Errors are normal part of running a business and mistakes are really what define our lives. We learn from them and take measures to ensure they don’t happen again. They are accepted, sometimes expected and totally understandable. However, in the event planning industry, some big or small errors can turn costly. The losses can be financially, in terms of supplies or people and, sometimes, loyal client. Here are three common mistakes event planners make that are totally avoidable.
1. Not confirming the venue and suppliers.
This is basically a logistics issue. In an event, if you have a problem on the logistics side, then you have a major issue and could lose clients in the process. The first thing you should do is to make sure you have contracts in place and they are signed. A contract is an agreement that is legally binding and will give you insurance in case your service provides renege on their end of the deal. Confirm with your suppliers at least thrice, with one prior to the actual event to make sure things are in place.
The last thing you want to happen to your event is a multiple booking. That does not just apply to the venue, but also to your caterer, tables and chairs providers, decorators and others. Make sure that this does not happen by checking, re-checking and re-confirming.
It may be minor event but if you don’t start the earliest you can, you can lose the venue you want, the suppliers you like and the client. Failing to start the event planning process early opens you up to a lot more problems that, eventually, you will have no control over. Book venues and hotels way in advance. Get those banners, billboards and signages designed and printed and book their locations. Get in touch with your guest speakers and entertainment providers for your date and place. By mapping out all the steps in the process, you get a clear picture of what needs to be finalized according to your timeline.
3. Not having a contingency plan.
As with any event planning job, you always have to have a Plan B. While you may be confident that your process is fool-proof, you never know when an emergency might happen and threaten to ruin your setup or cancel your event. If your event is outdoors, create a plan where you might need to move indoors due to inclement weather. If your event involves a high-profile speaker, have a back-up speaker at the ready in case he or she does not show up because a kink on his or her end.
Relay your plan to the rest of your team and assign point-persons so everybody knows who to look for in case a specific issue occurs. Make sure you have enough people to cater to your actual event and be on standby, just in case. This way, you and your people don’t go running around and pointing fingers when something does turn awry. By planning ahead and thinking up alternative options, you can avoid bigger problems and ensure that your client is happy.