10 Rookie Event Planning Mistakes

Event Planning Mistakes

I came across this blog post this morning while making a few SEO changes to our website.  As I was reading through it and realized how much our company subconsciously plans to make sure these event planning mistakes don’t happen.   This post originially came from Christina Olenick of zkipster, and the original can be found here https://blog.zkipster.com/bid/303710/10-Rookie-Event-Planning-Mistakes.  Enjoy the read!


There’s nothing like inviting a speaker to your event and when the time comes to introduce her, no one knows how to pronounce her name. This is just one of many rookie mistakes as an event planner you definitely don’t want to be making. Here are 10 more to avoid…


1. Not checking the weather

Always check the weather forecast before your event. Surprise showers happen. Hail happens. Heat waves happen. Whether your event is outside, or not, unexpected weather can have unexpected consequences on your event. If it rains and you event is outdoors, do you have covering? If it rains, and you are indoors do you have a canopy or extra umbrellas for arriving guests? Many of whom will probably have hair and make-up that, when faced with water, melts faster than the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.


2. Not having a coat check

Having a coat check is especially important in the colder months, when your guests will be arriving laden down with heavy winter jackets. A good rule of thumb: an unencumbered guest is a happy guest.


3. Not having a parking plan

A good event planner is always thinking five, even ten steps ahead when it comes to anticipating their guest’s needs. Consider options for valet, or have a list of car service companies ready to take guests to and from the event.


4. Not having signage leading guests to the venue

If you have an event that is even a little ways away from the entrance, someone can and will get lost. Anticipate this issue by having signs and maps that easily and clearly direct attendees to the final event space. This is particularly helpful if an event space has other events going on, or if your event takes up multiple floors. If you have an event website, cut back on paper by adding these maps for quick accessibility.


5. Not making sure bathrooms stay clean

A messy bathroom reflects poorly on you and your event. Have a staff member double check, and make sure everything is cleaned before the event begins, and occasionally while the event is going on. Make sure it is always stocked and the wastebaskets aren’t overflowing.


6. Not having your staff/volunteers arrive on time

It’s a sorry fact that most likely someone on your staff is most likely going to be late. So make sure to tell everyone to arrive at least an hour before. This gives you a nice cushion for the latecomers and gives you time to explain to everyone their jobs throughout the night. A staff member who doesn’t know what their job consists of is pretty much useless to you.


7. Not designating staff/volunteer space

Don’t forget that your staff is probably coming with personal items of their own. Not to mention production teams, if you have them, who will need space for their equipment and cases. Give them a secure place to store their personal items out of sight of guests. Don’t run around last minute trying to.


8. Not having enough people to help check-in guests

Lines can build up quickly, especially when the doors open and attendees all converge at once. Using an event-planning tool like zkipster, lines are sure to move quickly. Needing only one check-in staff member per every 100-150 guests, allows you to cut back on staffing costs and make better use of your staff’s valuable time.


9. Not respecting capacity limits

Venue capacity limits are not guidelines. Make sure you are well aware of how many people you can fit into a space. The Fire Marshall can and will shut you down. Maximum occupancy numbers are usually listed in commercial spaces. They are set by the Fire Marshall and, therefore, can vary from city to city, so if you are unsure check with your local fire department.


10. Not bringing an emergency event toolkit

Bring an emergency event toolkit. This is a box usually filled with emergency supplies like a stapler, pens/pencils, gaffer’s tape, extra chargers, pushpins, ink cartridges, large printed arrows for directional purposes, a Leatherman, and flashlights. The items in your kit can vary, but always have one on hand.

The best event planners are always prepared for anything and everything!


After reading this, you should now be prepared to avoid the event planning mistakes that we have laid out for you, making your event even more successful!