What Could Go Wrong? Event Planners’ Mistakes
Are you planning or organizing an event? Why don’t you learn from the mistakes of others rather than your own? Organizing an event, especially a large one can be a challenging task. That’s why the event planners are extremely busy while trying to manage the whole process but completely absorbed in their work even the best professionals overlook some aspects.
Forewarned is forearmed, so below we point some common as well as less known problems, that may occur during the event. We also included details that after all turn out as big inconveniences.
Catering: great food, poor circumstances
The catering provided is usually a buffet-style standing reception that is no doubt important for the health of most events. Good food brings people together, enabling better networking and delivers a while of relief and refreshment in the middle of the conference. Although it sounds so tempting and pleasant, the bad catering can ruin your event.
One of the often mentioned issues encountered during events is poor lighting in the catering zone. Yeah, it gives an impressive visual effect, but a bit hungry and tired attendees often aren’t able to read the name of a meal. What’s worse, sometimes the dishes aren’t signed at all. A situation when people are asking “shall I guess what I’m eating?” is not only unacceptable misunderstanding but poses a threat. Can you imagine an attendee, which is allergic to some products and isn’t able to check if his meal contains them? Many people are on a diet, no matter if it’s vegan or vegetarian – they really care about visibility and information about the served food.
Organizing matters – content
Content is key during every event. Usually, it makes attendance and attracts, posing the value also after the meeting. Unfortunately, it happens that materials to display are not available or become just before the very event. This leads to sad surprises when it turns out that something is not working or the file type is not supported.
It’s a quite big faux pas – a group of technical staff helping to get the things back on track. In addition, everyone gets upset, ranging from the speaker to the planners on-site and attendees. Of course, it’s normal and completely acceptable that technology sometimes glitches, but situations like this shouldn’t ever happen, as they are totally avoidable if predicted in advance.
The devil’s in the detail
While planning an event it’s easy to get confused and yes, it’s also natural and happens pretty often, but it doesn’t affect everyone. The crucial thing here: an event script. All processes, procedures, activities, time-frame, and people should be contained in a detailed plan – event script. A common mistake is sending the details in form of the script just before the event or what’s worse, not preparing it at all thinking it’s not so important. Well, it is. The situation when there are no schedule and plan results in lack of general info about how many speakers show up on the scene, in what time they do so, what type of microphones they need, and many other seemingly trivial issues that in fact really matter and affect the whole event.
Technical support in need
As an event planner, you cannot let the tech staff be hungry. Many organizers just forget or even don’t take into consideration that these people work hard in order to make the event fruitful, sometimes even for many hours without a proper break. The basic needs of employed people are as important as the event itself, if not even more. In fact, the success of the event depends on the team on-site, their abilities and engagement.
Let the chips fall where they may: absence of the person in charge on-site
How many times does it happen that something goes wrong or someone suddenly feels sick? No matter if the event is a large conference or small meeting, there always has to be one of the organizers at the place, ready to take action and react properly. Working on events is not only about planning and organizing. The essential part is the time of the ongoing event! It requires keeping track of, controlling and in case of problems – quick reaction.
Forewarned is forearmed
Brace yourself, winter is coming. Or storm, either heavy wind. Even if the weather can be predicted quite precisely today, it always may surprise you. Moreover, you cannot rule out technical failures like a power cut. Event planners not always take into account emergencies or crisis situations, thinking: Everything is well-planned, so will go smoothly, right? May it be so! But responsible planner should take care of remedies as well as precautions or security. It’s essential to make sure the venue provides all these needs. Strangely enough, the electric power generator can save the whole venture.
Miscalculated: bad budget planning
In most cases, the only thing that constricts event planners is their imagination… and budget. In fact, it plays an essential part – that’s why the budget planning is so necessary. Some of the event organizers have a problem with proper budget planning and resources allocating. If your event grows too large it will quickly eat up your budget. On the other hand be sure to allocate enough resources to ensure everything flows smoothly as planned.
Bottom line: cover all the details and stick to the budget at the same time. It happens that the day before the event organizers resign from the part of the professional equipment or totally rearrange the event setup. Reason? Overstretched budget. It’s not only stressful and tiring but also unnecessary and easy to avoid.
Making mistakes is human, so everyone slips up including event planners. But as professionalists, you should improve and develop the organizational skills, broadening the list of pratfalls possible to avoid. Do you know some more or less common examples of event planners’ mistakes? Maybe part of them affected you directly? Share your thoughts and let us know in comments.