Event planning is an incredibly difficult job laden with potential pitfalls. Learning how to plan a successful event can only come with a tremendous amount of effort and experience.
To help you out with your next event, we’ve put together a list of the most common event planning mistakes.
Failing to schedule your event properly
It’s a logistical headache but taking the time to ensure your scheduling is just right can be the difference between an underwhelming event and a wildly successful one.
Too little time between speeches and hired speakers can feel as though their time isn’t appreciated Creating an environment where speakers feel comfortable and valued will allow them to perform at their best. The guests you’ve invited to attend will get more out of their speeches too. After all, appeasing your guests should be a priority for event planners.
Just having enough time for each speaker or session isn’t enough. The schedule needs to have enough variation to keep guests interested throughout the day. Having the right blend of industry speakers, educational sessions and networking events is key to a successful event.
You also need to consider necessities like toilets. Depending on the venue you’ve chosen, you may need to arrange for portable toilets to be delivered.
Spending your budget frivolously
The costliest event planning mistake of all: failing to recognise how precious your budget is. Overspending can defeat the entire purpose of the event. For many organisations, creating and running an event is designed to turn a profit – whether that be in the short-term or the long-term.
Once the money is spent, there isn’t an awful lot you can do about it – which underlines the importance of allocating budget meticulously and sparingly at the start of the event planning process.
Sometimes the best way to decide whether the way your using your budget is sensible or not is to enlist the help of another person. Yes, it might bog down the decision making process slightly, but you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you are spending your budget wisely.
Not understanding your audience
Whatever the goal of your event – whether it’s to generate awareness of your business, give back to the local community or make connections with other people in your industry – you have to research the interests, desires and likes and dislikes of your intended audience.
Interview a few people in your chosen demographic and get to know them. The insights gleaned from this kind of market research can be used to inform your choices for the event. You’ll start to understand what they want to get out of such an event and what factors would push them away or pull them in.
Once you’ve decided on a demographic to target, you can then set out about making sure they are aware of your event. Investing into marketing the event intelligently will drive people to your event and allow you to turn a profit.
Not keeping an eye on the competition
You can get so caught up planning your own event that you overlook the competition. Checking the calendar for other events that’ll compete with your potential guests’ time and attention has to be a priority.
It isn’t just events in a similar vein to yours that you have to be on the lookout for either; an international football match, for example, can divert eyes and ears away from your event.
Selecting a time and date that is distinct from any other events or distractions going on – especially in the area local to where your event is due to take place – is essential.
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