Whether it’s your first event or your hundredth, you’ll want to avoid these 5 major event planning mistakes:
“Today is a bit cloudy… hmm? I heard it will be sunny tomorrow. I’ll start planning tomorrow.”
Start planning now. Better yet, start planning yesterday. Every day that passes, you could miss out on the talent or venue you want because someone else got there first. Your entire event could get pushed out to a cold and freezing month, rather than a nice summer evening because you waited too long. Plus, the earlier you plan, the easier it will be to focus on later details, such as event promotion.
2. No Sponsorship/Funding
“Once sponsors hear my idea, they will all come running and give me all the money I will need for the event!”
Not only will you be so disappointed that investors are not flocking to you, they will have no idea who you are. You have to seek sponsorship—look for brands and people who believe in your idea and are definitely interested in your event. Craft a pitch and proposal. How does this brand align with your event? What will you bring to them? What kind of return will they get?
3. Inconsistent Event Dates
“I can put on my sell-out July event at the same venue… but in December! I’m getting such a deal on the venue.”
Weather and seasonality are huge factors when it comes to planning events, especially (obviously) outdoor ones. Believe it or not, attendees look forward to events when it is nice and sunny outside. If your event is normally successful year after year, your ticket buyers will plan time off and maybe even reunite with friends they made at last years event. Do not bunny-hop around the calendar, hoping your audience will follow.
They most likely won’t. Because there will be another event coming along to take your sweet July spot.
4. Ignoring Safety
“I think I’ll ignore the warning from the venue owner that the water main could possibly rupture during my event.”
Forget the amazing DJ you lined up or your visions of your attendees having the best time of their lives. Safety should be number one priority. People trust you with their lives; they want to be entertained and not worry about possible safety hazards. If you would have gotten that water main fixed or moved to another venue you could have avoided all the lawsuits from people that were seriously hurt because of your negligence. Keep your attendees and talent safe. You owe it to everyone.
5. Documentation Neglect
“This is just too much paperwork! Time to recycle all these contracts and receipts right after the events is over.”
If the paperwork is too much, recruit an intern that will help you organize all of your billing and contracts so that when it comes time to pay taxes, you’re ready. Having organized paperwork will also come in handy if there’s a legal dispute–always have agreements put in writing and keep them.
In conclusion, you can avoid event failure by performing adequate due diligence. Safety begins with you, and the success of your event ends with your efforts.
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