Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning an Event

  1. Not Giving Yourself Enough Time to Set Up.

Time is of the essence when it comes to planning an event. You would not want to push your event schedule back or have guests arrive to staff scrambling around trying finish setup. Even if it means you need to rent the venue for an extra hour or two, make sure you have enough time to setup, its far less stressful and remember when it comes to events, it’s all about timing.  For large scale events make sure to consider setup time in venue contract.

  1. Not Having a Plan B

Plan and expect the unexpected. As you plan your event, assess the potential risks of each part of the schedule/layout, and come up with contingency plans. Whether is it bad weather, venue cancellations or speaker cancellations, know how to move forward in an efficient and painless way. Assessing the risks at an early stage will also allow you to understand and eradicate any flaws to your plan.

  1. Refusing to Delegate

No matter how capable of an event planner you are or how small your event may be, your event will suffer if you try to tackle it alone, if you’re lucky, the very least it will give you is a massive headache. Find people you trust to do the work well, give them tasks and let them help carry the load. Proper delegation and help are invaluable when it comes to planning a successful event.

  1. Competing with Another Large Event

Know the events happening on the same day/weekend, in the same venue or even within the same office as your event. The last thing you want to deal with when planning an event is low attendance, having to share resources or noise from a neighboring event.  Be smart and do your research before booking your date and venue. You can also reference Bizbash for events taking place in your area.

  1. Having No “WOW” Factor

Get creative with music, food, drinks, and entertainment for your event to create a “wow” factor. For example, create a themed event, offer unique locally sourced beer and wine, provide a virtual reality station or barrel aged cocktails this will add to the overall atmosphere and engagement of your event. These creative ideas can establish a relaxed and fun atmosphere, allowing attendees to have a good time.

  1. Lack of Clear Signage

One of the most frustrating things for an attendee is not knowing where to go. Trying to find where the registration table is located, next breakout session, etc.  Avoid making this mistake, by ensuring you are displaying adequate signage that is easily read and understood by your attendees. It is better to go overboard on signage then to leave your attendees lost and perplexed on where to go.

  1. Inadequate Staff on Hand/Not Hiring Enough Staff

So you thought you could handle setting up chairs, tables, running registration, cueing the speakers and doing the walkthrough of the venue with volunteers, think again. We understand that labor cost are a major portion of any event budget, however not having the help needed to adequately prepare for the event can cause a much bigger problem than the money you will spend on extra labor. Make absolutely sure that between your event planning team and personnel provided by vendors, you have adequate staff on hand.

  1. Under Estimating or Over Estimating Your Guest Count

Big Crowds can be a big problem when you don’t have the event space to accommodate. You want to make sure you know how many attendees your event will draw. Look at events within your same industry and with the same speakers, Did they draw a large crowd? The number of guests attending your event will determine the size of your event space as well as the amount of food and beverages you will want to provide. Over accommodating guests in a venue that is too small can take the enjoyment out of your event, and lack of food and beverages can leave your guests hungry and unhappy. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want a half-empty venue with food going to waste, so be sure to allocate enough resources.

  1. Not Confirming Your Vendors

Yes, a signed vendor contract is a legally binding agreement and gives you something in writing to hold the vendor responsible for the services they are to provide on the day of your event. However, That event contract will not serve food to your hungry guests or deliver tables and chairs to an empty ballroom when your vendor no-shows on the day of your event. Confirm each and every vendor you have twice. Confirm receipt of your signed contract at the time you both agree to the terms. Confirm once again prior to the event itself, follow-up specifically to make sure that your event is still on their calendar and confirm details.

  1. Not Thanking Your Participants

Each year, you look to plan a bigger and better event then the year prior, in order to achieve this, it is crucial to maintain a great relationship with your speakers, advertisers, caterers, vendors, sponsors, attendees and venue staff. Stay organized and keep track of everyone who supports and participates in your event.  After the event send a thank you note to all who attended or helped build your event. It is surprising how this one small step can help lay the foundation for next year’s event planning.

When all else fails and you don’t want to deal with the stress that is associated with putting on an event, hire an outside company to assist you. Were not biased but we hear Innovate Marketing Group has a great team that can help you with all your event planning needs.