The top five event planner errors and how to avoid them

Events seem to play an increasingly important role in our day to day lives, and we do seem to enjoy them. Parties, festivals, parades, celebrations, any excuse for a get-together and each with the opportunity of being the event that everyone talks about and remembers, hopefully for all the right reasons.

According to Chris Powell, Director of The Event Expert, organising an event may appear easy, but in many instances the reality can be as far removed from simplicity as a knockout round of Mastermind. Veteran event organisers are painfully aware, through bitter experience, that there are times when an event can be so time and energy consuming that you end up just wanting it to be over before it has even begun.

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So why the hassle? Why the anxiety? What is it that makes event-planning so stressful? Powell believes that planning an event from concept to reality is a little akin to directing a stage production but without the safety net of a dress rehearsal. With so many potential pitfalls along the way, here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid.

No 1 – Not doing your homework!

There is often a disparity between ideas and reality. The idea for an event may be incredible but without an enthusiastic, amenable and sizeable audience you have no event. Creating an event that people want to attend requires a fair degree of research, particularly if the event requires significant investment. Event content must be meaningful, relevant and unique, so identify a requirement and then fulfil it.

No 2 – Getting carried away

Designing an event which tries to be all things to all people is a recipe for disaster. You will never please all of the people all of the time. Define and stick to your objectives.

No 3 – Failure to plan

Every hour you spend working on your event is an hour well spent. Success is all in the planning and a comprehensive project plan with actions and timetable will keep you on track. Powell suggests injecting what he calls ‘continuous urgency’ into any plan to make sure deadlines are met.

No 4 – The wrong venue

The right venue is paramount to a successful event and finding it should be high on the agenda once your event is confirmed and scheduled. Leave it late and you will struggle to make your event fit the venue rather than the other way round.

No 5 – Programme malfunction

The main reason someone will participate in an event is for its programme. Time is precious so unless an event is relevant and interesting it will not attract the audience you had hoped for. A good programme leaves an audience wanting more, whilst also having met or exceeded their expectations.

So to summarise….

From conception to delivery and everywhere in between, meticulous planning should result in an event you can be proud of, that delivers on its promises, fulfils its objectives and leaves your audience satisfied that their participation was time well spent. The personal rewards too are manifold, from a huge sense of achievement to the confidence to make your next event even bigger and better.

Posted by Julie Tucker

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