Top 8 Mistakes When You Manage Your Own Event

Events are a key part of the calendar of ambitious businesses. Whether it is launching a new product, entertaining clients or motivating staff, bringing people together gives your business momentum. You have just one chance to get it right. And there are so many ways you can get it wrong! Here are the top eight mistakes I’ve seen businesses make when they manage their own events:

1. Lack of focus

Without a clear idea of what you want to achieve, putting together a successful event is impossible. Whether it is to reconnect with staff, promote the launch of a new product or to engage prospective clients – once you know what you are trying to achieve this will keep your focus in the decisions you make when planning a successful event.

2. Leaving things too late

Many companies make the mistake of thinking that if they leave booking a venue to the last minute they can get a better deal. This is not the case. Often companies who are well planned and book their venues in advance have more negotiating power and are able to secure the better dates for their event.

3. Losing control of the budget

Event budgets can easily spiral out of control if they are not monitored effectively. You need to be able to draw-up a comprehensive budget with clear financial boundaries.

You may use event planning software to help manage the budget and track expenditure. It is also important to remember that there are some costs that can be reduced by outsourcing certain services, such as catering or staffing.

4. Confirming a venue without seeing the space first

This is a big ‘no no’.  Never trust a venue’s brochure or website as photos can often be misleading. Visiting and walking around the venue is the only way you will know 100% that it will work for your event and needs.

5. Lack of flair

Great events have a buzz.  It takes creativity and flair; something that’s too often missing in amateur and poorly-organised events. You can overcome this by making sure you have excellent content, a great theme, creative food or an unusual venue.

6. Supplier disasters

Suppliers can make or break your event. Cheap and cheerful often turns out to be just cheap; reassuringly expensive just expensive.  Always go through a supplier you have a good relationship with or which has been recommended by a trusted source who has used their services. Events management companies can usually negotiate preferential rates with their own network of trusted suppliers.

7. Forgotten Health and Safety guidelines

Companies always have a duty of care for their guests during an event. From making sure there are enough fire safety exits in the venue, to arranging transport for the guests after an event – it is your responsibility. If you don’t get this right it is going to be the last event your company organises.

8. Half-hearted theming

Either choose to have a theme or don’t. There is no point theming an event half-heartedly, this will just create a shoddy and messy event. Always make a theme clear and consistent; it’s the only way it will make an impact and help you draw out the message of the event.

1 thought on “Top 8 Mistakes When You Manage Your Own Event”

  1. As an Events Organiser of over 30 years experience, I endorse Gillian’s points. I would like to add that many people perceive event organising as glamorous when the reality is that it is a demanding role requiring extensive knowledge; attention to detail; willingness to work long hours; excellent interpersonal skills plus a head for business including accountancy and familiarity with the legal aspects of tax, health, safety & security and much, much more. And if that isn’t enough, you need the stamina of an Olympic marathon runner! You might be managing events in idyllic places and first-class venues but you will not have the time to see them as you will be overseeing the project and will need to be in attendance. For the amateur it is high risk and like any other service, it is best left to the professionals: Event Organisers. Yes, they will require a fee but your organisation will benefit from knowing that your project (conference, party, exhibition, corporate meeting etc) will be in the safe hands of someone who knows all aspects of the task – and you (or your bosses) can relax and enjoy the event. Now that is real value for money!


Leave a comment