Do you have “running an event” as a task on your to-do list? We don’t envy you. Managing events is challenging for both planning professionals and beginners.
Despite your expertise level, planning an event involves a high-degree of uncertainty. Apart from that, you must always consider a wide range (countless!) of logistic elements that, most of the time, aren’t under your control.
These two factors combined (uncertainty and complexity) will always cause you to make mistakes when planning an event.
Subsequently, these errors can lead to unwanted results, such as decreased attendance rate, negative ROI, lower attendee satisfaction, etc.
To help you reduce the uncertainty level that usually accompanies the planning logistics, we’ve put together a list of mistakes to be aware of when managing your next event.
Mistake #1. Not having a strategy for your event
Although you can plan an event just for the sake of it, you really should have a strategic vision in place. When you aren’t sure what your goals or desired results should be, you are far from aligning your actions with your brand’s or company’s objectives.
This leads to an unjustified waste of effort, time, and resources.
Planning events is costly. Aside from financial resources, you’ll also have to invest lots of time and teamwork.
You can avoid making this mistake by identifying your business goals and how the event will help you achieve those goals. Having this framework in mind, you’ll be able to deploy those actions that will bring you closer to your goals.
Mistake #2. Executing everything manually
Although we’re in 2019 and it seems like digitizing event logistics is a must, there are still lots of companies, brands, and teams managing the event manually, instead of purchasing event management software.
From building the event website and registering the attendees to ensuring the fee transfers and designing the badges, there’s no shortage of tasks that can be automatized, saving you time and money.
Mistake #3. Ignoring the data
- How many attendees registered?
- What’s the current revenue?
- How many networking sessions did your guests schedule?
- What is the response to your event promotion efforts?
One of the mistakes people make when planning an event is to ignore the incoming data, causing them to miss the opportunity to make quick decisions that are better aligned with their goals.
To avoid that, you may need a good event planning platform that provides you with an all-in-one dashboard which includes real-time information regarding the event logistics and attendees’ reactions.
Mistake #4. Putting together an intense agenda
One of the things that will definitely tire your attendees is an exhaustive event schedule. The more activities you include in your event agenda, the greater the chances they won’t enjoy the overall experience.
That’s why you may want to go the simple route and engage your audience in fewer activities, focusing on each dynamic’s quality and value.
This way, your attendees won’t feel overwhelmed by the intensity of the event program and will enjoy more their experience.
Mistake #5. Choosing unprofessional providers
Your event greatly depends on the performance and efficiency of your suppliers. Building long-term relationships with vendors you trust is crucial for your event’s success.
The challenge, however, is to understand which event suppliers will always deliver good results and which are not trustworthy.
To avoid working with unprofessional or unreliable providers, make sure you’re always evaluating their work to understand if they can generate the expected results and maintain a high level of professionalism.
Mistake #6. Disregarding people’s needs
Every attendee has a secret agenda. They’ll be attending your event, waiting to get something out of it, meaning they’ll be nurturing certain expectations.
However, when caught up in planning, you may run the risk of disregarding their needs and completely forgetting to align the event with their agenda. To keep that from happening, you’ll have to carefully evaluate what your event has to offer and work on delivering what’s expected from you.
Mistake #7. Not giving yourself enough time to plan the event
No matter your level of efficiency, planning an event is a huge endeavor. So scheduling a conference or a product launch for the next week will lead you to total chaos and despair. You don’t have enough time to plan it.
Always remember that you’ll need enough time to manage the logistics and ensure a powerful marketing campaign.
Mistake #8. Neglecting the networking dynamic
What are your thoughts about networking? Do you think it’s a natural process that unfolds during the coffee breaks? Or do you know how much work and design a successful networking dynamic really needs?
In most cases, your attendees will be dreading the networking session, regardless of how many ice-breaking games you prepare for them.
What could you do instead is to give them total control over the networking experience, and schedule meetings with those people who are of greater interest to them.
You can do that by deploying a B2B matchmaking system to register your guests’ interests and achieve higher compatibility between the offer and demand.
Mistake #9. Managing the event all alone
Unfortunately, there are still lots of people out there who are in charge of planning an event for more than 500 people all alone.
Most of the time, these events are at risk of lower results. It’s just that dealing with the logistics involve a multiple number of variables and elements, making it almost impossible to manage something all alone.
If you find yourself managing a large conference or seminar by yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Mistake #10. Promoting the event too late
Whether your intention is to increase brand awareness or attract new leads, promoting an event should be part of your long-term marketing strategy. You won’t be able to attract a large crowd if your company or business has no visibility or interacts poorly with its prospects.
Think about it: When you have a blog, but no readers, you can’t expect comments (except spam) or a lot of organic traffic.
The same thing happens when you’re trying to promote an event without being active on social media or having an audience that follows you and is aware of your brand or company.
First, you need to make sure that your marketing efforts are giving you results in terms of generating demand and gathering a strong audience. Then, worry about planning the event.
Mistake #11. Forgetting about your work/life balance
When planning an event, you have two options. The first option is to hate it, but work like crazy and burn out. The second one is to love it, but work like crazy and burn out.
Both approaches are erroneous.
Constant stress, uncertainty, and a mountain of various tasks we as event professionals have to deal with regularly may generate a series of unpleasant experiences.
Anxiety, restlessness, and even panic attacks are often the results of a faulty work-life balance. So make sure you protect yourself from burning out, take better care of your health, and restore your energy on a daily basis.
Considering its complexity, planning an event will always result in making a few mistakes. However, practice makes it better and helps you juggle with more elements in your mind, while skillfully navigating any uncertainties.