Hosting and planning an event can be a tricky endeavor since it requires time, meticulous planning, excellent conceptualization and creativity to ensure covering all the details while also sticking to the budget at the same time. Both novice and experienced event planners end up committing a few mistakes through their careers. While mistakes prove to be the best teachers and facilitate learning and growth, there are a few of them that can cost you heavily.
Through this blog, we will familiarize our readers with the comprehensive list of the top and most common event planning mistakes that you must avoid in order to become a successful event planner.
Things You Should Not Do If You are an Event Planner/Top Event Planning Mistakes You Should Avoid to Become a Successful Event Planner
Here is a list of the most common event planning mistakes that you should avoid becoming a successful event planner:
Not Getting Started Early Enough: Procrastination is one of most common event planning mistakes and surely emerges as the biggest enemy for event planners. Failing to start the event planning process at an early stage surely creates a host of problems down the line. Event planners who fail to book venues well in advance are ultimately left with limited venue choices and have to say ‘yes’ to whatever venue is available. Similarly, failing to book guest speakers and entertainment bands/live performers way ahead of the actual event date is another common event planning mistake. Starting off too late and not following an organized event planning strategy surely leads to the failure of event planners.
Poor Organization and Scheduling: Successful event planning requires maintaining an event planning checklist that lists all tasks that need to be completed with a schedule/timetable for each and determining when they need to be completed. Staying organized is vital to ensure that you are on the right track and this also helps you track your progress. Event planners who stay unorganized and have no clarity with regards to event objective or event deadlines are bound to experience failure since they fail to effectively handle all tasks involved in successful event planning or they fail to deliver the outcomes within the expected deadlines. To avoid failure, make sure to get acquainted with any venue norms you need to follow and try to schedule every little detail irrespective of how insignificant it seems since those are the easiest to forget.
Miscommunication: Communication plays a key role in successful event planning since a slight miscommunication between you and your client, staff, vendors, colleagues, and suppliers can prove catastrophic for an event. It is vital to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively to everyone who is involved in event management process. Successful event planners deliver remarkable outcomes to their clients by effectively gathering clients’ requirements and their expectations from the event. Successful event planners pay attention to areas that the client overemphasizes and keep connected with their clients’ throughout the event planning process to ensure that their work is on the right track. Failing to communicate clearly, effectively and concisely with everyone involved in event planning process definitely leads the event to disaster.
Overlooking/Not Checking for Competing Events: There can be a strong possibility that the venue you book for hosting your event may be hosting others events on the same day as yours. You must get connected with the venue authorities to determine who you would be sharing the space with to analyze whether it will be posing any problems or distractions for your particular event. You must also determine who will be in charge of addressing noise conflicts on the event day and have their number handy in case you have unanticipated noisy neighbors.
Not confirming with Vendors/Unreliable Vendors: Being a novice event planner, you do not have well-developed relationships with vendors/suppliers. You end up with a long list of vendors and do not know who is reliable amongst them. You need to first get quotes from multiple vendors and compare their services and pricing to be able to get to the final vendor list. A common event planning mistake is that event planners simply rely on the legal agreements and fail to remain connected with the vendors throughout the process. To become a successful event planner, you need to remain connected with your vendors throughout to ensure that date, time and services you expect from them are on their schedule
Going Over the Budget/Poor Finance Management: Finance Management is critical to ensure that you earn enough revenue and do not delve into losses. There are numerous hurdles that can disturb your finance management in the form of venue selection, food, and beverages, decors, entertainment options, travel expenses, etc. A common event planning mistake is selecting expensive venues, opting for sophisticated food and beverages, going overboard with speakers selection/entertainment options and wasting money on printing and photocopying. You must identify all major expenses and make choices meticulously to manage finances efficiently and earn the maximum profit from every project while also meeting client expectations effectively.
Not Allowing Enough Time for Setup/Not Planning for Setup on the Day: One of the common event planning mistakes is not planning the event setup well in advance and not determining the time required to set up. Leaving event setup planning for the last minute will only land you in chaos and your client disappointed. To avoid committing this mistake, make sure to undertake event setup planning well in advance and try to perform event set up a day or two in advance.
Miscalculating the Size of Event/Not Accounting for Needed Space: Another common event planning mistake involves not choosing a venue that holds enough capacity for the anticipated guests or selecting a venue too big for the number of guests. Selecting a ‘very small’ as well as a ‘very big’ venue both will make you fail as an event planner since a ‘very small’ venue will make the guests experience discomfort and will disappoint your client while a ‘very big’ venue will fill an air of emptiness and cost you heavily.
Not Having a Contingency Plan/Not Having a Plan ‘B’: Having a contingency plan is a must since things do not go as planned at times. This is particularly applicable to outdoor events that may face the risk of inclement weather. Other hurdles that may appear include power failures, overflowed parking lot, hotel room availability issues, etc. You must determine all issues that may appear and develop alternate plans well in advance to be able to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Understaffing/Not Having Enough Help: A common mistake is not hiring enough staff as required for successful event execution for the sake of saving a little on the budget or delegating more tasks to less staff or not hiring the right talent having relevant experience and skills. The best way to avoid failing is to always have extra staff on hand to help address unforeseen circumstances and hiring the right talent by examining their background, skills and experience details.
Failure to Keep a Track of Changes to the Scope of the Event: Majority of events witness changes in plans and scope before their execution. Majority of event planners fail to keep track of changes to the event plans and scope and fail to document and communicate the changes to all the stakeholders involved that ultimately leads to client disappointment.
Conclusion: We hope that going through this blog will definitely familiarize you with the most common event planning mistakes that every event planner should avoid to become a success.