Let’s visualize the perfect #event. All your expected guests arrive. Check-in goes over smoothly. You overhear people already raving about your hors d'oeuvres. Music is flowing through the buzzing room and the crowd is getting excited. At this point, you’re feeling great about your event’s success, right?
But then, the main speaker takes the stage and nobody can manage to hear a word of his mumbled speech. Your guests are shuffling in their seats. You spot more and more people pulling out their phones to seek #entertainment elsewhere. Ouch!
Regardless of having the right music and the perfect food, it is often the simple and avoidable mistakes that can undermine all the hard work you have put towards planning your event. Below, we will identify these mistakes and show you how to avoid them.
1) Research: One of the most common errors is neglecting to do enough research before securing event speakers. At corporate events, speakers take up a large portion of the event. And yet, often they are booked solely based on their prominence in the field. This does not guarantee a successful event. Ask yourself these questions first: What is the purpose of your event? Are the speakers relevant to this purpose? Do they know how to engage with the audience? Are they funny? Do they know how to garner audience participation? Speakers should be able to keep the crowd entertained for the entire time they are on stage. Planners should go to see speakers at other events before securing them. If this isn’t a possibility, search online for any footage of them speaking. Successful event planners do thorough research before booking a speaker.
2) Maintenance: This is one of the most neglected aspects of an event. Many times, an event will start out flawless and then slack. This happens when a planner does not make sure that every cog in the system is working on #maintenance throughout the event. Does your wait staff understand their role throughout the entire event? Are the bathrooms being cleaned repeatedly? No one wants to step into a disgusting bathroom, even if it’s towards the end of the night. This means that the lead planner is not only delegating before the event, but also throughout the entire event. Your event should appear flawless from the time the first guest steps in to the time the last guest walks out.
3) Technology: Underusing event technology and social media is no longer excusable. Any event taking place now should be using online check- in technology and registration. No guest enjoys waiting in a long check-in line. This disengages your guest right from the beginning. You want the entrance to be smooth.
4) Social Media: Many event planners create a hashtag for their guests to use when posting their photos on social media and assume that the rest will be taken care of. This isn’t true. As an event planner, your job is to ensure that the entire event is catered to be shown off on social media. Seek out social media engagement early on, perhaps months before the event takes place. Create an Instagram account for the event and brainstorm a campaign to drive people to the event. Share guest stories. Create contests for guests to be involved in. Share behind the scenes material of the event planning. People enjoy being engaged and being a part of the story. During the event, create a space for photo taking. Invest in a photo booth and props. Make your event Instagrammable. Create a clever hashtag that people will remember. A useful tip is to hire someone aside from the event photographer to get social media shots and Instagram stories. People will then go on your page after the event to see if there is any coverage of themselves.
Author: Hager Eldaas