The 5 Most Common Mistakes In Planning An Event

Going with the first vendor you find.

Florals, catering, linens, AV and more. You’ll need a lot of service providers in your corner in order to put on your ideal event. Everyone has had that manager who gives a million ideas for an event with very little understanding of the cost to execute those ideas. On top of that, you could be working with a venue whose “preferred vendors” or in-house providers could be ridiculously over-priced. Your job is to stay in budget while bringing your manager’s vision to life. IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?? Doing research and pricing out additional audio and lighting vendors can allow you the ability to afford those additional embellishments that help heighten your guests experience or can later give you the flexibility to tackle last minute changes. Outside audio-visual vendors saves an average of 40% over in-house and hotel-contracted providers. Don’t let a venue take advantage of your last minute planning. Read reviews, solicit references and collect examples of a supplier’s work before you pick a winner!

Letting a good thing get away.

Picking a venue first thing when planning an event seems like a good idea. However, you should secure an audio-visual vendor before finding that perfect venue. Choosing a production team first allows you to explore event ideas and accomplish your design goals instead of working around a particular venue’s house rules or space constraints. Production companies have experience working at a variety of venues and can suggest the best spaces to execute your creative ideas. Once you’ve found your perfect audio-visual vendor, lock them in! Be sure to ask for a timeline of when vendors will need certain documentation in order to ensure availability. Keep in mind, the size of your event and time of year will determine how far in advance you need to book your vendors. A small event in January can be planned in less time than a larger event taking place in May or October. Most quality service providers will require a contract and deposit to hold the date for you.

Underestimating your attendance.

The more attendees you have, the more expensive your event will be. That being said, a strong estimate of attendees can help ensure that you’re allocating the right dollar amounts for each vendor. If you end up having fewer attendees than anticipated, there are often easy solutions to tweak your floorplan and services to keep a room looking full. Having more people than planned may seem great, but you can end up with cramped seating, inadequate audio and video coverage and a host of other difficulties that all result in a bad experience for your attendees. Leaving some time between the end of the registration period and the event itself will help avoid these issues. A few weeks can allow you to work with your vendors to come up with a plan to scale up their services. Another good practice is to send a survey email after each event asking people if they are likely to attend another of your events in the future, or to recommend your events to others. With the added benefit of giving you insight into your attendees’ experience, this can also help you gauge whether your attendance might grow, shrink or remain stable in the future.

Not enlisting enough help.

You only have two hands, so when planning and executing an event, it is absolutely essential to have team-members who can be dedicated to specific tasks. Bringing on interns and volunteers can help fill those tasks. You shouldn’t be at the registration table the day of your event trying to talk to an airline over the phone because your keynote speaker is stranded in Cedar Rapids. That kind of multi-tasking can negatively affect your attendees experience. The number of positions that will need to be filled will depend on the size and scope of the event, but the best practice is always to get just a little more help than you think you need. Having this help doesn’t mean you won’t have things to do during your event. Trust us, something will come up that needs your attention, and you’ll be glad to have a team by your side.

Not finding an event technology partner that is truly a partner.

Most things in today’s world rely heavily on technology, including all kinds of events. Live streaming, complex video production and remote presentation are just a few of the techniques that are front-and-center in the event production world. At TSV Sound & Vision, we understand that the tech side of things can be a bit intimidating. That’s why we take as much time as needed to really help our clients understand the purpose and functionality of each element of the A/V system we propose for an event. Remember, no one understands the needs of your event better than you, the organizer. If we can demonstrate the real-world difference between our equipment options, you are really in the best position to decide if that’s the best way to allocate your budget. You don’t want a technology provider making you feel inexperienced or trying to sell you something without a good explanation.

Planning an event? Contact TSV Sound and Vision today to find out how we can help you make the most of your time and budget.