Corporate event planners are exceptionally busy, often working on several corporate events simultaneously, taking anywhere from six to 12 months (sometimes longer!) to plan. With so much going on, it can be easy to get so busy that things can slip through the cracks — and as you know, even the smallest detail can derail all of your meticulous planning. To help you seal up those cracks, here are four corporate event planning mistakes to avoid that can even trip up the pros:
1. Not Seeking Out Feedback Early Enough
Frequent feedback is key to planning an event that provides the best possible experience for attendees and achieves the goals of your stakeholders. Without feedback, you will be planning an event with only a fraction of the information you need and can use to your advantage to exceed everyone’s loftiest expectations.
Even the best of us make the mistake of assuming we have everything we need from initial meetings and outlines and begin planning in a vacuum. Sometimes it’s not until event planners are weeks or even months into the planning process that a crucial piece of information comes to light that alters the course of the event. Also, with such long lead-times to the bigger events, your event stakeholders’ priorities can change and may not be communicated, so it’s best to be proactive and seek feedback throughout the event planning process. Don’t underestimate the value in taking time to check back in and get all the information you need to account for every perspective when planning your event.
2. Forgetting to Loop In Key Stakeholders
Between all the meetings with caterers, venues, event speakers, audio-visual professionals, and so on, you may run the risk of missing one key group to meet with: your stakeholders. As the ones who have the most to lose (and gain) from the event, they need to be looped into your plans every step of the way, particularly when big decisions or investments are made.
Your stakeholders do not necessarily need to know every detail of the event planning process, but when those big decisions are made or you experience major breakthroughs, let your stakeholders know. They will want to know if the experiential corporate event is a go or if they will need to consider an alternative that will achieve similar results. If they do want to know the minute details of the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menus, don’t worry, they will ask you! Despite being busy with their day-to-day responsibilities, your stakeholders don’t want to be in the dark, especially if the outcome of the event could drastically affect them professionally. As a bonus, remembering to loop in your key stakeholders will help you avoid the feedback mistake above, and keep the planning stages running smoothly.
3. Not Having a Plan B…or Even a Plan C
Don’t be kept up at night by all of the issues that pop up as event-day approaches. Rest easy and avoid those pesky last-minute challenges or event day disasters by having a plan B, and even a plan C in place. During the early planning stages, take time to think of anything that could go wrong with every aspect of your event and get it all out on the table. Only then will you be able to make those essential backup plans and avoid unnecessary stress. Creating contingency plans is not bad luck; it’s the thing that will help you and your event team keep your sanity, will reassure your stakeholders that you have everything in hand, and will ensure your attendees experience nothing but an exceptional event.
4. Ignoring the Fine Print
While reading the fine print of the many contracts you will inevitably sign during the event planning process may be painful, it is necessary. Make sure to carefully review the fine print in every contract you sign that could impact the outcome of your corporate event. Doing so will ensure you don’t find out at the last minute that you missed a payment deadline and are now left with a hefty fee – or worse, a no-show speaker or lost venue. The little things that you catch in the fine print can save you time, money, and resources, and make your event a true success.
While these four things may seem obvious, when you get into the minute details of event planning, it can be easy to get caught up in the busyness of it all. Know these common mistakes now so you can account for them the next time you are planning a corporate event.