Where Your Last Event May Have Gone Wrong

<< CEMA Blogs | December 10, 2018

And How to Avoid It From Happening Again

4 Common Mistakes at Events (and How to Prevent Them)
When you’re hosting an event, what if [insert your worst event-producing fear] happens?! Good news — you have several strategies to both prevent problems and mitigate them if they occur. Take your events from good to great with these smart suggestions for preventing problems.

  1. Budget Overflow Costs are one of the greatest limiting factors to producing an event. As the event begins to take shape, so too do the costs. And without a well-defined budget, these expenditures can run away like wild horses. However, you can rein in those out-of-control costs in three simple steps. First, establish a detailed budget ceiling as your upper limit. Document all your costs as they accrue in the planning phase. Finally, get creative — remember that gifts cost money, but having someone donate their time can be free.
  2. Mismanagement of Resources Staffing of an event is a key aspect of its success. The wrong person for a job at the wrong time could spell disaster. How can you stay on the right track? Keep in mind an old adage: Choose the right tools for the job. For starters, perform a skills assessment to better understand your staff. Delegate tasks according to ability and then need. Lead with strength, and your team is sure to follow your lead. Remember people need reassurance, so provide positive reinforcement both before and during the event.
  3. Murphy’s Law The universe, in its infinite possibilities, may deliver unforeseen difficulties. According to Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. What happens if a speaker cancels, the Wi-Fi goes out or a room is unexpectedly unavailable? Thankfully, you can take steps to mitigate these types of problems. First, create a risk assessment of all possible problems and brainstorm backups for all of these potential pitfalls. If something goes wrong, simply make changes as necessary. Remember, guests will just think most changes are part of the plan. Keep a smile on your face and no one will suspect there’s a problem.
  4. Simple Blunders Think of Murphy’s Law as being the big picture and the simple mistakes as obstacles to be (mostly) evaded. Simple mistakes may include mixing up a name during an introduction, leaving an individual off the guest list or switching the order of speakers. Thankfully, you can avoid these issues with planning. Just as you’d create a detailed budget, craft a detailed plan or run-of-show. Make sure to include all important points, including who, what, when and where (we’ll leave the “why” question to your inspirational pre-event speech). Go through the plan with your team to avoid confusion. If a slip-up does occur, smile and laugh it off while taking ownership of the misstep.​

Creating Memorable Events When you’re putting together an event, you have to juggle a lot of balls. But with a solid plan, a team on the same page and a reassuring smile (authentic or forced), it will all come together.