Event planning is only as good as the outcome. This is why event planners analyze all possible scenarios – good or bad, and then prepare for them with contingency plans in place. All it takes is one mistake for everything to go down the drain, after all.
With your reputation as a planner at risk of being jeopardized with the smallest of mistakes, it is important to know more about the most common mistakes in event planning and the best, most effective solutions to avoid them.
How to Avoid Common Bad Event Planning Habits
Allocate the right resources with the right skills
One of the biggest mistakes in event planning is improper event staffing. Imagine what can happen when the wrong people are managing the event or those with the wrong skills. Obviously, you don’t want to assign a caterer as a venue coordinator, but it is so easy to overlook a bit of inadequacy just to get everything moving. Don’t. You’re setting yourself up for disaster.
So make sure to assign the right people to the right job and keep an eye on the workload to ensure that resources are allocated and used properly. Carry out a skills assessment every time. Extend the same critical eye to vendors, outsourcers, and contractors.
Keep track of all the changes to the event
Regardless of how small the changes are, make sure to monitor them thoroughly. Failure to do so can mean changes in the timeline or the budget, which can have a domino effect. A change in flowers, for example, can mean major alterations to the theme or color of the tablecloth.
Follow a formal change tracking process so that everyone participating in the event planning is on the same page and every change that is made to the scope of the event will be documented, communicated, and kept under control.
Carry out an event risk assessment
It’s imperative for a good event planner to do their best to foresee any things that can possibly go wrong. Nothing is ever perfect, but you can make that happen by preparing for any eventuality. The surprise should be kept on the clients and guests and not on you.
This is why an event risk assessment must be performed during the early part of the event planning process. Brainstorm with your team and come up with things and situations that may derail the event and find ways to mitigate those risks. If weather may be a problem, for instance, book an event venue as a backup for if it rains and the outdoor party needs to be moved indoors.
Always hire experienced event managers
Experienced event managers are those who not only control what happens during the event planning process but also power through any problems that will come along the way. They must be capable of making the right decisions as well.
So hire event managers with certifications, the experience to handle the event you’re planning, and the skills to manage risks and handle clients the best way possible. They must contribute to an efficient planning process, not become a liability.
Create a well-defined event plan that everyone agrees on
Lack of an agreed-upon plan is one of the worst things event planners do, resulting in plans falling through and problems popping up at the last minute. This is why it is important to create a plan that is well-defined and agreed upon by everyone involved. This will serve as the baseline of repeatable processes that will guide in plan execution, create awareness, and ensure proper scheduling, scope, and resource allocation.