Tuesday, 11 August 2015

FIVE MISTAKES EVENT PLANNERS SHOULD AVOID IN ORDER TO SUCCEED

There are several mistakes that planners overlook. Whether you have experience or you are just finding your footing in event planning, there are crucial things to look out for. If you look out for these, your events will run a whole lot smoother and planning can become more of a joy.

Incomprehensive marketing plans and execution
If you don’t market your event well, people simply will not attend. Often, planners fail to have a comprehensive step by step process which they will follow. There are three simple things you can do to solidify your plan. First of all, have a solid timeline layout for your marketing. Ensure you stick to the timeline at all costs. Secondly, set objectives that align with your marketing target dates. Be ambitious, but realistic in your goal setting.

Sometimes event planners are over-ambitious and get disappointed when the turn out or response isn’t as good as they had hoped. The third step is to segregate your contacts by e-mail, telephone, social media and other means. Concentrate on a single group at a time, then move on to the next. It gets chaotic and ineffective if you are sending e-mails and making phone calls simultaneously. As you segment your contacts, create a priority list and ensure that you contact the most important people first. Once you have a marketing plan, stick to it. Have a set approach for all marketing material for both printed and online platforms. Use more than one marketing method in order to reach more people. One method alone is ineffective.

Picking the wrong location and failure to generate the right atmosphere
This issue cannot be stressed enough. There are times when event planners select a very good facility in a very bad location. One of the most frustrating things for an event attendee is not being able to find the venue or taking light-years to get there. There are a few considerations to make when selecting an appropriate venue. Know the general locations of your attendees. Consider the proximity to airports, bus stops and so on. One very important consideration to make is traffic patterns, especially if your event is taking place in Lagos. Some places have traffic only at certain times while others are always a nightmare. Parking space can also affect the attendance of your event. If you can reserve parking lot for your attendees or you can get the parking fees reduced, go the extra mile to get that done. Once your guests have arrived, they need the right ambience. Ensure that the lighting, seating, temperature, decorations and visuals are all conducive for the comfort of your guests and they align with the objective of the event.

Budgeting considerations
Planners overlook crucial costly items. Little things when added up can cost a hefty amount. You have to make financial reservations for special guest or speaker travel, entertainer’s backstage demands, facilitator overtime and refreshments. Other things that are often overlooked are extra audio and visual requirements and decoration costs. Every little detail is important and cannot be ignored or left until the last minute.

Not securing the required audio and visual equipment
Imagine running around a few hours before the event trying to secure four more microphones which were not planned for, or even worse asking four of your entertainers to use one mic because of poor planning. Ensure you have all the visual and audio equipment that you need for the entire event. To do this, communicate with everyone involved in any production and entertainment, document all their needs and double check that you have it right. After that, make sure you give them feedback on the stage and venue set up. Discuss and agree on a compromise on certain requirements if there is a need. Most importantly, have a rehearsal well before the actual day of the event so that if there are any changes in requirements they can be catered for well on time. Have a final run through rehearsal a few hours before the event, just to be sure that everything is on track.

Failing to secure strong agreements
All agreements with vendors, facilitators, entertainers or any other service providers should be written and signed. Failure to do this could lead to your event falling apart. You risk having to bear with services you did not sign up for. Do not make any promotions for your event before securing legible contracts with everyone you will work with. Make sure every party understands, agrees with and accepts the terms and conditions of the contracts. If you negotiate on certain aspects of the contract such as payment terms, ensure that there is a written note of the agreed negotiations so that there are no alterations in the future. If you keep the above in mind, you will surely save yourself a huge headache when planning your future events.