It’s been said that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Events are a risky business. Managers responsible for planning corporate events understand how an event can be such a major undertaking. They know that if they fail to plan, everything could quickly fall apart.
Event production companies know that managing the many moving parts of an event can be stressful. But while worst-case scenarios can (and do) occur, meticulous planning and preparation will prevent the possibility of an epic event disaster.
Whether it’s a networking event or a product activation, here are seven of the most common pitfalls of event management you should avoid to ensure your next event’s success.
Developing a comprehensive budget is crucial in avoiding an unmitigated disaster during the planning phase. Having a detailed budget will provide event managers insight into how resources should be allocated. A detailed budget will give event managers full visibility of all funds.
An event manager can then communicate where each resource will need to be used. This can include anything from ensuring there is enough event staffing and signage to covering on-site expenditures and event technology expenses.
Everything that can be done, from the planning phase to the execution and post-event evaluation, should be measured. Event managers should have key performance indicators (KPIs) for all of their events (even for a simple event, like a board or shareholders’ meeting).
KPIs are necessary to define event success. They will inform marketing and event performance. The key metrics to measure include:
Every event will be different. A combination of these KPIs can be used according to the event type and the event’s goals. The metrics measured during an event will carry over to the next event so further improvements can be made and higher milestones can be reached.
Attendees today are more selective of the events they choose to attend. Corporate event service providers must be able to leverage an event’s unique selling point (USP) to drive event engagement and attendance.
There are several strategies available to event managers to attract attendees to an event. One great way to deliver strategic value to attendees is to make use of new technology.
A mobile app, for example, can be tailored to individual attendees according to their needs. Features such as a networking opportunities, an interactive programme schedule, and a discussion forum can be made available through the app.
The use of new technology like a mobile app allows attendees to feel involved. This helps create a more engaged event community and leaves audiences satisfied.
Every event will require the use of vendors. Vendor management involves sourcing, securing, and coordinating the right people to provide products and services to be used for the event. Event managers should always take care to hire the highest-quality and most recommended providers.
It’s important to stay organized when dealing with numerous businesses. Get written confirmation of key details such as exact date and time, personnel, and collateral. To avoid any problems, email or call your vendors a few days before the event to see how things are progressing.
No matter how well-planned or well-managed an event is, there’s a good chance something will go wrong. An incident that occurs at the last minute can leave everyone unpleasantly surprised. More importantly, it could derail the event, sending everything into a tailspin.
Every event manager should always take Murphy’s Law into account. It is the idea that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong.
An event risk assessment should be performed by the event manager. The results of the risk assessment will inform a contingency plan that will allow the event management team to resolve even the most difficult situation.
Event management is not a one-person gig. Event managers must be able to delegate tasks to ensure success. Failing to effectively distribute crucial tasks can result in bottlenecks throughout the event planning process. This can result in huge problems during the lead-up to an event.
There are certain tasks that event managers can delegate so they can avoid doing everything on their own. Communicating with vendors, handling customer service, and seeing to post-event responsibilities are just some of the tasks event managers can entrust to someone else.
While the planning phase of an event takes the lion’s share of responsibilities, post-event evaluations are just as important. Event evaluations are key to understanding the performance of your event.
The data collected from post-event evaluations will inform the aforementioned measurable goals.
At the end of the event, be proactive. Thank the attendees and ask for their feedback. Take this time to provide relevant content as well as inform attendees of future events. This creates opportunities to nurture leads generate interest for upcoming events.
Similarly, don’t forget to communicate with the vendors post-event. Acknowledge their hard work and thank them for their efforts. This will foster a solid relationship with the vendors and encourage partnerships for future events.
Event management is a continual learning experience, and mistakes will inevitably happen. However, with a little strategic planning, these mistakes can be avoided.
A well-defined event management plan will ensure small sparks are extinguished long before they become a fiery inferno. Knowing how to recognize potential pitfalls removes the risk of an unmitigated disaster from happening.