I believe professional event planners learn from failure and do not repeatedly make mistakes.
Failure leads you to a great learning experience; on the other side repeated mistakes just produce recurring upsets. The difference herein lies between failing out of control and consciously ignoring the aspects you know will even enrage your event guests or attendees.
Here is a list of those instances wherein many of us tend to be LAZY or shallow when it comes to the details of event planning. Refer to this list, acknowledge the pain, then change your ways for the better. Your Sponsors, Guests, and Boss will be happy—especially if the boss is no other than yourself.
1. Always the Same Event Speakers/Performers
Try to compare the programs of large association events and trade shows from the last three years. Have any of the speakers or performers participated more than once? Even speakers actually avoid coming back as a speaker to the same events. This is the norm if you attend any event in the events industry.
2. Wi-Fi not Working
It’s already 2014. Wi-Fi was invented way back in 1985 then commercialised in 1999. Is 15 years not possibly enough to fix this issue?
Guests need to be connected while at events. They badly need to update, tweet, pin, like, or check their emails. This is especially true if you’re super awesome venue is in a basement where reception is non-existent.
‘We’re currently having issues with the Wi-Fi’ is a chant that doesn’t or shouldn’t apply anymore in this day and age.
3. PDF Programme Schedule
Sorry to say but having to download a .pdf of your event’s programme is not acceptable. Your event speakers/performers are your main marketing triggers here. Don’t send them file that they still need to open in another window, or even worse, to download.
Another way to look like the classic lazy event organizer is to have an event schedule in a blurry .jpg file—not even possible to read.
You can easily achieve using a dynamic schedule in a million ways—including event mobile apps.
4. Slides Not Collected in a Single Place
Laziness in these area could make you stalk a speaker to ask for the slides, or receive random emails with endless attachments, so NO excuses. There are tools like slideshare.net that allow you to collect slides from an event as well as the option to host your own content-hub on your event website.
5. Crappy Event Website
Everyday there is an explosion of event technology; someone is always creating new tools for events, and yet, the most average of event websites these days is demoralising.
Your event website is your center of command. It is your home-base. It is where attendees purchase their tickets, check updates, etc. so it deserves a much better treatment.
6. Not Communicating the Hashtag
Today’s conventional method of referring to an event online is through Hashtags. Communicating your hashtag clearly to everyone is as vital as handing out a business card.
7. Too Much Social, Too Much Technology
The trend now is that some events overdo their tech, which greatly upsets attendees. Many people are early adopters of using tech at events but they abhor when you take it way too far.
Like us on Facebook, join our community, join our other community, share a pic on Twitter, download our app, rate the speakers on our second app, send us a video, and don’t forget to pin to our board… Oh give us a break!
Let us not be too eager. Invest in one or two techs, don’t be pushy on social networks, and be present.
8. No Tech at All
On the other hand consciously NOT trying anything tech, from modernized registration to social media presence signals utter disregard for your audience.
Yes, in some instances some of your audience will not care at all about tweeting, but using a dynamic schedule, for instance, for the event, or having automated registration or live polls will be sure winners for everyone. Embrace the basic tech available that makes events great and up-to-date.
9. Slow On-Site Registrations
There is nothing as appalling as waiting in line. Nothing. So have you done every possible way you can to speed up your process of registration?
Can attendees download then print their tickets to get scanned for easily entering your event? Note: it’s even better with no printing involved, for instance, scanning tickets directly from their event app or email.
10. Not Catering for People with Disabilities
Is your venue accessible? Do you allow EVERYONE to participate the ‘normal’ way in your event?
I know this article came across somewhat harsh or straightforward, but I believe we can transform these usual event planning mistakes by being just a bit more conscious and of course eager to learn.