Event organising can be a daunting task, especially if you've never done it before. There are a lot of things to consider and it's easy to make mistakes. Here are 6 mistakes that first-time event organisers should avoid at all costs:
1. Not having a clear purpose or goal for the event.
Before you start planning your event, you need to ask yourself what the purpose of the event is. What do you want to achieve? Once you have a clear goal in mind, it will be easier to plan and execute your event successfully.
An event that has an overcomplicated vision or is trying to do too many things is much more likely to have things go wrong in marketing, planning, and on-the-day execution. Keep it simple!
2. Not being clear on your target audience
Think in broad strokes about your target audience. As with the first point, a target audience that is too broad will not particularly appeal to anyone, and an event with a very specific target audience will struggle to find popular appeal. Try to find a happy medium.
Once you know who your target audience is, you need to do some research on them. What are their needs and wants? What would they like to see at your event? Find out as much as you can about them so that you can make your event appealing to them.
3. Failing to create a timeline and sticking to it.
Creating a timeline is essential when organising an event. Ideally, it will be done as one of the first tasks before launching the event to the public.
You will need to plan your marketing campaign from launch to event day and create milestones by which various steps of your logistical planning are completed. Creating key dates for your marketing will create focal points around which you can drive sales, and the logistical timeline will help you to stay on track and avoid leaving things to the last minute.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to plan and execute your timeline, as well as include all the important tasks and deadlines.
4. Not communicating with your attendees effectively.
Communication is key when organising an event. Make sure to communicate with your attendees regularly, about everything from the event schedule to parking and directions.
If there are any changes to the advertised plan for your event, make sure to let your attendees know as soon as possible. The last thing you want is for them to show up expecting one thing and then find out that things have changed.
Effective communication will also save customers having to contact you to find out the answers to their questions, and save you bags of time that you might otherwise have to spend responding to them.
5. Not planning for the unexpected.
No matter how well you plan, there will always be the potential for things to go wrong. It's important to have a contingency plan in place so that you can deal with any problems that may arise.
You can use the previously mentioned timeline to help you. Consider each stage of the timeline, and what could go wrong at the most important junctures. For example, a headline musician dropping out, or a key piece of equipment not being available. Make notes on possible replacements and mitigation strategies. This does not need to be comprehensive, but having your options ready will make dealing with any problems so much easier.
6. Not celebrating success!
Once your event is over, take some time to celebrate your success! Congratulate yourself on a job well done and enjoy the incredible feeling that putting on your own event brings.