No matter how much experience you have at organising events, when it comes down to the planning, preparation and execution, it can always be challenging. It demands a significant investment of time and energy, which can often lead to a great deal of stress for you as the event's organiser. Unfortunately, many event planners tend to underestimate the complexity of the task and frequently make avoidable errors that can have costly consequences on the day of the event.
Well, we’re here to help your next event go off without a hitch. In this article, we will discuss some of the most critical mistakes and how they can be effectively avoided.
🏟️ Mistake #1: Poor Vendor or Venue Selection
Event planners often make the mistake of not accurately gauging the size of their event. This leads to the problem of picking the wrong size venue for their needs. Having a space that is too small for the amount of people attending can be detrimental to the success of the event. People won't be able to walk around freely or find seating easily, leading to an uncomfortable atmosphere. It is important to make sure the venue is the right size to avoid this problem.
Another closely connected area where event planners can fall down is choosing the wrong vendors to help support them in their endeavours on the day. At an event, there may be a wide variety of needs for vendor support and choosing the wrong ones can play a big part in your event’s fall down.
When planning your event, don't just think about the potential crowd size, but also the layout of the venue. Decide between tables and theatre seats to find the best option for your event. In addition, be sure to take into account the capacity of your venue, leaving enough room for extra people, if needed.
When selecting your vendors, investigate and select trustworthy suppliers well ahead of time that are compatible with the budget and ideals of your event. You may also want to consider going off recommendation - oftentimes, the best vendors will come with a great reputation and are highly sought after, so ask fellow event planners for any suggestions.
📱 Mistake #2: Not Testing Technology
It is not uncommon for event planners to overlook the implications of using A/V equipment, such as a PA system, microphones, overhead projectors, loudspeakers, monitors, receivers and transmitters. Sometimes the venue provides the equipment, so the planners may not be as careful in inspecting it as they should be.
Overlooking potential issues that might arise from your ticketing system or during a live stream is often another area where event planners can go wrong. Whilst, in this digital age, live streaming and barcode scanning may seem simple, sometimes there can be hiccups along the way that can cause major disruption, leaving you and your business looking unprofessional and ill-prepared.
Verifying that the venue provides A/V equipment is important. If not, you'll need to rent it from a nearby vendor - the key here being nearby. This will make installation simpler and give you the chance to quickly access IT personnel for any issues that arise prior to the event. It's essential to make sure that the A/V gear is set up, moved and functioning properly at least a week or two ahead of the event as well as tests on the day way ahead of guest arrival. Arranging your equipment to be in close proximity to power sources is also imperative, as well as back ups to be available just in case.
And, lastly, a strong communication plan will help both attendees and staff negate technical issues and and when they arise - we would suggest using an event app like Eventee to support your communication both before, during, and after your event.
🍔 Mistake #3: Not Enough Food & Refreshments
When it comes to hosting a successful event, ensuring that there is an adequate supply of food and drinks is a major part of being an event planner. Everyone knows that hungry guests lead to grumpy guests - not a good guest experience for your attendees at all.
But, knowing food supply quantities can be a difficult task; first, you must estimate the number of guests and also accommodate any dietary requirements. In addition, events are usually on a tight budget, so there cannot be a lot of leftover food.
So, how can event planners solve these problems?
When it comes to planning out food and refreshments, be sure to provide enough sustenance for your gathering as well as accounting for extra arrivals just in case. With any leftovers, we would recommend working with a charity of your choice to donate any extras too so that you can boost your businesses philanthropic endeavours and also support others who may need it.
😱 Mistake #4: Ignoring The Guest Experience
Food and refreshments aside, you also need to consider all the factors that create and add to the overall guest experience. All of the minor details such as a reliable and strong wifi connection, thoughtless seating arrangements or unsuitable entertainment can all amount to your attendees leaving your event feeling underwhelmed.
With the finer details like your wifi connection, be sure to have some additional routers or wifi boosters dotter around the venue to ensure your guests can get online and access your event app with ease. Make sure guests who are likely to form strong connections are seated near one another and take careful consideration into choosing entertainment that will appeal to a variety of age ranges and preferred styles - making sure that there’s something for everyone.
⏱️ Mistake #5: Going off Schedule
Event planners often forget to create a schedule, leaving it until the last minute. This can have a negative effect on the event. People may not understand how easily a plan can go awry with just a few delays. After the venue is set up, the seating organised, the audio-visual equipment checked, and the speakers chosen, it is important to plan the sequence of events. Otherwise, the attendees may lose interest and the guests may have an unpleasant experience. Time is valuable and people have things to do. Therefore, it is necessary for event planners to give a timeframe for each part of their event and remain on track.
Create a timeline of the day's activities, from when participants show up to when the gathering concludes this will help you map out timings in advance and help you and your team stick to them. Detail all minor components of the event including the refreshment breaks and determine a timeline for each - once you’ve got that, allow a little extra time for any last minute changes so that, the worst case scenario is that you’re ahead of schedule which will only enable your attendees to spend more time networking.
Once the schedule is made, make it look professional and send it to all invitees at least a few days before the event as well as making it accessible on your event app so that they can keep up to date during the day of the event.
⚠️ Mistake #6: Overlooking Potential Risks
When planning your event it can be easy to overlook potential risks. We’ve already considered issues around technical problems, timings and food shortages, but often there’s many others that you may not think to consider like; transportation, weather, or even operational risks. All of these things, if overlooked, could be to the detriment of your event’s success.
To effectively mitigate risks, start by analysing every aspect of your event planning process. Consider logistical factors like the venue, transportation, and equipment. Assess potential issues with the venue's capacity or parking, as well as transportation challenges that could cause delays.. Addressing these risks early will prevent major obstacles during your event.
Once you have identified the potential risks involved in your event planning process, it is crucial to develop a comprehensive risk management plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap for mitigating and addressing risks throughout the planning and execution stages of your event.
📣 Mistake #7: Ineffective Marketing and Promotion
Finally, ineffective marketing of an event can have a plethora of ramifications. Whether that’s low attendance, a decreased revenue, or a negative impact on your social media, to name but a few. These are all things that could be avoided if only you take the right steps to market your event in the first place.
By developing a comprehensive marketing plan that includes online and offline channels, you can elevate your event’s marketing substantially. Often, it is very much worthwhile hiring a marketing professional, if you don’t have an in-house marketing team, to promote your event. Or, an even more cost effective way to market your event is through your events app, like Eventee. As well as helping your attendees to connect, or highlighting key moments at your event, you can use the app to promote your event and create buzz in advance.
✍️ In conclusion
There are a number of things to remember when planning an event, and one of the most important things to keep in mind is the guest experience. Make sure that you set clear objectives before the event and be sure to learn from your past event planning mistakes - we’ve all been there! Which is why we created this guide, so that you can go into planning your event prepared and ready to succeed. Don’t forget, after the event, be sure to gather feedback using your event app to continuously improve your event planning. Each of the steps in this guide will help you provide a memorable event and will likely increase your return on investment too.
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