3 Fears Every Event Planner Must Face
If you’re an event planner or have been in the industry for awhile, you know that getting your event off the ground with little-to-no issues is extremely difficult.
When so much is riding on keeping the event running smoothly, there are hundreds of balls that need to be kept in the air, people to coordinate with, and to-do lists to tackle (that can easily fall through the cracks instead.)
With so much going on, it’s no surprise that even the best-planned events have their quirks. But the longer you’re in the industry, the more you know that sometimes unexpected circumstances happen.
When you’re managing something so large, with so many moving pieces, it’s impossible to account for everything that will come up. And it’s impossible to assume any event will run perfectly.
That’s what we’re breaking down in today’s blog post — the 3 biggest fears that every event planner will face and what you can do about it so your event can run smoothly, despite the challenges.
#1 — Going Over Budget
Going over budget for an event is not only terrifying but very easy to do. For any event planner, this nightmare can mean scaling down services, compromising on quality, and definitely making some tough choices.
Ultimately, no matter how much you plan, something can come up that you haven’t accounted for resulting in you to going over budget (ie. low ticket sales, broken equipment, last minute orders, etc.)
When unexpected spending happens, staying within budget and out of the red can be pretty difficult — even with a lot of foresight on the part of the event planner.
To keep yourself within the range of what you hope to spend, make sure you:
- Create some buffer in your budget. Giving yourself a little extra wiggle room in your budget just in case something comes up, is key for keeping you in the black. Depending on the type of event you do, a good rule of thumb is to calculate your budget, then add in 5-20%.
- Ask a lot of questions when you’re looking for vendors and event spaces. Asking just the right questions can keep you from being hit with a fee you didn’t anticipate, hiring an unreliable vendor, or having to buy supplies on a rush order — leaving you further in the hole.
- Use reliable contractors and vendors. When hiring vendors or contractors for your event, doing your due diligence to get reputable ones is KEY. And while it can seem tempting to want to hire the cheapest option to stay within your budget, it’s not always the best. If you find a vendor you’d like to work with but they’re a little over budget, see if they’ll price match. In the end, having suppliers be reliable and on time will pay off over and over again, so don’t be afraid of a little negotiation.
- Update your budget regularly. As things change throughout the lifetime of your event, it’s valuable to pay close attention to what you’re spending — even the small items will add up. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just take a few minutes every day to make sure you’re still in line with what you hoped to spend.
#2 — Failing to Coordinating Attendees and Speakers
For many event planners, coordinating attendees and speakers is one of the most difficult parts of any event. So, it’s no wonder that many planners will face a substantial mishap at some point in their career.
Since proper coordinating is so directly tied to the feeling your attendees leave your event with, nothing is worse than attendees or speakers not knowing what to do or where to go. While it’s vital that this part of your event goes off without a hitch — it’s so easy for crossed wires or bad communication to lead to a problem.
While no one wants to see this happen, you can mitigate it by:
- Having clear communication channels amongst your team. This is hands down the easiest way to get everyone where they need to be. If this sounds daunting, try using a messaging feature, <<like the one in our app>>. It’s a great way to keep everyone updated with what’s going on, regardless of where they are or what they’re doing.
- Have a clear system in place before your speaker goes on stage and when they come off. Having a designated space for speakers to go before they have to get on stage is a great way to ensure you don’t lose anyone right before they’re supposed to speak. Likewise, it’s equally important that they know when to get off stage is, so that your event continues to run on time.
- Do a dry run. While it seems simple enough, having all your speakers do a dry run through their presentations the day before, is a great way to work out any audio or slide kinks beforehand. Of course, if some problem does arise on the day-of, staying calm and going with the flow is essential.
- Give your attendees lots of instructions. Depending on the type of event you have, having breaks for moving, networking, or eating is important for keeping participants happy. However, it’s absolutely necessary you have clear timelines and instructions for how long each break will be, and where to go afterward. It is also helpful to use volunteers to point attendees in the right direction if they need to move locations.
Making sure that your speakers go up on time, and attendees don’t have a difficult experience getting to the right places at the right times, will leave everyone feeling like your event is well-coordinated and professional.
#3 — Managing All Of The Pieces On Your OwnEvent planning can feel like a lonely job, but if you’ve put a good group of people around you, it won’t feel like it’s all riding on you. Click To Tweet
However, finding just the right people to help you during your event is tricky, and if you aren’t able to get a strong group together early on you can be left holding the weight of your event single-handedly. And having the whole event ride on you can leave you feeling especially run down, irritable, and like your event was a failure.
This is why it’s so important that you make sure you have enough staff members and volunteers. Before your event gets too far along, spend some time getting clear on the roles you need to be filled and what the expectations are for anyone in that position.
Likewise, make sure that on the day of everyone knows who they need to report to for problems, where they need to be, when they should arrive, and how to best communicate with the other members of the team.
With a great group of volunteers and staff, you’ll leave your event without feeling like you’ve managed it all on your own.
Whether it’s blowing your budget, or having a speaker mishap on stage the unexpected can happen at any event, regardless of how prepared you are.
As hard as it can be in those moments, any long-term event planner knows what’s more important is to keep your wits about you.
Remember, your body language says it all. When something falls apart during an event staying calm and composed (even when you’re scrambling) will set the tone for the other participants at the event.
Above all, try to stay positive, and try again tomorrow.