Planners today have to be on top of every detail to ensure an event is flawless. However, any event planner can tell you, that in reality, that’s no easy task.
While you think you may have your event all wrapped up, and are marching towards completion, you may need to be more prepared for a number of things that could possibly go wrong when planning an event. Here are just a few things that planners commonly forget to consider.
You Lose the Venue
Contracting a venue can be a chore within itself. Many times just ensuring that you have the right dates and right space feels like it should be enough. However, in some cases, you might find yourself in a race to the finish line, with other organizations’ at your heels. At times, a venue could offer space to two organizations, sometimes issuing contracts to both. In some rare cases, you can find yourself answering a call of someone alerting you that your signed contract is invalid due to another organization’s booking.
To prevent the convoluted outcome, it is best to be clear in understanding any conflicts ahead of time. Find out from the venue the booking process, and about all other interested parties. Communicate your position to those you need to, to ensure that all parties are aware of the expectations, or you can find yourself having to explain to a client why the perfect location for their event, slipped away.
The Event Overlaps With a Major Holiday
In the world of globalization, planners have to be more aware than ever of events that affect their attendees. Not only are companies holding meetings globally, many have attendees from different countries. All attendees coming to your meeting will observe many different holidays and religious observed days. Planners should be mindful of the common and uncommon holidays that happen around their event. Planners can easily fall into the trap of not checking for holidays and have to adjust their event dates and space as a result of not getting it right the first time.
Failure to Update Budget
Budgeting is so very important when planning an event. Most budgets have an estimated, working budget, and an actual budget. Where many planners fall short is ensuring that the working budget is updated based on the changes that may occur in a program. Any major updates need to have its corresponding update within the budget. Missing updates can trigger budget woes if not managed properly. Stay on top of the budget, it can help you manage your event better, and keep you out of the red.
No One Registers For the Event
Everyone has been there. You book the perfect hotel, plan impressive offsite dinners, and put together a gorgeous website. However, when you open registration, you just sit there and wait…and wait…and wait. An event that was anticipated to have 250 people, now at one week out has only 50. What are you to do? This is another common item that can go wrong while planning an event. Tweaking the target invite list, and doing follow-up communications can help boost your website attendance. Additionally, planners can make sure to watch their contract deadlines in an effort to help decrease space held at venues with minimal expense.
Security Risk in Your Event Destination
Planners have to be more alert than ever when it comes to where they plan events. Around the world, there are many dynamics which make security a concern. Every day we witness random acts of protest, violence, and heightened security in many countries around the world. At any time, our events or the destination in which we plan can be targeted. Ensure you are aware of the countries climate in which you are having your event. You can sign up for security alerts to help you. Additionally, don’t get caught without an emergency plan, and knowledge of emergency procedures in your event destination.
These were just a few items that could go wrong with planning your event. However, there is always something that comes up. The strength that we have as planners is that we can anticipate the gaps and prepare as best we can for the unknown.
Naomi Tucker, CMP, HMCC is a Past President of MPI Wisconsin Chapter, and Sr. Strategic Account Manager at Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc. She has more than twenty years of experience planning meetings and events and loves to write about her learnings in this industry at her personal blog, Plan It on a Post-It. When she’s not planning or writing about events, Naomi enjoys spending time with her her family, friends, and getting lost in a good book. You can connect with Naomi by tweeting with her @planitonapostit or @naotuck.