Planning as well as organizing an event is a difficult task and any professional event organizer will instantly admit this. There are thousands of jobs to do, hundreds of calls to make, tens of things to manage and several guests to please. If you deviate a bit from the ideal performance related to any of the tasks stated above, you may end up ruining the whole event and end up with a notorious reputation, annoyed audiences, drained capital, alienated speakers or a loss of credibility!
Event organizers know these risks quite well yet they end up making mistakes quite often. But what are the most common mistakes they end up making and how to tackle them? Here we have listed down some mistakes event organizers make which often lead to disaster.
1. Not Understanding The Importance Of Teamwork
Event organizing involves several plans like those related to audience management, financial management, operations, event promotion, etc. to work together in synchronization. Human beings are smart but not smart enough to handle all these processes all together individually.
One of the common mistake event organizers make is doing everything on their own and not relying on their teammates. The more workload you handle, the more mistakes you tend to make. But, this simple theory is often ignored by event planners and organizers.
Refraining from the trait of being overconfident can certainly help you. Having a responsible team on which you can rely will be a better option than doing everything on your own. Assign specific tasks to everyone and make them in-charge. Monitor their work if necessary but don’t try to take up too much workload.
2. Underestimating The Magnitude And Size Of The Event
Now every event organizer wants a large audience but with bigger crowds come bigger responsibilities! Now what problems usually occur? Either your event space won’t be sufficient to handle such magnitude or you won’t be able to encourage everyone’s participation. It will become a gruesome task to handle and manage such big crowds.
Moreover, either of the above happenings will leave a major blow to your event as well as your reputation. It will become a gruesome task to handle and manage.
Do the Math! Keep a track record of the number of invitations you have sent and the probability of the maximum number of people who can show up for your event. Learn from the mistakes of others by researching about similar events which had to endure such mishaps. Estimate the popularity of your speakers and research how many people attended their events.
3. Organizing Multiple Events And Competing With Yourself
Organizing events is fun as well as a strenuous task but the more you overdo a thing, the fun part slowly starts to diminish while the strenuous part proliferates. Organizers make a very common mistake of having back-to-back events or too many a year. Not all organizers understand this, but this increases competition with not only other organizers but also with themselves.
Several events require several resources and not all your resources need to be available in the desired quantity all the time. You fall short of one resource and your event might end up as a disaster. Well, competing for resources is only one part of the whole picture as you will also be competing for participants, speakers, audiences, press, venues, and advertising.
Just don’t overdo it. Set dates in your calendar for all your events and related important meetings and share them with your teammates and organization. If you can, make bookings in advance to beat the competition. Don’t run after quantity but quality. People prefer events which are well organized and those which carry substance unlike those which just waste their time and lack substance. In case you have big events scheduled, make sure to leave plenty of space around them in your calendar so you can focus entirely on one big event at once.
4. Over-reliance On Celebrities
Celebrities do empower the worth of your event. But if celebrities attend your event, the number of tasks, responsibilities and tension will be more. Over-reliance on celebrities often costs organizers a fortune. This is largely due to their complete ignorance towards the fact that big headlining names can over-populate your venue and energize your audience which would become difficult to manage. Celebrities can harm your event in the following ways:
1. Celebrity Speakers Are Costly
They can drain your budget exponentially and you might ignore investing in other essential aspects of your event. Thus, your entire event will be centralized around the celebrity while the purpose of your event gets overshadowed. Overspending on celebrities is one of the major mistakes event organizers make.
2. Celebrities Are Difficult To Approach
Celebrities and star speakers are difficult to reach out to. Reaching out to them will also cost you your valuable time and money. In case they don’t show up, which often happens, it can make your crowd angry or sometimes even drive them berserk.
Invite celebrities who are in some way related to the purpose of your event. Try to measure the magnitude of their interest in your event. Approach stars, through there and your close contacts, so that you don’t have to waste your time and money. Spend your money carefully and before you start the flow of your bills, make sure to pack your program with lesser-known but good speakers first. Estimate the popularity of your celebrity speaker or guest and research their indulgence in past events especially based on their reputation and profession.
5. Underestimating The Power Of Social Media
Social media is the best way to connect. Well, not everyone understands that even in this decade. You can go faster, connect faster, reach more people and organize your event better through social media. But, organizers often rely on outdated methods of managing events. The world has changed and it is on social media and event organizers must realize this as soon as possible. Reaching out personally is good but it also requires manual efforts, your valuable time and money. On the other hand, your social media presence can help you connect with your desired audience faster and more efficiently.
