Organising an event can be impacted by a budget overrun, missed scheduling or dissatisfaction among attendees due to a whole range of factors related to planning, communication and the distribution of available resources. Here are the five most common mistakes when it comes to organising events, and even more importantly the solutions to help you avoid them.
- Mistake no 1: Misallocating your team members’ skills.
- Mistake no 2: Not keeping track of changes when preparing for the event.
- Mistake no 3: Ignoring Murphy’s law.
- Mistake no 4: Appointing an inexperienced event manager.
- Mistake no 5: Not following a plan and standard processes.
It seems quite obvious that forming a team is essential when organising an event. However, a poor distribution of skills is at the top of the list of the most common mistakes in event management. Not recruiting the right people to manage an event can lead to disaster. Even the best preparation in the world won’t make up for a lack of skills on D‑Day.
Event organisers need a full overview of the skills and workload of all their staff, including suppliers and service providers, who are rarely taken into account when evaluating resources, despite doing a significant amount of the work. An in-depth assessment at the start of the planning process can provide the desired overview of each individual’s skills and workload. Once this has been done, it becomes much easier for the organiser to determine how to allocate resources among all the tasks to be carried out on a day-to-day basis.
Most events will see changes of plan of varying degrees, both before and on D‑Day. Failing to keep track of these changes can result in the organiser losing control of their budget or schedule.
Annotating each step and each change in the preparation of an event — in an online document or on paper — is a simple but extremely effective way to document, communicate and maintain control over changes of plan. When a change of plan occurs during preparation — for example, a new ticket sale or a change of caterer — the event manager must determine how this will affect the budget, make a note of the date, and communicate the change to all those concerned.
When something is likely to go wrong, it usually will! To make things worse, this often happens at the last minute, leaving everyone stunned. This is how an event can go sour while the event organiser attempts damage control — which they hadn’t planned for.
Conduct a risk assessment early in the event planning process. Set aside time with your team to think about what could derail the event, cause a budget overrun or prevent you from achieving the desired results. Then find ways to limit these risks. This exercise doesn’t take much time and is extremely useful for detecting potential risks before you even begin organising your event.
Organising events can quickly get out of hand without an event manager who is experienced, calm and knowledgeable.
Hire an event manager with the experience required to understand and manage the needs of all stakeholders in your event, including you. Good event managers have a high level of emotional intelligence and can facilitate planning meetings, manage a wide range of risks, and interact with multiple stakeholders. Since we don’t become experienced overnight, surround yourself with these types of people if you’re starting out and consider them role models.
This is a much more common mistake than most event organisers imagine. Lacking a plan and a set of processes approved by the entire organising team increases the risk of tasks related to preparation slipping through the net and the event being subject to last-minute unforeseen circumstances, not fitting within the budget and ultimately missing a major objective.
A well-defined event schedule that has been approved by the entire team will help the organiser to tackle each task effectively and carefully supervise all activities involved in the execution of an event. At the same time, establishing a set of reproducible processes for scoping, scheduling, resource allocation and communication with stakeholders allows the organiser to obtain clear answers rather than vague assumptions when measuring the project’s progress.
Unforeseen circumstances are part of the very complex process of organising events. That’s why it’s important to limit mistakes as much as possible, especially when you know the solutions that will prevent them. Since 2008, Weezevent has been making life easier for organisers by developing solutions that adapt to their different needs. Discover all the features of our online ticketing, access control, cashless payment and CRM tools by clicking on the button below: