Some people see event planning as an ‘easy’ job, that’s more about pleasure than business. You should take this as a compliment; people see it as easy because you make it look a breeze, but of course, we know that there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into planning an event. There’s always a risk of unforeseen problems happening at your event, but at the same time, there are certain problems that you can expect to happen.
Avoid these common event planning mistakes to make the most of your event.
1. Overloading on Guest Speakers
You may think that the more interesting and inspirational speakers you can cram into your event program the better, but think of your attendees. Do they really want to sit on their butts in front of the screen for the entire event listening to one speaker after another? Probably not, and the further down the list of speakers it gets, the less attentive the audience is likely to be. Not only will this alienate the attendees, but it could also affect your future relationships with the speakers who are on towards the end. Most people attend an event with networking in mind, so make sure your event is varied, with a mixture of speakers, activities, and time for networking.
2. Not Double-Checking Arrangements
No matter how well-prepared you think you are, you should check, double-check and then check again! This is important for all of the arrangements for your event, from video streams for speakers to the spelling on any event literature. Imagine turning up on the day to find out that the hosts hadn’t been confirmed so they’re a no-show, or your client’s company name is spelled wrong on the sponsor branding. Even if you have a team that has responsibility for different aspects of the event, the consequences of making common event planning mistakes will be all on you, so check everything yourself then have fresh eyes check it again.
3. Not Going Through Plans with Your Client or Team
It’s essential that you get the balance right with your client relationships and your team, so although you shouldn’t need them to hold your hand every step of the way, it’s important that you set a designated time with them to go through the final arrangements. You may think that you know exactly what they’re looking for or executing, but if there’s been a miscommunication you risk a very unhappy client or confused staff.
4. Not Allowing Enough Time for Setting Up
This is one of my biggest pet peeves and annoyances. Nothing looks more unprofessional to attendees than arriving at an event to see a last-minute panic; they should enter the perfect event channel, and not have to see what goes on behind the scenes. Timing is crucial throughout your event, so be sure to have a ‘dry run’ if it’s at all possible.
5. Letting the Event Run Away With You
There are always going to be changes at all stages of your event, and if you miss even the tiniest change it can cause huge problems for you. A lot of common event planning mistakes are based around planning, and this is where proper planning holds its own. You should make sure that for every change you assess the impact it’s going to have, both on your budget and on your timings. Event management planning software is perfect for tracking any changes, so take advantage of it!
6. Not Having a Plan B
As I’ve already mentioned, sometimes things go wrong that you can’t foresee, so you should always expect the unexpected and try and plan for any eventuality. Do this, and you‘ll minimize nasty surprises during your event!