Running an event is a multi-disciplinary exercise and even the most experienced event planners can get caught off guard with a range of possible unforeseen circumstances. It helps to be prepared. Here is our list of 5 most common mistakes we see in our industry.
1) Not building redundancy or having a plan B
Are you expecting 50 guests at your party? Do not just prepare food for 50, prepare more. A few hungry guests going for seconds or gate crashers will cause a shortage. This goes for all aspects of the event. Things will go wrong and Murphy’s law will always prevail.
Brainstorm with your events team on what could possibly go wrong at your event. It always helps to build redundancy into your plan and have a backup plan for each possibility, even if it means extra cost.
2) Budget budget budget.
Wanting the best equipment, the best MCs and the best venue is great, if you have budgeted for it at the start. A big F1 party this year was called off at the 11th hour largely because the organisers wanted the very best equipment, DJs etc and went way over budget.
This can happen to any event, big or small. So always stick to the budget and keep track of any changes in costs as the planning progresses. Many small add-ons can snowball into a much bigger problem.
3) Keeping track of changes to the plan
Most events, especially larger ones with more elements, have a potential to evolve before the big day. Changes to the plan can lead to a runaway budget or an impossible timeline if not kept in check.
Make sure that every change, addition or cancellation is recorded, updated and communicated with the rest of the team. Do not assume that everything will fall in place. Documentation and communication is key here.
4) Delegation of work
If you are running an event on your own without an events team behind you it is important that you delegate work to your friends or colleagues and other stakeholders of the event. You are the event planner and you should do just that – plan the event. One of the biggest mistakes you can make on the big day is to start micromanaging and missing out on the big picture.
Do not start helping out at the registration table, do not start serving canapés, etc. Focus on stepping back and ensuring that all elements are in place instead.
5) Lack of experienced event managers
If you have never managed an event before and you are planning a big occasion, it might be a good idea to rope in some professional help. A good event manager can help identify a client’s needs, put together the most relevant entertainers, venue partners and decorations specialists etc, to deliver an exceptional event experience. Because of their close working relationship with these event stakeholders, they might even help you save money by getting the best deals. Best thing is they will run the event on the big day and you can kick back, relax and enjoy the show.
Story contributed by Gary, who is the founder of our official event and photography partner SGMedia.