Five More Incredibly Common Mistakes Made By Novice Event Planners

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Nobody’s perfect. I can’t emphasize enough that in a complex, high-stress career like event planning, people are bound to make a mistake or two.  people are bound to make mistakes. This is especially true if they’re new to the job – in many cases, they may not even realize they’ve erred until it’s already too late to fix the problem.

Today, we’re going to go over a few more mistakes commonly made by event management rookies. While none of these will necessarily lead to a catastrophe on their own, they can still cause a pretty huge headache for planners, clients, staff, and volunteers. Best avoid making them, if you can.

Forgetting The Coat Check

The chill of winter is just around the corner. People are starting to bust out their coats, gloves, hats, and boots in order to brave the cold. What that means is that they’re probably going to show up to your event wearing all that stuff – and you’re going to need to give them somewhere to store it, so that they don’t have to haul it around the show floor all day.

After all, a parka’s a pretty poor outfit for a trade show.

Not Keeping The Bathrooms Clean

One thing a lot of novices don’t take into account is the fact that they don’t just have cleaning staff to help pick up after an event ends – they also need to take an active role in keeping the venue clean while the show is running. The restrooms, in particular, are of vital importance. Particularly at larger events, they can start to get pretty rank if they’re left unattended, potentially even transforming into a full-scale health hazard.

Neglecting Staff/Volunteer Space

I said in a prior piece that you need to make an effort to help your volunteers and partners feel appreciated. Thanking them is only part of the equation there. You also need to provide them with their own space at the event – a safe spot where they can store their stuff, and potentially relax when they aren’t working.

Fail to do this, and you’ll end up dealing with a pretty long list of no-shows.

Failing To Communicate With The Client

One of the worst things you can do in any career is fail to keep in touch with the people you’re working with – yet this is something I see happening all the time.  As an event management professional, you need to make time to meet with your client – particularly face to face. You don’t want to get to the day before a conference, and find out they hate how things are laid out. Give them an active role in planning your event; show them the wardrobe, tour them through the venue, and consult them before making any major decisions.

After all, this isn’t your event – It’s theirs.

Not Giving Staff Enough Time To Show Up

The trouble with volunteer work is that way too many people don’t take it seriously enough. You’re going to have volunteers showing up late to your event, it’s almost guaranteed. What can you do to avoid ending up short-staffed?

Easy – tell your volunteers that they need to show up at least an hour to an hour and a half before they actually need to be there. That way, even the people who are habitually late will be there in time to help you run the show – and everyone who shows up on time can help with setup.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes – it’s pretty much a fact of life. The trick is being able to recognize that you goofed, and take measures to avoid doing the same thing next time. Hopefully, this list helps at least a few event planners – both new and old – avoid some of the more common flubs within their profession.

And hopefully, they’re better for it.