Event management and event production are highly complicated processes requiring no small number of specific skills to implement. All too often, groups and organisations assume they will be able to put on a successful event alone and sadly find themselves struggling in their final weeks – sometimes even having to cancel the events entirely. Even professional event organisers can be guilty of making fundamental errors, however, when lacking the skills and experience to know how to avoid them. Take a look at just five of the most common event management mistakes and how to avoid them in future – will you take the risk of letting one of these avoidable errors ruin your events?
Event management is an unusual combination of creativity and organisation – a diptych of skills that few possess together. Many who attempt to organise a blue-chip, public sector or not-for-profit event are naturally creative but lack the organisational nous to pull off the process successfully. Every aspect of the event needs to be planned to the letter: from organising equipment hire to arranging the seating, planning the schedule to booking guest speakers and hosts. Unless you have a naturally organised mind and the ability to juggle and track each different aspect without letting a single ball fall out of the air, the whole process can be a nightmare, and all too often, a lack of planning results in a shambolic event.
Fix it: Use spreadsheets to your advantage to track delegation of tasks and resulting outcomes, as well as flag any problems ahead of time. Set deadlines for everything that must be arranged, and keep the contact number of an event management specialist on hand to help you with any last minute problems.
Similarly, complacency can often scupper an otherwise well-planned event, with the adage ‘It’ll be all right on the night’ often a case of famous last words in the event management industry. A ‘maybe’ from a celebrity host is not the same as a yes, so always assume the worst and arrange for a contingency plan rather than expecting everything to run smoothly.
Fix it: It’s safer to assume that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, and simply prepare for the worst – you’ll be delighted when it doesn’t and have a plan ‘B’ ready to go if it does.
Even the smallest events require dozens of people to complete fairly complex tasks at very specific times, and should just one person fail to come through or misinterpret their duties then the whole event can be scuppered. Poor communication has been the downfall of many an event, with every individual from the lighting technicians to the on-stage talent to the coach drivers integral to the process. It’s crucial that you’re able to keep everyone in the loop from day one if your event is to be a success.
Fix it: Arrange weekly meetings or conference calls to discuss the different tasks on your spreadsheets. Use the deadlines set to guide these and track progress, and ensure everyone involved has a list of contact details (phone numbers and email addresses) for the entire group.
They say that you shouldn’t run before you can walk, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to event management. If you’re planning to lay on a lavish ceremony with light shows, sophisticated set design, audio-visual elements and numerous guest speakers, you’ll need the contacts, experience and know-how to pull it off successfully. Many people only discover that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew by the time it’s too late to do anything about it…
Fix it: Ensure you have a team to delegate tasks too, as well as an outside party who’ll be able to give you an honest reality check when they think you’re stretching yourself too thin. Again, knowing an event management company can help with any last minute hiccoughs with your grand plans.
Conversely, a lack of ambition can easily condemn your event to being unspectacular, unrewarding and unmemorable. First-time events organisers are often acutely aware of their lack of experience and thus try to compensate by making their events as simplistic as possible. Why bother going to all the trouble to create an underwhelming event when you could rely on the skills and expertise of others to make it all the more memorable?
Fix it: Sometimes, it’s best to think big and scale things back slowly in line with your budget. Try to delegate the task of looking after the little details to someone creative, who can manage small touches such as place settings or additional decorations that will help your event to be even more memorable.
The above are merely five of the most common event management mistakes made by amateur event organisers, but the complete list of errors is far longer and more exhaustive than even these. Why risk making any damaging blunders when you could leave the job with us instead? Our extensive event production experience will ensure that whatever you have planned goes off in fantastic style, so why not contact us today in order to find out more?