There are so many different types of event held by so many different organizations for a variety of purposes. Some hire individuals who represent themselves as “event planners,” but in most case are glorified room decorators. Some decide to do it themselves, with varying levels of success.
While there are some excellent event planners, who are truly professional and knowledgeable, the wide majority misrepresent their expertise and what they can and will do. There are also some individuals who are detailed, organized, have common sense, and work hard, who can and do run a successful event, but the majority of others do not have and/ or use those skills.
Some of the most common event planning mistakes are:
- Not knowing upfront what your needs or requirements are. It is extremely difficult to effectively produce an event if you don’t know what your goal is.
- Many events are inadequately promoted. Event organizers must have a budgeted amount devoted for advertisement and promotion. Too many are totally dependent on e-mails and E-Blasts, which often is tantamount to failure. How is this event going to be described to “capture the imagination,” and set it apart. If this event is a conference or convention, how much detail is going into the flow sheet/ schedule, to show potential attendees perceived value.
- Many organizers lack negotiating expertise. Before agreeing to hold an event in a particular place, organizers should use Request for Proposals (RFP) to assure that the location can adequately meet the needs, and deliver at the needed price level.
- Many organizers simply either do not know what to ask, or don’t ask the right questions. Many events require considerable amounts of audio visual, and the costs can often be astronomical, if not negotiated properly.
- There is a need to evaluate when to purchase something versus when to rent it. Often it costs far less to buy something than the rentals will cost.
- Many organizers don’t understand that almost everything is negotiable. A group does not have to go along with the pre-packaged food and beverage menus, nor believe that there is no flexibility in pricing.
- Many planners do not spend enough time assuring that attendees first impression and contact with the event is a positive one. There must be a friendly and welcoming Welcome Committee, who are trained and willing to be “meeters and greeters.” A smile goes a very long way.
- One of the most common errors is spending too much time on menial or less important items, and insufficient time on the priorities. Event organizers must fully understand how and why to prioritize.
- if using an Event Planner, it must be clearly spelled out what the expectations are, and what the planner’s duties will be.
- Perhaps, most importantly, an organization must clearly understand and identify what it wishes to achieve from this event.
Of course, these are just some very basic things that should go into the overall process to ensure optimal success from an organization’s event.