8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Next Event
Running an event is a stressful experience. The success of months of planning often comes down to fine details on the day. Whilst you can never foresee every eventuality, there are lots of common mistakes you can avoid to ensure you minimise the risk of letting a small detail ruin months of hard work.
1. Not allowing enough setup time
There is often a race against time when it comes to setting up an event. If you’re renting an event space, the likelihood is it has been in use the day before for a different event. You should estimate how much time you will need to set everything up and factor this into your planning when you hire your venue.
2. Not checking the weather
Always check the weather forecast in the days leading up to your event, especially if you’re hosting an outdoor event in the spring or summertime. If it rains, do you have covering or umbrellas available for guests? If it’s extremely hot, do you have water available and shade for people to cool down? Ensure you plan for every weather scenario.
3. Not performing an event risk assessment
If something can go wrong, the chances are it will! Perform an event risk assessment as early in the planning process as possible to ensure you’ve planned for worst case scenarios for all eventualities. Whilst it’s never easy to deal with mistakes, it’s a lot easier if you have considered solutions before it has happened, as opposed to dealing with it on the fly.
4. Not allocating enough staff to check-in desks
Lines can build up very quickly – even at small events – and if guests have already been travelling for a while to get to your event it’s an added frustration they don’t need. Make sure you have enough staff at your check-in desk to avoid this happening. Overload staff at the start of the day when there will be a rush of visitors and ensure everyone has a job allocated, whether it’s ticking off names from a list, handing out badges, or checking tickets, to speed up the process.
5. Not providing a cloakroom
Providing a cloakroom is especially important during colder months. No one wants to have to lug their coat around a conference or all day event for hours on end. Provide a cloakroom facility for attendees to store coats and baggage, and be sure to use an organised ticketing system to allow for easy retrieval of items at the end of the day.
6. Not promoting social sharing
This doesn’t mean just setup a hashtag and then leave it. It means you need to ensure you’re providing people with the right forum for discussing the event socially; if you’re setting up a hashtag then use it through your own social profiles and provide event technology such as tweet walls to encourage sharing and discussion.
7. Not supplying enough food or drink
Food and drink are a key part of any event. If people leave your event hungry, this is one of the major things they’ll remember! If you’re providing a buffet, canapés or nibbles, then make sure there are enough to go around and the food is being spread evenly among attendees.
8. Not following up after the event
If you don’t send a follow up message after your event, then you’re missing a trick. This is the point when you’re audience will be at their most engaged with you and your brand and when your emails will get the highest open and click through rates. Use it as an opportunity to thank your attendees, and remind them or future events or opportunities for them to engage with your brand.