Familiarizing yourself with these common mistakes will help you become aware of problems you can avoid when organizing your event.
Short marketing cycle. Be sure to give yourself ample time to promote your event. A good rule of thumb is at least 90-120 days for a medium-sized event with about 75 attendees.
Competing with yourself. Many promoters become their own competition by putting on multiple events occurring close together. When your audience receives marketing for different events they are confused.
Not delivering on your promises. Being true to your word will maintain your credibility and ensure future success. Create checklists of each offer you make in your marketing so you will not forget to follow through on your promises.
Overpaying. Keep your costs down by shopping around for hotels, etc. Make sure the audio-visual team is aware of the specific hours for each day so there are no surprise charges. Keep your staffing to a minimum; you should be able to run a 4-day/75-person event with yourself and 2-3 others. Negotiate ahead of time to get the meeting room free when you satisfy your room block.
Losing control of the room. Maintaining control of your audience is necessary for staying on schedule and running smoothly. Holding questions until after will help.
Not running on schedule. Controlling the schedule helps control the room. Start on time in the morning, continue promptly after breaks, and end when you say you will. If you are behind schedule, stop and ask whether they’d like to stay longer to finish the material or end on time.
Poor scheduling at your event. The order in which you place your speakers has a big impact on the success of your event. Other factors are involved, but in general it is better to place speakers selling less expensive products before speakers selling higher priced product. Consider when certain topics are covered and make sure refreshments are not served while speakers are on stage.
Being cheap. People paid good money to attend your event. Make sure they get what they expect, like complimentary refreshments.
Hiring the wrong coordinator. It is best to work with someone who specializes in information marketing.
Close your office. There is no good reason to close down your office; you are only losing money and frustrating your clients who are not at the event.
Miscalculating. Be accurate with your calculations and have realistic expectations. If your list includes 1,000 people you should not expect to get 500 of them at your event.
Mismanaging the event. Good management ensures a successful event. Things like time management, traffic flow, and having enough order forms are small things that can be overlooked by poor management.
Not selling enough. Many promoters think they should just educate the attendees; they feel bad about selling. Bottom line: you are there to make money. There are ways to give valuable information and sell product at the same event.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when planning for event. Staying organized and thorough will help you avoid mistakes, but expect to make some. Small mistakes are inevitable even if you are a seasoned event planner; learning from your own experiences and talking to others about their experience will help you become effective at this process.