The event planning industry is set to grow by 44% by the time we get to 2020. With this kind of growth, more people than ever are claiming they are qualified to help you plan your next big event.
The problem is, there are many pitfalls that only experienced event planners know about. Although sometimes even the most experienced planners make mistakes.
Avoid these eight mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully planning your events.
1. Failure to Communicate
If you don’t have an open line of communication with your client, then they don’t know what’s going on. This can lead to false expectations and disappointment on the big day.
The best thing to do is to be direct. Be upfront and direct about the difficult topics such as the budget or unattainable goals.
It is better to be upfront and establish a level of trust with your client. Otherwise, you risk developing a bad reputation for not being able to deliver.
2. No Backup Plan
You always need a plan B because Murphy’s Law is real and affects us all. Your backup plan is what will save you when something doesn’t go exactly as you planned.
When you have a backup plan, you’ll have less stress knowing that anything can come your way and you’ve got it covered. Think of it as investing some time and effort up front to save yourself a lot of headaches later.
Combine this mistake with the previous one. Communicate with your clients about any possible hinderances to their event. Then talk about your plan to overcome them should they arise.
3. Try to Do It All
While it’s your business and you know what you’re doing, you cannot do it all yourself. Trying to do it all will set yourself up to fail by forgetting something. Or there may come a time when you physically can’t keep up.
Prevent burnout and dropped tasks by accepting help when offered. Think of yourself as the captain of the party ship. Delegate and coordinate to your team.
4. Underestimating Setup Time
It can take a long time to get all of the decorations, food, bar, and furniture set up. When you underestimate the time it takes to set up, then you end up having guests arrive while workers are still running around. That’s embarrassing.
To prevent this from happening, pad your set up time by fifteen minutes. That way everything is set up and ready to go before the first guest steps through the door.
Plus this uses tip number two of having a backup plan. If something goes wrong, you have a fifteen-minute window to fix it.
5. Not Confirming with Your Vendors
We’re sure you only work with the best vendors, but that doesn’t mean mistakes don’t happen. Just like you, your vendors have a lot of clients to juggle.
Don’t assume that they have it covered. You risk them misunderstanding what you want or letting something slip through the cracks.
Instead, follow up in writing after your initial verbal contact. Outline all of your expectations.
Then follow up with your vendors at least 48 hours before the event. Confirm with them what your order is for. Follow up this confirmation in writing.
6. Forgetting to Promote Effectively
If your event is public, you need to put forth an effort to promote your event. If you plan an event but don’t promote it, you set yourself up to have no one show up.
You could spend money on traditional marketing, but now you are cutting into the event budget. This is good money that you could use to make your event more awesome.
But you still need to promote, so why not use the power of social media. Engage the stakeholders of the event and have them help you promote the event through social media.
Seek out and have influencers aid in spreading the word. Create official event pages that make it easy for people to get and share information.
Then during the event create areas for social sharing. This encourages people to spread the word about your event during the event. That way you have a strong build for next year.
7. Not Doing a Walkthrough
Printed documents only do so much for giving your client a realistic impression of what the event will be like. People are visual creatures, so a printed spreadsheet isn’t helpful in allowing the client to “experience” the event.
Instead, walk through the timeline of the event in the event location before the big day. Do this with the client and discuss in detail each moment. That way clients have an accurate view of the whole affair.
8. No Packing and to Do Lists
Lists are your friends. There are a lot of small details when it comes to event planning; having lists will help you stay focused and organized. One of the lists you need is a vendor list.
This will be your one resource where you list all of the contact information of every vendor hired for the event.
You need a timeline that breaks down what needs to be done in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to the party.
Then you need a packing list for the day of the event. This list includes everything you need to pack and bring with you.
Before the event, you can sit down calmly and work through all of the items you need to bring. The day of the event you’ll be distracted with preparations. So take a load off your mind and have a packing list prepared.
Be a Pro at Event Planning
By avoiding these eight mistakes, you too can be a pro at event planning. Focus on direct and clear communication. Then make sure that you are prepared and proactive in your preparations.
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