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Updated by Nichola Kelsey on Jul 23, 2018
Headline for 7 things to watch out for when organising your own event
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7 things to watch out for when organising your own event

Whether a conference, exhibition, gala dinner, wedding or community event, all events are subject to the same challenges. Stay a step ahead of the game with this handy guide.


The Venue

The Venue

Key to success of your event is the venue. Is it appropriate for your event, and does it support it's message? This decision can make or break your event. As well as setting the theme for the event, your venue choice has an impact on what additional support you might need, for example with AV production, decor and how accessible the venue is to your audience. By choosing a venue which adds value by including this additional support, you will have far more budget (and time!) to devote to other areas of the event.


Not enough time

Not enough time

"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time." Leonard Bernstein.

Whilst this may be true, event managers will start planning as soon as possible to project manage the known issues, freeing them up to react to those last minute challenges. Of course, a consummate professional will be able to deliver an event in a short lead time but if event management is not your day job you might find it useful to work to a timeline., for example:

  • 12 months prior - identify goals and purpose of event, marketing design and budget
  • 8 months prior - define venue, programme, speakers - still on track with those goals?
  • 6 months prior - how's the budget doing? Develop your marketing plan
  • 4 months prior - work out how you're going to invite people
  • 2 months prior - Send out those invites!
  • 4 weeks prior - send joining instructions and finalise your delegate list
  • 4 weeks after - debrief, measure goals, what worked/what didn't. Use outcome for success plan for next time

Obviously, different types of events will demand a difference timeline. But, you get the gist.


Not enough money

Not enough money

We've all been there at some point in our lives, where income and expenditure just don't match up. Don't make the mistake of "spend as you go" and soaring well over budget. It's so important to identify that event budget right at the start, and decide how and when to use it. Create a spreadsheet of estimated costs, and do your research with external suppliers. Build in a contingency to give you a bit of a cushion against anything unexpected!


The Little Things

And by little things, I mean those last minutes tasks and details that fall in-between at the end moment. Though, when you fail to do them, they hit really hard.

For instance, forgetting to take the specific technical equipment that you’d need or changing the seating arrangement.

Therefore, it would be appreciated if you form a team. The benefit of having a great team is that you’ll not have to remember every single detail and do every little task by yourself. Assign tasks to your team and follow up with them every week to know how things are falling.

This is a productive way to get things done without letting them fall into the cracks at the last moment.