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5 Common Event Planning Mistakes, And How to Avoid Them

Some mistakes are easily avoided.

Created: 18th Feb 2019
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Underestimating the costs needed to promote your event, from marketing materials to paid advertising, will impact your attendance

Event planners are real-life superheroes. They juggle a million tasks at once, manage endless deadlines and solve problems on a daily basis. But even they can make the odd mistake leading to wrong timings, a lack of food or insufficient technology. But don’t fret, our expert tips will show you how to avoid the most common event planning mistakes. 


POORLY CHOSEN CATERING

What can go wrong?

If you choose the wrong catering that doesn’t fulfil your guest’s cravings, you can be at risk of having some very hungry attendees. People can be very particular eaters and have very different preferences. For example, traditionalists will lean towards classic dishes with familiar flavours whereas a more contemporary crowd will want to push boundaries and try something new. Offering food that is not to your guest’s satisfaction will significantly impact the overall reaction to your event, but this can easily be avoided with a bit of research. 

How to avoid it?

Analyse your event’s data, either from your past events or new information from the current ticket sales, to reveal your typical demographic. Look into the age ranges and occupation of attendees as well as past reviews. It will indicate changes to make such as portion sizes, amount of food needed and what dishes worked. 

Choosing the individual dishes will come down to your own judgement at the tastings. If in doubt, try to avoid controversial ingredients, and instead opt for crowd pleasers such as beef and chicken. Don’t forget to cater for all dietaries and ensure these options are just as delicious. Always have a mixture of vegetarian, meat and fish dishes to cover all bases, especially if you are having finger food such as canapés or bowl food. 


UNDERWHELMING OR OVERLOADED SCHEDULE

What can go wrong?

The content of your event, ranging from the speakers to the entertainment, is what draws people to your event. If you are offering talks by leading industry experts or have unique entertainment included in your event, its desirability will increase. Fail to provide this and your event will have little appeal. 

Also, note that a back-to-back schedule with little time for relaxation or networking will leave your guests feeling overworked and exhausted. 

How to avoid it?

Booking in your speakers and entertainment as early as possible is a must. Not only is it a valuable marketing tactic to bring in attendees, but you will also be able to secure your top picks. Going through an entertainment agency is also a possibility as they have a large catalogue of the best artists around. Most importantly, avoid an overloaded schedule by factoring regular breaks throughout the day along with lounges and soft furnishings for additional comfort. 


CONFUSING LOCATION & LAYOUT

What can go wrong?

The venue will be the first impression that your guests have of your event. If they arrive to stress and confusion, this will set the precedent for the remainder of the day. This can be caused by various factors; the location may be in an unfamiliar area or it’s hard to find specific rooms in the venue. If your guests miss important seminars or specific speakers because of a lack of communication, this will not bode well. 

How to avoid it?

Clear marketing can solve this issue. Design a user-friendly map with suggested transport routes to go on all tickets, confirmation emails and event material. If you have an event app, incorporate an interactive map into the system to save stress. On the day of the event, have stewards dotted across the nearby area to be of assistance and brand the outside of the venue if allowed. 

Finding the location isn’t the only point of concern, it’s also finding one’s way around the venue, especially in a large space. Create a venue map to signpost the most important areas of the event; key speakers, seminar rooms, exhibition and catering areas. A detailed and easy to read timetable will compliment this perfectly, so guests can plan out their day with the location of each activity in mind.  


LACK OF MARKETING

What can go wrong?

Underestimating the costs needed to promote your event, from marketing materials to paid advertising, will impact your attendance. Without a significant marketing budget, you will struggle to get your event seen and, therefore, ticket sales will decline. 

How to avoid it?

Plan your event budget carefully and allocate a significant amount towards marketing. This will need to include all design work, website and social media upkeep, branding materials, ticket seller fees as well as paid advertising. Printed, as well as digital advertisements, now cost a significant amount. Research where you would like your adverts to feature and the cost of doing so before allocating this budget. To truly get your event noticed, consider PPC or paid social ads. 


OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY

What can go wrong?

Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong when it comes to inadequate technology. Your whole event can be interrupted due to the sound system failing or visuals not playing at the correct times. Power cuts could also be a possibility if faulty equipment is used in the installation. Not only is there a possibility of technical failures but using old technology will also make your event appear outdated. 

How to avoid it?

Invest in a reputable production company to advise on the correct amount of AV needed for your event. With a professional team on hand, you can be assured that any problems will be dealt with before they arise. They will also be able to design bespoke sets to be in line with your branding to impress your guests.  


For some assistance planning your next flawless event, get in touch with the sales team

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