference on their news or advertisement program.
Here, the idea is to allocate three or four times before the event as a period of the campaign. In this way, your event will be well publicized, most especially if you will be using the magazines, journals or any deadline-oriented media outlet.
5. Getting The Size Of The Venue Wrong
Once an event planner miscalculates the size of an event’s venue, then, he/she can only expect the event to develop beyond their capacity. It can be very frustrating to realize that your conference hall is half-filled on the D-day. And likewise, overcrowded event space will likely make the occasion a challenging one for the audience.
To avoid such an unpleasant situation, ensure that apart from considering the size of the crowd, take into account the way in which the event space will be set up; understand whether your audience will be taking the theater seats or tables, and estimate the size of the venue as much as possible.
6. Securing Equipment At The Last Minute
Sometimes, event organizers do leave the hiring process of audio and visual gear to the last minute. And eventually, it results into an unwanted situation where while the program should have started, the vendors are just planning to get the A/V equipment – this does not include the time it will take to transport it to the location, assemble and ensure it is working. In the end, the event will be delayed and results in annoyance on the part of the audience.
Instead, what you should have done is to give at least two weeks’ notice to the vendor, ensure that every equipment is available and ready to move. Also, doing this will allow you to secure a backup rental service should in case your plan A fails.
On a final note, planning for an event is, undoubtedly, an arduous task; however, in order to get a deserved praise as well as recognition in the end, while planning for the impending event, endeavor to look out for the mistakes listed herein and correct as appropriate. Good luck!