Top 10 mistakes Event Planners make and how to avoid them…
Mistake #1 Failing to identify meeting objectives
This is a very common mistake. Be sure to know one hundred percent what your management expects from this meeting. Examples: education, recruiting, awards presentations, new product roll-out, executive installation, etc.
Mistake #2 Failing to budget properly
Many planners make this mistake by overlooking some very costly items. Specifically speaker travel, audio/visual, program handouts, shipping charges, decorations, security, and afternoon breaks. Don’t overlook these hidden “budget killers”!
Mistake #3 Failing to select the right facility
This mistake can destroy the best event. Things to consider when planning your event: Location, location, location! Depending on the locale of your attendees, proximity to the airport, sleeping room costs, freeways, major thoroughfares and traffic patterns are critical. Meeting room location, meeting room size, and parking fees all affect your attendance.
Mistake #4 Failing to hire the right speaker/entertainer
Every meeting planners worst nightmare is a “flop”. Be sure to use a reputable, skilled speaker or entertainer whom you have personally talked with, feel comfortable with: have seen or whose references you have checked!
Mistake #5 Failing to identify and secure a prospect list in advance
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen events fail because of this one factor. Secure your entire list before securing your date in writing. Be sure your list has all names, titles, mailing addresses, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses. Your attendees can’t register if you can’t reach them.
Mistake #6 Failing to prepare a marketing plan
This definitely ranks in the top three in regards to importance when planning an event. Be sure to layout your timelines. Back out your contacts by your target dates. Plan your contacts by mail, e-mail, telephone and fax by week. This will insure maximum contact in a timely manner and will drive your attendance.
Mistake #7 Failing to secure strong contracts
Here’s where you can really run into trouble. Do NOT promote your event without legible, signed contracts for everything including your speaker, facility, and other contractors.
Mistake #8 Failing to create the right environment
With the hundreds of details we put into every meeting, don’t overlook your meeting environment. Lighting, seating, room temperature, music, decorations, audio/visual, and location of the bathrooms and telephones are all important.
Mistake #9 Failure to secure the right audio/visual
Get it in writing! Request a written list of audio/visual needs from every presenter and feed back to them your staging set up.
Mistake #10 Failure to market the event properly
Once you’ve created your marketing plan, stick to it! Once your event is booked it’s critical all of your marketing contacts go as planned. Remember; use every means to reach your attendees. One method alone doesn’t reach everyone because we are all different. Use every means available to you. Don’t forget e-mail and better yet, your sponsors! Good Luck!
Good Dates are Going Fast!