Event planners always have to be flexible. From last-minute agenda changes to a speaker coming down with the flu, events are often a study in onsite improvisation. Unless you moonlight as a time traveler, you can’t predict everything that will happen. However, there are ways you can look ahead to prevent hiccups during an event. Here are three mistakes to avoid in your planning process, so you aren’t left wishing you could go back in time.
Skipping the Site Visit
Email has certainly made communicating easier – even from across the country. However, don’t assume the ease of communicating with your venue translates to seeing and walking through the space itself. Even the most detailed planner can’t envision an event or think about how attendees flow without seeing the space. Maybe the foyer you were planning to have registration isn’t quite as big as it looks in photos. Or perhaps the columns in the exhibit hall are much more obtrusive than they look on the diagram. A site visit allows you to reference where every aspect of your event will happen, so you can avoid headaches when it comes to event time.
Not Researching Other In-House Events
Unless you’ve booked an entire venue for yourself, chances are you’re going to be sharing space with another group. Search for the other group’s event website online to check out their agenda. Knowing what they have going on can help avoid noise or congestion issues. Work with the venue to determine an equitable arrangement for use of common spaces so you can finalize your branding and signage plans. Working these things out ahead of time will save a lot of hassle onsite.
Not Scheduling a Run Through
For larger meetings, like a general session, scheduling a run through is critical to success. While the projector may work in the comforts of your office, things may not be so smooth at the venue. Being able to work out the kinks in a practice run not only saves time during the meeting, it also saves embarrassment from things going astray.
So much of event planning is in the pre-event details. Thinking through potential pitfalls will undoubtedly save you time and stress during your event.