Particularly for novice planners, planning any size event can be a major ordeal. Not only are there a lot of different aspects to consider, but there is a lot of time involved in coordinating everything so it comes together perfectly for your event. Even in our experience with planning, we still have some big hurdles—so we thought we’d share our top 5 with you!
1. Getting in touch with venues
So you begin your search for the perfect space and when you begin contacting places (much to your surprise) you can’t reach anyone! Just like any other place, bars, restaurants, lofts spaces, and all different types of event spaces are very, very busy. We can’t tell you how many times we call a restaurant, for example, and reach that hostess that while very friendly, can’t really tell us much about packages, availability, or the specifications of the room. However, by working so closely with our venues, we’ve now developed a relationship where we can always get in touch. So if you can’t seem to get anywhere, we at InstEvent would be more than happy to put you into contact with your dream venue.
2. Venue restrictions.
Planning your event can also become a big problem when your ideal venue has a lot of restrictions. For example, art galleries are elegant and unique spaces for events. However, they often have restrictions on decorations (quite understandably), and also can have restrictions on event size and type depending on what exhibit they are currently hosting.
Many venues also have restrictions on using outside vendors. Some spaces work exclusively with specific caterers, florists, and photographers, which could pose a problem. This is particularly difficult for non- profits, as they often try to bring in donated items.
3. Making a budget and sticking to it.
The biggest problem with event budgets? Creating one in the first place. A lot of new planners have no idea how much everything will cost, and even more important, what items they need to consider in their budget estimate. You may have, for example, considered the cost of using your venue’s projector for your event. But did you consider the additional cost for using their AV technician? Extra little costs like this can pop up all over.
The best way to figure out what your event will really cost you is to come up with a number in your head and then shop around. If you find that no one can accommodate what you need for the price you’re offering, you may have to cut back. For this reason, communication with venues is key. This way, you can figure out exactly what they can offer you for your price range, which will ultimately help you stay within your budget.
4. Expecting the unexpected.
The best way to make sure that your event goes off without a hitch is to make sure that you consider everything and anything that could happen. For example, if something goes wrong on your end and you have to cancel, make sure that you know the cancellation policies for all of your vendors so you know exactly what losses you will suffer. In contrast, if any of your vendors cancel on you, have a plan B.
Another big problem is under- attendance. It’s disappointing, but it is for this reason that you should slightly underestimate your guest count. You can easily add people, but trying to meet the venue’s minimum for a party of 100 with 50 people can be a big problem.
5. Getting the word out.
Planning and then marketing? We know—it’s a lot of work. But strategic promotion of your event is critical to its success, especially for large- scale events. However, for those without any marketing experience, making sure that your target audience knows about your event can be very difficult.
While not all events require marketing, if yours does, here are some tips to get you going.
• Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for businesses. Make an event on Facebook and then promote it on your page. Or create a special hashtag for your event on Twitter so that people can check in on what’s happening.
• Begin an email campaign to your target group.
• Create advertisements for local paper, TV, and radio spots.
• Send out press releases to encourage media coverage for your event.
Bottom- line: event planning isn’t for the weak at heart! But with careful consideration and thought beforehand, even a novice can pull off the perfect soiree! And be sure to check out www.instEvent.com to help with your next event. We can help you find the right venue for your budget, and help you get their pricing, packaging, and availability information. Then, the rest of your planning is just that much simpler!
- The Event Mavens