Anyone who has ever planned an event can tell you that there are so many things that can go wrong regardless of how experienced you are. Whether it’s not enough people showing up, the weather or being understaffed, there is always something that can go wrong. The key is being aware of what things can go wrong and understanding how you can prevent them. In a perfect world, there would be no issues but in an imperfect world, you must be able to prevent and handle event issues. Today we are going to share 6 reasons why events don’t go as planned and how you can avoid them so you can be empowered to prevent them.
Your Signage Is Non-Existent or Unclear
Have you ever gone to an event only to find yourself lost as to where to actually go? Maybe you were looking for the bathroom or dining space but since the venue is likely new to you, you did not know where to go and had to fumble around asking people for directions. Don’t let this be the case at your event because nothing is worse than having a bunch of frustrated and lost attendees running around. In order to prevent this, make sure you do an audit of all of your signage to ensure the text is clear, large enough and positioned in a place where people will be able to easily find and see the signs. If you’re not sure about your current signage setup, then it doesn’t hurt to go a little overboard with bigger or more prominent signs just to make sure this won’t be an issue. Be proactive and check your signs!
You Are Understaffed
There are a lot of things that need to be taken care of at events like food, drinks, organizing groups if you have multiple presentations going on, audio/visual equipment setup and so much more. The last thing you want to do is start an event only to quickly realize that you are understaffed and don’t have enough people to help with guiding people, security, audio/visual equipment or whatever else your needs may be for that particular event. Doing so will make you overwhelmed, frustrated and negatively affect the experience of your event guests. To avoid this, be sure to do a clear count of how many attendees you anticipate will come, consider their needs and the event layout and then really ensure that you have enough staff to meet those needs long before the event starts. This way if you have to fill any roles you can do that before the event starts and avoid a potential disaster.
This is a particular issue that wreaks havoc in many events and is often caused by miscommunication or a lack of communication altogether. Fortunately, this can also be prevented and solved for through the event organizer maintaining keen attention to detail, reviewing all checklists and constantly communicating with everyone from their event team to all suppliers to make sure everyone is on the same page and standards are being upheld. Now, this doesn’t mean bossing people around and micro-managing, in fact often it requires you to listen closely and are able to articulate what needs to be done in a way that makes people take action. Keep your communication in check and you will prevent many potential issues from happening.
There is nothing more embarrassing than when the microphone doesn’t work, the video presentation won’t start or the internet randomly shuts down at an event causing confusion and frustration for everyone involved. One of the best ways to prevent this is by hiring a solid A/V company that can understand your needs and that is willing to do rehearsals and tests with you. A rehearsal is when you practice a situation as if it were happening in order to catch any potential issues. For example, if you know you will have speakers that show video presentations and speak through microphones, then rehearse those sequences with your A/V team as if they were doing it live in order to catch any potential errors or misplacements. Tests are making sure your speakers, microphones, photo booth, lighting, and any other technology is working properly by running them to see if you find any issues. The key is to do the rehearsals and tests long before your event and even multiple times so by the time it comes, your technology is prepared and it can be flawless.
Many People Don’t Show Up
You’ve put in a lot of hard work to organize your event and the day has finally come but all of a sudden participants start to drop out or even worse barely anyone shows up. It’s a terrible situation to get into but fortunately, this is preventable. In order to reduce the number of last-minute participant dropouts you have, you can create a clause where they have to give you notice within 24 or more hours and have a backup person who can take their place as well as an additional back up if possible in case neither of them shows up. As for preventing no shows of your attendees, there are a few things you can do. Be sure to effectively pre-promote and market your event so people know about it, keep track of people who sign up to attend and send them multiple reminders before the event especially as it gets closer. If you are doing a free event, it is not uncommon for there to be a high amount of people who don’t show up, a powerful way to prevent this is to charge for tickets, even if it is a small amount because people value what they pay for more than what they can get for free. No matter what you do, having people show up is key.
Unexpected weather has a peculiar way of interrupting events like no other. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to be proactive and ready for unanticipated weather issues. If you are doing an outdoor event consider renting weatherproof equipment, having covers for rain just in case, and having materials your staff and attendees can use in the case of poor weather like ponchos and umbrellas. Your staff and attendees will seriously appreciate this because it shows you were prepared and care for them. We do audio/visual rentals in Los Angeles so fortunately, we don’t often face these issues but not everyone is as lucky to have great weather all year. So don’t count on luck, count on being prepared!
Now that we’ve shown you some of the most common reasons why events go wrong and how you can avoid these issues we hope you are better equipped to be able to handle the challenges that may come your way as an event planner and create a better experience for your attendees. Always make sure you are preparing yourself for whatever may go wrong because odds are it eventually will!