8 Event Planning Mistakes To Ditch Once and For All!
Losing your cool can happen anywhere, and when you keep making the same event planning mistakes it seems to happen all the time. Running damage control can get exhausting!
Just by the nature of event planning, there are a lot of things that can go wrong leading up to the event and on the big day. But don’t stress just yet—let’s shed some light on the major mistakes you need to stop making.
You may think your business is safe, but these blunders can sneak up on you if you’re not prepared to handle them. Combat these irritating mistakes by following our simple tips on how to beat any event planning blues!
1. Lack of Communication
Not having an open and honest conversation with your client can lead you down a dire path on the big event day…
We’ve mentioned this before, and it’s still one of the most important tips an event planner needs to know! By not clarifying even the smallest details, your interpretation can spell disaster for your clients’ vision.
Avoid guessing games and ask your client direct questions. If there are difficult conversations that need to be had, about expenses or the reality of their event vision, then just tell them! It’s always better to be honest about the situation than to have your reputation tarnished by a disappointed client! You know you’ll do your best, so establish this trust by telling your client what they need to expect.
2. Being Too Independent
We know it’s your business, and that means you get to do things your way. However, you shouldn’t deny assistance or advice when it might come in handy. It could save you time and money in the long run!
If you work alone, don’t get frazzled when a friend says, “You look like you need a hand”—they’re just trying to be helpful! You know you’re doing things right, but time restraints are a real pain. Especially when you’re just starting out. If you get a good piece of advice from a client or a vendor, be sure to write it down! Being independent is a good quality in a business owner, but you don’t want it hindering your business growth. Learn exactly what to avoid in order to succeed as an event planner!
3. Losing Contacts
A sage piece of advice for all events planners: stay in touch with your industry contacts!
Whether it’s vendors, clients, or other event planners, you may find yourself needing a favor or some expert advice in a new area. The best thing you can do for your business is keep your contacts’ information safe and accessible! We’re not expecting you to call every week just to say hello or to send out a hoard of holiday cards, but reach out to collaborate on events. Not only will this relieve some stress of planning, the success will come full-circle. Your contacts will want to return the favor—so you’re basically giving yourself more business in the future!
4. Spreading Yourself Too Thin
Being in demand is a great feeling—it shows that people trust your business and you’ve achieved success! But there is one major hazard of rising to the top: taking on too many events.
Turning down contracts for interesting events can be hard, for both you and your clients. You need to choose events wisely and commit to them. Putting less effort into more events sacrifices the quality of your event plans. And what will people think when you have to bail on an event because your plate is too full?
Stay organized and know how much time it takes for you to plan a full event. Scheduling is your best friend when it comes to meetings deadlines. Get yourself a fancy journal and calendar—it will make organizing a breeze!
5. No Plan B
Everything in life needs a Plan B—whether it’s education, a career, moving house, or even when your favorite restaurant is full! Having a second option relieves stress and makes coordinating the day of an event easier when things go awry. Yes, it can add a bit of time to your scheduling to create a fallback plan. But trust us: you don’t want to get caught in the rain with nowhere to go. And we mean that both literally and metaphorically…
Tell your clients the possible issues you foresee and how you’ll work to overcome them. Have this conversation when you start planning the event. This will stop any tensions from rising if plans need to change closer to the date!
6. Forgetting Guest Management
Events are for clients and guests. Well, mainly for guests. Every event needs to provide an enjoyable guest experience—so make sure your events do too! Think about what guests will want and need before, during, and after the event. An invitation in advance with the correct event schedule, what type of event it is, if there is catering, places to stay, etc. Guests need to know these details to come prepared.
Further, having a few volunteers or greeters at your event gives guests a place to find information. This will go above and beyond what guests are expecting, so add these extra comforts to make your event accessible!
7. Diving into the Deep-end
Signing your first few event planning contracts is super exciting! Your business is taking off and you are living your dream. Yet, you need to understand that experience plays a vital role in event planning!
Build your success by starting small. If you take on an event that is bigger and bolder than what you’re used to, you’ll end up overwhelmed and ultimately plan a poor event. Gradually work your way up to larger events, and assist a fellow planner on hosting big events to get the experience you need. There’s no shame in turning down a contract you think is too much. You want to be known for the quality of your events, no matter their size!
8. Ditching the Budget
There are times in life when upping the budget seems a lot easier than cutting down plans. Just remember, it’s not your budget that you’re messing around with…
Event planners set budgets with clients for a reason. Stick to them! If there are issues, discuss the budget with your client in an open way. For instance, if the meal they want catered is too expensive then offer them an alternative. Don’t just assume they’ll spend more! If they really want that meal, they’ll be the ones to suggest increasing the budget. Look over the event plans first and get a few quotes to see if the budget is reasonable. Having information prior to signing the contract shows clients a realistic event budget and leaves you with satisfied customers!
We’ll conclude with those famous Alanis Morissette lyrics, “You live, you learn” because when it comes to event planning, making mistakes is how you better your business. You learn what works for you and the type of events you excel at planning. Be honest about your abilities and you’ll find success along the way!