There are many mistakes that almost all event planners make at some stage in their event management career, usually towards at the beginning. Read on for 5 common ones and how to ensure you don’t make them.
1. Afraid to ask questions
This is the main mistake made by event planners as often they believe they look disorganised or inexperienced by asking questions. The opposite is true; some questions must be asked regardless of how experienced an event planner is. For example, it is crucial to know exactly what is included in the venue hired, any other quote requested for entertainment, and when dealing with clients on what their expectations are. Always pose questions until you feel sufficiently comfortable with all areas of the event.
2. Underestimate production timings
There is almost always some last minute printing or similar to be completed so ensure you take the time to understand your deadline well, especially when it comes to third party suppliers. In the example above, knowing the latest you can get flyers from your printing company as well as coordinating with your design team so you can have support to get the task complete. Sometimes something as simple as table numbers can be cast aside and suddenly you need 100 table numbers printed with a turnaround of under 24 hours!
3. Neglect a proper guest list
The guest list should be collected in a standard format taking basic information such as name/contact details/dietary requirements/disability needs etc. It can be very difficult in a hectic event environment to arrange last minute requests so having this in advance of the day enables you to plan around it, and increase guest experience. The guest list can also be used for marketing purposes if you plan to send an email to guests asking them for their thoughts via a survey, or to inform them of rebooking opportunities/other events they may find of interest.
4. Forget to do a detailed staff brief
The staff briefing is the bible to be followed on the event day and you must strive to have a full breakdown with;
• Event timings
• Suppliers contact details
• Client contact details
• Table plan map
• AV instruction
• Special dietary requirements
• And more…
More often than not, event planners try to remember everything and this is where the downfall can begin for those events that don’t go to plan. A good and detailed staff brief document will help event planners to remember any information not on the tip of their tongue and ensure that the event is executed in an orderly fashion.
5. Poor communication of event information
While it may seem a given, if you are organising an event then attendees must know exactly what to expect to avoid unpleasant surprises such as: correct venue address, how to access it, dress code, starting and finishing timings and any other relevant information that is useful for guests attending on the day.