Three Common Event-Planning Mistakes and how to Avoid Them

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The planning and execution of both real-life – like concerts, company meetings and festivals – and online meetings – like virtual events, live streaming and webinars – plays a surprisingly big role in America’s economy today. You’d be surprised how many non-profits, for example, go to companies like We and Goliath for help organizing a virtual event or the number of music promoters paying event planners to put together a music concert.

According to research from Meeting Professionals International, more than 18 million events are organized in United States every year. And all of these meetings produce around $67 billion in labor income and staggering $280 billion in spending.

Becoming a Part of Event Industry

If the numbers seem a bit overblown, you have to keep in mind that the industry spans across a number of sectors and that includes huge events like the Presidential Inauguration and the Super Bowl as well as small events trade shows, country and state fairs among others.

Currently, the event planning industry employs somewhere around 100,000 people, but the number is going to go up in the next couple of years. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024 the industry is going to be at least 10% bigger.

When you take a look at other industry growth numbers, you realize that event industry’s growth rate is actually much faster. If you’re new to the industry or if you’re simply planning to become a part of it, you have to know a few basics before you start.

First, you need to know that event planners are often so busy that they routinely overlook some elements that are vital to the success of their events. So in order to help you start on the right for, let’s look at some of the common event threats and talk about how to avoid them.

ThreeCommon Mistakes and how to Avoid Them

Not Being Able to Allocate the Right Resources with the Right Skills

The Problem:

Finding the right staff is not an easy task. Today, an average employer takes around 27 days to hire a new worker, according to a recent BLS study. What’s worse, some more complex jobs take even longer to fill. And all the planning in the world simply can’t overcome the insufficiency of talent. So before you even start making a game plan, you need to make sure that you have the right people with the right skills on your team.

The Solution:

Once you hire the people, you have to get familiar with their individual skills, so you can decide how to spread the workload among your workers. This will allow you to allocate your resources across the countless elements and day-to-day work. And if you feel like some of your team members can’t handle a portion of their work, then you should definitely consider hiring some freelancers and outsourcing a couple of tasks.

Overspending and Not Securing Enough Money form Sponsors

The Problem:

It’s actually surprising just how many planner don’t appropriately plan how much money they will need for their events. In most cases, they use the unfortunate “plan-and-send-as-you-go” method. And of course, this doesn’t work at all, and they wind up going seriously over budget or discovering at the last minute that they don’t have enough funds secured to follow through on their project.

The Solution:

This one is simple – you need to create a full event budget very early in your planning process. Also, you should take a look at how an average event manager spends his budget. For instance, according to MPI research, 36% of event managers spend the most out of their budget on venue and 34% spend the most on catering. The way you spend your money is naturally all up to you, but just make sure you have every single detail in consideration when you’re planning your costs.

Failing to Add or Upgrade Your Event Planning Technology

The Problem:

You never know when a sponsor might pull out. There are those moments when you are expecting a certain amount of money to come through after a previously successful sponsorship and it simply doesn’t. In this moments, it’s hard to think about investments, which is why so many managers fail to upgrade their technology and get left behind.

The Solution:

You simply have to take some time, and take a further look into upgrading your technology. Some of these tools will ultimately become an inventible part of holding tenure as a successful member of the events industry. Something simple as an advanced event ticketing system can help you with your managing efforts tremendously and allow you to focus on more important ordeals, like the above-mentioned negotiations.

Final Thoughts

Nothing ever is going to be perfect, humans make errors all the time and some things simply slip through the cracks from time to time, no matter how much effort you’ve put into your event.

However, you cannot afford to forget something detrimental only to remember it at the very last minute. If you want to eliminate rookie mistakes, you need to have a solid plan in place. Therefore, you need to:

  • Design an in-depth plan, that describes in detail what needs to be done, when you need it done and who should do it
  • Ensure that every single member of your team understands the plan completely and is ready to fully commit to it
  • When a mistake eventually happens, you cannot afford to dwell on it, so keep things going and leave the discussions for later

While some last minute changes may seem like the end of the world, you need to do a risk assessment of your event and identify any potential changes and create a backup plan just in case.

But don’t worry, when something unexpected happens, simply take a deep breath and go back to work. People cannot predict the future, so if you’re going to be a part of this industry, you need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.