As organizations and individuals become more comfortable hosting and attending in-person events, it’s easy to focus on the fun, bright and shiny aspects of event planning. (Cake — in the vicinity of other human beings?! We missed this.) At Candor, we know the secret to a successful event is taking care of the nitty gritty details. We help organizations of all sizes plan events, from grand openings to employee appreciation celebrations and more. In our experience, here are the top four event planning mistakes to avoid:
1. Ordering Too Much Food
When ordering food and beverages, it’s easy to assume a 1:1 ratio for guests to refreshments is needed. Trust us — it’s not.
We see this happen a lot with buffets and bar service. People think, “Because I have 100 guests, I need 100 of everything!” Remember, not everyone has the same tastes or likes, and there may be circumstances (however minuscule) influencing their decisions to select the refreshments you offer. Usually, an 80% rule is best when offering a variety of selections to guests. You’ll find more room in your budget and have fewer leftovers to take home.
2. Failing to Develop a Rain Plan
As any party goer knows, the weather can be unpredictable — remember those tornados in October and snow in May? When planning an outdoor event, it’s crucial to also create a backup plan for inclement weather. Identifying a secondary location, drafting an alternate layout and timeline and communicating these details in advance with your vendors are vital steps. By sharing these plans in advance, you’ll save yourself a flurry of phone calls if you have to implement them. Everyone’s blood pressure will be lower, and your proactiveness will be appreciated.
3. Forgetting About the “Yuck”
Does anyone actually enjoy trying to add more trash to an overflowing mountain of garbage? What about staring at dirty dinnerware after friends have finished eating or asking for directions to the bathroom?
Of course not!
Trash, dirty dishes and bathrooms are details that, if left unattended, can quickly derail a guest’s experience. Make sure you have enough staff to take out trash and/or bus tables and have signage directing people to the restrooms. Prioritizing these areas is a thankless task, but the alternative is just inconvenient and… gross.
4. Not Acquiring Event Insurance
Event insurance covers all sorts of incidents, such as accidents, property damage, weather events or even cancelling due to illness. Vendors and venues are unlikely to provide refunds for last-minute cancellations, especially because their work is often done ahead of time and there’s no chance of rebooking services or reusing materials. Instead of being forced to foot the bill when cancellation occurs, give yourself peace of mind by securing event insurance. It’s a small investment with a big payoff.