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June 3, 2011  •  by Jane Carter

Planning Your Event: 13 Mistakes to Avoid

    Events hosting is increasingly becoming a necessary and vital part of business.  It’s a great way to promote your service or good and can lead to customer interest and, more importantly, brand loyalty if done successfully.  To ensure such a successful event, it is important to gather as much information as possible and familiarize yourself with many of the common mistakes people make in planning their events.  To help you on your way to event planning perfection, here’s 13 mistakes to avoid when planning you event: 1. Short Marketing Cycle– Be sure to give yourself enough time to properly promote your event.  A general rule of thumb is at least 90-120 days for a medium-sized event with about 70-80 people. 2. Competing with Yourself– It is great to have lots of events on tap, but too many events too close together create competing events and confuse customers.  3. Not Delivering on Your Promises– Whatever your event promises, keep those promises.  Creating checklists can help you keep track of what you need to deliver on, which helps the credibility of yourself and your business. 4. Overpaying– Minimizing costs wherever you can goes a long way.  Keep your staffing to a minimum and be aware of the hours and costs associated with hired help to avoid any expensive surprises.  Negotiating ahead of time is great way to set a price and stick to it.

5. Losing Control of the Room– This is less of an issue for a party, but for most other types of events, maintaining control of your audience and guests is crucial to staying on task and on schedule.  Holding questions till after the event often helps to establish control and keep things running smoothly. 6. Not Running on Schedule–  Falling behind on time can ruin an event.  Start at the scheduled time, take prompt breaks, and end when you said you would.  If you do fall behind, kindly ask if your guests mind staying a little later to finish the material, otherwise, you may simply have to end early. 7. Poor Scheduling– Even the best set schedules can fall apart, but setting a poor schedule is a sure fire way to upset guests and waste your event.  Consider carefully when to schedule which speaker or topic and try to anticipate which ones you expect to be most popular. 8. Being Cheap– Overpaying is bad but being overly stingy can be even worse.  Your customers paid money for the event so make sure they get what they expect like free refreshments, etc.

9. Hiring the Wrong Coordinator– If you do use an event coordinator, make sure they are knowledgeable of the event and of your goals for the event.  Coordinator’s often specialize so try to find one who specializes in what you’re trying to do. 10. Close your Office– While closing your office may seem like a good way to emphasize and focus on your event, there is really no good reason to.  You are only losing money and excluding people not at your event. 11. Miscalculating– The biggest way to avoid miscalculation is being realistic.  If you expect 500 people to attend, don’t plan for 1,000; simple as that. 12. Mismanaging your Event– A lot of things go into managing an event but the key way to be successful is to be prepared.  Be ready to keep people on schedule and manage traffic flows and have the necessary paperwork handy and readily available. 13. Not Selling Enough– Many promoters are afraid to really sell their product or service at their own event.  While your goal is to educate the attendees, it is possible to give valuable information AND sell your business.  Don’t suffocate your guests but certainly let them know what you do and offer. Obviously this is a lot to remember and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when planning your event.  Know that mistakes will happen so be open to them and expect them.  Learn from your successes and failures and, more than anything, have fun and enjoy your event!]]]]> ]]>