May 10, 2017
What separates a great event organiser from a mediocre – or just plain bad – one? To do this job well requires a special mix of organisation and communication skills, creativity and a cool head. Planning any event is a complex task and it’s true that it’s easy for things to go wrong. There are […]
What separates a great event organiser from a mediocre – or just plain bad – one? To do this job well requires a special mix of organisation and communication skills, creativity and a cool head.
Planning any event is a complex task and it’s true that it’s easy for things to go wrong. There are just so many balls to juggle. So, how do some event planners manage to keep them all in the air, while others find they come crashing down?
Or perhaps you’re wondering why your events are simply failing to reach their full potential? Read on and discover five habits that unsuccessful event planners are often guilty of…
1) They take on too many responsibilities
You only have one pair of hands, so be sure to spread the workload. And although it’s tempting to micro manage to ensure everything is ‘just right’, the key to effective event planning is delegation and trusting your staff to get the job done. A good event manager can skill-match their team members to each responsibility – and also recognise when it’s necessary to bring in outside expertise.
By organising regular planning meetings you can make sure everything is on track and everyone is on the same page.
2) They don’t have a Plan B
If things can go wrong, it’s Sod’s Law that they probably will. It is absolutely essential to plan for all possible scenarios that could derail your event. You should perform an event risk assessment early in the planning stages, including a full health and safety report, transportation plan (including contingency for disruption) and, if any portion of your event is outside, alternative locations in case of wet weather. In the event you have to cancel all together, what method will you use to contact all of your attendees?
It’s also worth thinking about things that could cause your budget to overrun and figure out ways to mitigate those risks.
3) They don’t make use of the latest planning tools
Technology is there to help you do your job more efficiently – save you time, money and effort. Don’t be afraid of it. While your trusty old notebook and wall planner might have served you well in the past, by going digital you can easily share your event masterplan and budget with the team, allow them to edit and amend and enable everyone to keep track of any changes.
Event registration and ticketing has also come a long way – don’t make attendees think you’re operating in the dark ages by asking them to fax or scan a registration document.
Make use of social media tools to help promote your event, and keep tabs on your sales 24/7 via your event dashboard and downloadable reports. This will cut down on your workload and free you up to concentrate on other aspects of the event planning process.
4) They cut costs where they shouldn’t
A good event manager has to make sure their production comes in on budget, however, it’s crucial to understand where money can be saved and those areas that should not be scrimped on. Cutting back on catering, for example, could leave your guests hungry, thirsty, tired, and less likely to feel energised for the event.
Likewise, make sure you have adequate staffing on the day. While labour costs are always an issue, falling short on helping hands can cause bigger problems than going over budget.
5) They lack creativity
While a large part of creating a successful event is the planning, organisation and management, it should not come at the expense of creativity. A perfectly managed but uninspiring conference is unlikely to have delegates raving to their friends or colleagues. So, what can you do that’s a little different? That will engage attendees? That will better communicate the event’s messages?
Use new and novel technology to help your event really stand out, and creative social media campaigns to interact with your audience.
Most importantly, make sure your event is more than a purely ‘top-down’ experience – great events are something that happen when organisers, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees all unite over a common cause.
From cost overruns and time delays, to poor sales and customer dissatisfaction, you can avoid the pitfalls that plague so many events. By addressing the behaviours listed in this post you will prevent problems and achieve the recognition your hard work deserves.