First things first, create your social media presence and take your event there. Take help from your relatives and friends to spread the word. Research and target your audience and desired guests by contacting them through social media. Provide necessary information and the specialties related to your event through social media.
Miscommunication is another mistake event organizers make and just this one trait leads to serious disasters. Now the communication setback can be among the teammates of the organization, between the organization and the audience, between the organization and the participants and so on.
Any kind of miscommunication can lead to a complete disaster. Event organizers often fall short of resources just because of the communication gap in events. Most necessary things are left behind even till the end.
A suitable example would be – an event organizer changed the venue to the neighboring hall a week before but the social media head is still putting up posts about the event being held on the previously scheduled venue. Now what might happen? While the organizer reaches the new venue, a large portion of his audience might go to the previous venue. The climax will be terrifying.
Keep careless people out of your organization. Make sure, your teammates have the habit to discuss and listen before they take a step. When you go for an amendment in any kind of plan, make sure it is implemented in all aspects. Highlight all major amendments and requirements to all the members of your team and keep updating on all social media platforms. If necessary and if you can, try communicating any sort of changes in the events to your audience and guests through personal texts or otherwise.
7. Incorrect Use Of Social Media Platforms
Events on social media are a trend. Another very trivial mistake event organizers make, is going all-in through social media. They overuse social media without any strategies or tactics to give information about their event. They over-advertise on social media platforms by continuous posting and updating stories which often irritates their audience.
Moreover, they often advertise on platforms which do not convey their message to the appropriate audience. Like putting up details related to a ‘Marathon Event’ on Linkedin won’t help you much. But, putting up details related to that event on Facebook might. Facebook is made for such events while Linkedin is best suited for conferences or professional training events.
Make wise use of social media platforms. You must know that a marathon kind of event or typically an entertainment event must be advertised on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Events like conferences or training must be advertised on Linkedin or Twitter. Make definite strategies according to your event first and then according to your platform. Updating visually unattractive posts on Instagram or spamming the feed of your audience featuring your event on Facebook may backfire.
8. Shunning Delicate Details
Event organizers often get so occupied with bigger tasks that they forget to pay attention to the minute but delicate details. These details may be choosing random dates for the event, not targeting the proper audience, ventilation in the hall, etcetera. These things are quite minute and are often missed but remember, your audience will pay enough attention to these minute details which will in turn spoil your reputation.
Keep monitoring small details. Inspect your venue properly. Make a checklist and a to-do list to keep a check on minute details. Research on similar events and what problems they faced. Go through the track record of your venue regarding hosting your kind of events. See if any problem had persisted before. Make sure that your marketing team targets the correct audience and select dates which suit your event as well as the audience.
9. Ignoring ‘Murphy’s Law’
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong! Well, that’s what Murphy’s Law states. Ignoring Murphy’s Law is one serious mistake event organizers make. It’s a natural habit, we prefer to avoid mishaps, whose probability of occurrence is low. But adopting such behavior in professional life can lead to serious consequences, especially when you are managing an event.
Often due to workload, event and conference organizers overlook making backup plans or considering alternative options. Event managers often ignore problems whose occurrence is of relatively lower probability. But if a mishap occurs by any chance, you may land yourself into some serious problems.
It is highly advisable to make a list of what can go wrong related to your event. And besides those ‘wrongs’ you can list an alternative solution or a backup plan. Understandably, this task may require efforts and time. But it is better to be prepared for all kinds of hurdles because organizing an event is a big deal in itself.
10. Not Doing A Follow-up
Many event organizers think that their job ends with the event. Post-event management is one segment which is often neglected. Follow up must be done to measure attendees’ satisfaction, create a stronger connection with guests and create new opportunities. You must also analyze what could have gone wrong during the event. Event managers often don’t feel the need to analyze how the event could have been better. One must understand, the better the event is, the better is the reputation. You earn more respect not only in front of your audience but also your guests and speakers.
Be committed to your work. Understand that the analysis of results is important. There is always room for improvement and to fill that room a follow up is always necessary. Always take feedback from the people who attended your event and make sure they were satisfied. Ask about minute inconvenience too if they faced any and try to work on them.
If you are an event organizer then this might have helped you and if you have personal experiences to share, some mistakes apart from what we mentioned then do mention in the comment section below.
Hoarder. Overthinker. Dreamer. Mostly Writer. Lover of little things and coffee. Always wants to have the last word and wants to be chosen first. Might find her dancing or speaking to herself on the driveway.