6 Big Event Planning Mistakes You Can Prevent Now

Learn how to prevent key mistakes in the event planning process.
Image © flickr.com/popculturegeek.

The product that event planners create is both delicate and fleeting. Events can be negatively impacted by a variety of circumstances, and once the damage is done it is usually impossible to “try again.” This is why planning requires such a devotion to details. One small mistake can set forth a chain reaction that is difficult to recover from. Listed below are 5 such mistakes, so be sure to add them to your checklist of preventable catastrophes.

Not allowing enough setup time 

There is always a race against time when setting up an event, but you should have an estimate of how much time you’ll need to get everything in place. Nothing looks worse than having a room full of workers running about when the first guest arrives. The goal should be to have everything set at least 15 minutes before the doors open.

Not scheduling a walkthrough with clients

Spreadsheets, emails, and banquet event orders are excellent tools for communicating the details of an event. However, relying solely on documents to paint a picture of the occasion can lead to oversights. The better strategy is to walkthrough the itinerary with your client onsite whenever possible. Discuss each moment and detail as if the event were happening in front of you.

Forgetting to confirm your vendors

Your average event vendor serves multiple clients across several different categories.

In short, this means they have a lot to remember. You always want to get a verbal or email confirmation from all vendors 48 hours before setup time. Email is typically better because you can spell out your expectations and ask them to reply in writing.

Overlooking competing events

If you’ve ever had a “noisy neighbor” then you already know how distracting these situations can be.

  Going up against other events in your venue can be a big challenge, which is why you should discuss this scenario in advance with venue management and your clients. Find out who will be sharing the same common areas and public resources with your party, and identify who has the authority to resolve noise issues if they become a problem.

Not having a contingency plan

What happens to your event in case of bad weather, or even the closure of your venue? These are not easy things to plan for, but they become impossible to manage on the day of the show. Plot out your contingency strategy at least 2 weeks in advance for good measure. Even if you plan to cancel the event you’ll still need an organized method for contacting all of your guests.

Not having enough help on event day

Labor costs are always an issue when trying to balance event budgets. That being said, falling short on helping hands can cause bigger problems than going over budget. You can’t expect to do everything yourself if you are the event planner.

Coordinating employees, vendors and details is enough to keep you occupied by itself. Don’t be afraid to spend a couple hundred dollars to hire additional workers because you won’t be able to once things get moving.

Not using a packing list.

Managing an off-site event typically requires an extensive list of supplies. Of course, you usually have several weeks to get all of these supplies in order, but they won’t do any good if they never make it to the venue. A packing list provides an instant refresher on the things you need loaded into the car. Sure, you’ll likely find pens and tape to borrow at the venue, but what happens if you forget your name tags or your laptop? Make a packing list and check it twice before you leave.

The good news is these event planning mistakes are all easily preventable. In fact, you could print out this article and post it to serve as a reminder of what not to do. Remember, prevention is always easier than recovery!

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