After 35 years of event management and working with some of the highest hospitality brands in the world, I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do. In this short article, I’m going to share with you the top 10 mistakes that I see most event planners make, my goal is to help you avoid making some of these same mistakes that could cost you a lot of money. Let’s get to it.
1- Mistake number one, is a failure to identify the event objectives. This is a very common mistake so be sure to know 100% what your management or your client expects from this meeting, list your three top objectives, examples would include: education, recruiting, customer retention, awards presentations, new product rollout, executive installation, etc.
2- Two, is the failure to budget properly. Many planners make this mistake by overlooking some very costly items, specifically consider speakers, travel expenses and entertainment, backstage demands, audiovisual requirements, power fire permits, internet costs, program handouts, shipping charges, union overtime, decorations, security and afternoon break refreshments don’t overlook these costs.
3- Three, is the failure to select the right facility. This mistake can destroy even the best event. Things to consider when planning your event are: location, location, location, take into consideration the following items, the locality of your attendees, the proximity of the event to the airport, easy access to freeways and other major thoroughfares, and very important traffic patterns, meeting room location, meaning room size, and parking availability, and fees, will also affect your attendance.
4- Four, is the failure to hire the right speaker or entertainer. Every planner’s worst nightmare is to have an event flop. To avoid this be sure to use a reputable skilled speaker or entertainer whom you’ve personally seen, or whose references you’ve thoroughly checked. And a bonus tip, be sure you carefully read their entire agreement before signing.
5- Five, is a failure to identify and secure a solid prospect list in advance. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen events fail because of this one factor, secure your entire prospect list or a marketing partner commitments in writing before securing your date, be sure your list has all names, titles, mailing addresses, email addresses, social media contacts, phone numbers, etc. and if you’re using a marketing partner be very specific in writing about what they will send out, and when your attendees can’t register if you don’t reach them.
6- Six, is the failure to prepare a marketing plan. This definitely ranks in the top three with regards to the importance when planning an event, be sure to layout your marketing timelines, set goals and create marketing target dates, plan your contacts by social media, mail, email, telephone, etc. by a week this will ensure maximum contact in a timely manner and will drive your attendance.
7- Seven, is a failure to market the event properly. Once you’ve created your marketing plan stick to it. Once your event is booked it’s critical that all of your marketing contacts go out as planned, pre-plan your blog, posts your social media posts, email, messaging, etc. that way your messaging stays on time, while you handle the hundreds of other details associated with your event, and remember use every, means available to reach your attendees. One method alone does not reach everyone because of all the different generations in today’s marketplace.
8- Eight, is a failure to secure strong contracts. Here’s where you can really run into trouble, do not promote your event without legible signed contracts for every aspect of your event, including your speakers, the facility, as well as all other contractors.
9- Nine, is the failure to create the right environment. With the hundreds of details you plan for every event, don’t overlook your meeting environment, lighting, seating, room temperature, music, decorations, signage, audiovisuals and the location of the restrooms are all key factors, get in writing which room you’re getting at a hotel or conference center or you will be the meeting stuck in the most inconvenient location, two miles from your sleeping rooms with the pillars and in the basement.
If you are planning any type of event, you can always reach to the MTC Global team for a free consultation.
Good luck with your event.