Ignoring the Obvious
While there’s nothing wrong with optimism, failing to acknowledge obvious problems while they are still small can jeopardize your entire event. No one person or company is good at all things and no matter what your budget may be, not planning properly – or making poor assumptions – can run your event right off the tracks. If you are right at the capacity of the room or venue, then hoping that some guests don’t show is truly poor planning. (As a rule, leave an extra 15% of total seating for last minute guests, just in case). A room that seats 100 with 150 guests on the confirmed list is asking for your event to fall into disaster.
If you don’t acknowledge the obvious, you won’t know when it’s necessary to supplement your skill set by engaging with experts. Also, it is important to make sure that you are comfortable in the roles that you will have to play for the event. If you dislike the limelight, then getting an MC – versus you doing it yourself – needs to be a part of the planning.
Being a Perfectionist
Striving for excellence isn’t usually a bad thing. But when it comes to event planning, perfectionist tendencies can hinder more than help. Remember – the day of the event will be here no matter what you do, and waiting too long or holding out for the perfect venue, season, keynote speaker, etc… means that many of the critical pieces will be put off until the last second.
The pursuit of perfection can be especially problematic in company events. Most companies have certain times each year, and budgets, to plan events. For best results, strive to create a simple, elegant, and workable solution to the event that you are planning. You don’t need the Boston Pops, you need a great band that plays standards.
Choosing the Wrong Venue
Savvy event planners can source a large selection of venues for any occasion. In this way, no matter the event, they have a solution for their clients. If you are forced into event planning for your company, you need to do the “small” version of this by not settling for the first or the least expensive venue. Encourage competition between potential sites and make sure that the “best deal” is really a deal – and make sure that you have a contract for the venue as well. There are various venue sourcing services that you can use to alleviate the stress and pressure of this piece and make sure the agreement protects you properly.
For best results, research your audience before booking a venue – will there be catering, alcohol, technology, a block of rooms, transportation. The goal is to ensure you have your audience and their use in mind when you choose a venue.