It’s time for Lights. Camera. Action.
You’re responsible for organizing a big event in an exotic destination. All of the company's dignitaries, management, your boss or superboss are going to be attending the event. No pressure but this event has a lot riding on its shoulders. (Psst.. To be brutally honest- your job could be in trouble too!)
Without much ado- I’m going to be your savior for the day and tell you about some common mistakes you must avoid while planning a corporate event.
Event planning has to be one of the most stressful jobs . With a juggling act between the client’s requests, procuring everything for the event, accommodating last minute requests, fixing vendor mistakes, it’s not made for the weak hearted. WNY Holidays is an experiential travel and event company. We have successfully hosted 200+ events and speaking from our experience there are a lot of things which can go wrong.
So here are some things which can turn an event from a wonder to a blunder.
Not starting on time: One can have the best of vendors, a five star location, michelin star chefs, the most luxurious transportation- but all that will go to waste if you don’t start planning your event timely. With limited time, one is likely to skip an important event related meeting or a hotel showaround or fail to practice the technical cues related to the event, which can ruin the entire affair.
Ignoring other major events: Don’t block your event dates blindly. Is it a long weekend? Is there a major cricket tournament in the city? Is there a G20 event happening in a nearby hotel? When there are other competing events happening in the city the chances of complications become much higher. For example- increased prices of hotels, more traffic, fewer quality vendors. So it is crucial to discuss the date with your preferred travel company and be open to a change in date.
Not testing your tech gear till the end: Imagine this- you’re next in line for a presentation. You’re already a little nervous thinking about the what ifs- What if I fumble? What if I forget my lines? What if the audience doesn’t agree with my point of view?
But in all of this, what if your mic doesn’t work, your ppt doesn’t run the way you’d like, your video is playing without an audio attached to it and the spotlight.. Well is not spotting you! Nightmare-ish isn’t it? While hosting a live or hybrid event, practicing with your technical gear is essential to the success of your event.
Not tracking the changes made in real time: Has this ever happened with you- You’re exiting office and your core event team decides to make a few changes to the event flow which are very last minute. But because of the odd timing or something on your mind you decide not to document these changes anywhere and this data is lost for the time being. Even if it’s a change in the event schedule or the procurement count for trophies it is suggested that you note it down somewhere to help make a solid event checklist later.
Not paying attention to policies and regulations: Being cost effective is an important skill to have while executing any social or corporate event. But not at the cost of ignoring important government norms. It is unethical and extremely risky to skip on procuring the necessary licenses required to either play certain songs or consume liquor. In order to have a hasslefree event one must get in touch with an event specialist to procure the necessary licenses and policies for the same.
Lack of plan B- after all plan B is plan A’s dance partner: Let me reinstate: there are things that can always go wrong regardless of meticulous planning and checklists. For example a flight delay can delay the arrival of guests to the hotel which in turn can delay the event, the outdoor venue with your setup may be flooded with water because of bad weather and I could go on and on.. So one must always have some room in one’s budget for these unforeseen circumstances and an alternative solution for these oops moments.
Not communicating enough: In MICE events companies usually book the tickets, accommodation, meals, sightseeing, transportation and pretty much anything and everything event related. As an attendee it can be quite stressful if I don’t receive any detail related to my bookings, etc. till the last minute. Sending check in mails, itinerary, their flight tickets, details about the hotel, their point of contacts and even a link for their id upload for smooth check-ins MUST be done.
Planning a really packed itinerary: I know we all want our guests to have fun.But making a jam packed itinerary is going to do the complete opposite. A really busy day could leave your guests feeling overwhelmed and tired by the end of the day. What one can do instead is give the guests an option to choose whether they want to attend a particular activity or not.
Hiring the wrong event team: Think of your event team as being an extension of your existing internal team. For the timeline right from giving the requirement to executing the event, whether it is 2 weeks or 2 months- they are the ones you will closely deal with day in and day out. So make sure you hire event professionals who are available at your beck and call and go above and beyond to make your event a grand success. I know someone who might be of help.. Pssst! No points for guessing- WNY Holidays is your one stop solution for your next MICE event. Whether it is a meeting, conference, incentive program, R&R or your next corporate event- consider us your Avengers!
Creating a very disorganized or unstructured event: Starting you event agenda late and having too many items on your plate, different venues for every activity, crowded seating, going ‘ with the flow’ when it comes to what is the next program will all lead to lower attendee satisfaction and event flow being compromised.
Not communicating with the clients post the event: Don’t disconnect with the guests abruptly. It is always better to keep them engaged and involved even after the event. It’s important to identify areas of improvement, ensure better future attendee engagement, create a hype for future events and thank them for their participation.
If you think this article is of any interest to you, please interact with this blog and let us know your thoughts. Safe travels with WNY Holidays!