Some of the best conversations I’ve had were all about event planning mistakes. As a matter of fact, the last time the Ask the Expert professionals came together we talked for what seemed like forever about the rookie mistakes we’ve all made. And let me just say some of them were colossal. Making mistakes is part of life; and one of the best ways to learn. We’re human, therefore by description we are flawed and making mistakes is part of our makeup.
Avoiding Event Planning Mistakes
Events can have an energy of their own and no matter what you do sometimes you just have cross your fingers and hope for the best. In all the years I‘ve been planning events I have made many a mistake. But my goal has always and continues to be to never make the same mistake twice. For the record I’m still working on that. What makes us mistake-makers stand out aren’t the actual blunders but in how we handle them. And it’s so productive when we can take action and tackle and rectify the situation right then and there and move on.
Thinking on your feet is when preparation and skills come together. And being ready, set and able to react and handle whatever comes your way.
Four Lessons I learned from my Event Planning Mistakes
No matter the error and whose fault it may be. Thinking on your feet is an ability that can help instill confidence and in the end help to save the day.
Always have a Plan B. There are lot of factors that can go wrong when planning events. I have discovered that when it comes to executing events to anticipate the unanticipated. And have come to recognize it’s imperative to always have a Plan B. Stuff happened and at the last minute I have had to purchase wood and build a dance floor, plant a garden at a VIP’s home, cancel city wide conferences due to war and world events, react to weather, reshuffle floor plans and switch suppliers. I often image what event elements can go wrong and then come up with the appropriate Plan B. Making me able to better react in the right way.
Check and Double Check. Every single detail. The satisfaction that comes from a winning event comes not only from delivering what seems like perfection. But also in catching and fixing those unexpected mistakes before they happen. And really nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. Some call this the absolute worst mistake an event planner can make. There’s a lot involved in planning an event and things are always changing. And if we’ve learned anything from The Bad News Bears movie, it’s to never, never assume. Always check, double check and yes triple check.
Don’t Do it All Yourself. There’s a great deal of work that goes into planning successful events. The job requires a planner to coordinate and oversee the logistics and operations of every part of the event. And in the long run an event planner ends up wearing many, many hats. Ultimately when you have so much on your plate eventually something’s going to spill over. No matter how good you are whenever possible don’t do it all yourself. Not only will you feel the pain but the event will too. To ensure success put together a team you trust that you feel you can work with and start planning.
Have an Event Planning Emergency Kit on Hand. A crisis isn’t a crisis if you’re equipped and ready. And you never really do know what can happen on-site. For an event to be successful it’s imperative to always be able to expect the unexpected. An event planning emergency kit is put together by the event planner and is jam-packed with emergency provisions. Part of us hopes we’ll never have to use the supplies but the other part knows at some point we probably will. Having an event planning emergency kit on hand provides the security that when a crisis does happen you’ll be able to act.