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5 Common Mistakes in Event Planning and How to Avoid Them

Mistake 1: Not booking the venue far enough in advance.
The longer the lead time you give yourself and your venue, the more likely you are to get your first choice. This is important as the venue is a reflection on you and your company and it can also have a big impact on how well the event is managed.
How to avoid: Put together an events calendar with your meetings and events for the year that require an external venue. Refer to it on a monthly basis so you can forward plan and book your events. You can do the same for your internal meetings and use this as a discipline to prepare any pre-read and pre-work in advance also.

Mistake 2: Over-estimating the number of attendees at an event.
For a whole variety of reasons from double bookings to absentmindedness, it is virtually guaranteed that around 15% of your attendees will not turn up and that you will be paying for unfilled places.
How to avoid: Most venues will have at least a 7 day cancellation policy for cancelling or decreasing attendee numbers. However, the vast majority of venues will be very happy for you to increase your numbers on the day so be prudent and book your events for 15% less attendees than you anticipate coming.

Mistake 3: Relying totally on the venue to manage the event on the day. The events team at your chosen venue will not understand the context or importance of your event, nor will they have knowledge of the objectives or the key attendees. They will most likely have several events each day and may make assumptions about your requirements based on what is most convenient for the venue, for example where they will serve the catering.
How to avoid: You must have a good level of control and ownership of the event including the fine details. You can rely on the events staff at the venue only after you have run through all aspects of the event with them and made them aware of all your requirements. Do not assume that they will have extra flip-charts, bottles of water in the room, have catered for all dietary requirements etc etc unless you ask them to do so.

Mistake 4: Not doing enough planning beforehand.
If you dont spend the time to really think through all the possibilities you might find yourself with a situation that cannot be easily resolved on the day.
How to avoid: As a starting point think of everything that could go wrong on the day of your event and then plan how you can best to reduce the risk. Also have a back-up contingency plan just in case. This will reduce surprises on the day to a minimum.

Mistake 5: Not providing your attendees with enough information in advance. Small details such as information on nearby parking can prove extremely important for your attendees. Without it your attendees may be left with a negative impression of you and your event.
How to avoid: Work from the starting point that all your attendees have no knowledge of the venue at all and provide as much information as you can. Include maps, links to the website of the venue, dietary information, and of course parking information. Its always better to give too much

Best Regards, Angela Haddock Business Support Specialist
Clear Support Virtual Secretarial, Marketing and Events Services

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