If you’re an event coordinator, you’re likely accustomed to the familiar stress that comes with planning the next big happening. You already know that being a corporate event coordinator is an important job that involves arranging several different components to work in harmony but comes with some level of unpredictability. Understandably, these unknowns may cause stress that make it difficult to do your job.
The good news is you can ease some of this stress by learning from the mistakes of other coordinators. Exercise more control over the factors that are within your grasp by learning these 10 common mistakes that corporate event coordinators make.
1. Not considering all the things that can go wrong
First, let’s start by imagining the worst case scenarios. Yes, really! Lots of coordinators spend time worrying about things that can go wrong, but not all of them plan for what can go wrong and how they would handle it.
Positivity is important, but taking a pragmatic approach and examining everything that could possibly go wrong for your event equips you with a game plan in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.
Some common corporate event setbacks include:
- Flight delays or cancellations
- Power outages
- Inclement weather
- Booking errors or discrepancies
- Vendors running late or failing to show
There usually tends to be at least one surprise, so having perspective and back-up plans is important to feeling confident that your event will remain enjoyable, no matter what. Offer email or SMS alerts for registrants so that they’re notified about relevant information as quickly as possible.
Make use of branded monthly calendars and planners to stay organized, prepared, and as an extra outlet to brainstorm ideas or take notes on possible discrepancies. This ensures that you stay as calculated, coolheaded, and confident as possible—despite any situations that arise that may be out of your control.
2. Failing to delegate
This one can be a challenge, especially when you know that you’re capable of getting the job done and doing it well. In fact, corporate event coordinators are often highly driven and have the toughest time letting go of certain responsibilities.
This is where the power of teamwork and delegation comes into play. Learn how to delegate smaller tasks so that you don’t overburden yourself. Appoint others to run errands, make presentations, appoint task committees or run meetings so you can focus on strategy and the event as a whole. Delegating tasks makes your event planning more efficient and saves precious time.
3. Forgetting to check other events calendars
It happens. As an event coordinator, you can sometimes become so invested in your event that you fail to consider other events taking place on the same date or weekend. But, as they say, timing is everything.
Mark dates on your calendar with the fewest competing events, and always prioritize those dates when booking.
Holding your event around too many other events can impact the hotel booking prices by making them more expensive, confuse guests, lower attendance, or just dampen the vibe you’re trying to create with your corporate event if guests already have event burn-out (or wish they were somewhere else).
4. Choosing the wrong venue
The venue is an element of corporate event planning that has one of the most significant effects on the event’s atmosphere and overall success. Of course, you don’t want to get this part wrong. Unfortunately, however, it’s an element that many event planners have gotten wrong before!
There are several factors to consider. Your venue should make attendees feel welcome, cared for, and at ease. When choosing a venue, consider things like:
- The cleanliness and general ambience of the venue
- The amount of available lodging at the venue or nearby and whether group rates are available
- The tech setup and capabilities for presentations and sessions—each employee should be equipped with what they need while on-the-go
- Size of the meeting rooms, ballroom, and common areas
When it comes to venues, cutting corners can be risky, so make your decision carefully by considering all the factors. Visit a few venues before making a decision and have a checklist to run through as you tour each one to be certain it offers the best value for what you need.
5. Swinging and missing on the food and beverages
Event attendees are often away from home, tired from traveling, or on tight schedules. Professional food catering can provide the much-needed fuel options that they’ll need each day.
Many coordinators make the error of hiring cheap catering, not tasting the food options beforehand, or miscalculating how much food they should provide. Research and hire dependable caterers that can feed your guests and provide beverages for your event mixers and banquets.
If it makes sense for your event, consider hiring professional bar service along with catering.
6. Neglecting to train their teams
Few things derail an event like an inexperienced, untrained team. Constantly train your team and discuss plans with vendors as you plan your event so that everyone gains clarity and ownership over their roles in the process.
For example, appoint a dedicated team of people to put together swag bags and welcome materials for attendees. Others can take charge of speaking and presentation roles.
The event loses some value if your team isn’t cohesively trained and professional, so make sure everyone is on the same page.
7. Not researching your audience
Knowing your audience gives you the greatest assurance that your event will be a success. Include questionnaires and surveys with registration to glean as much information about your guests as possible.
Collecting information about the attendees’ demographic and interests can not only help you with choosing appropriate marketing products, but will inform the event itinerary as a whole.
Many coordinators take the one size fits all approach, which risks missing the mark with their intended crowd of attendees.
Learn who your audience is, cater to them, and after the event, don’t be afraid to seek more feedback with an exit survey or post-event email.
8. Skimping on entertainment
People who pay their hard-earned money to travel for a corporate event or give up their free time expect to return home at the end of it with high spirits and pleasant memories.
Hiring a skillful DJ with a professional audio setup can heighten the mood at your event. Booking prominent keynote speakers, comedians, and motivational speakers will drive ticket sales and perceived value for events.
Trust us. Underbidding the talent portion can hamper momentum for the event or discourage repeat attendance if your event is annual.
9. Dragging with marketing efforts
Marketing isn’t something you start once you’re a month or two out from the event. Begin spreading the word about your event at least 6 months to a year in advance, if possible.
Map out a campaign for the preliminary stages through early bird registrants, reminders, final deadlines, and the ultimate countdown to the event. Fuel the anticipation with a steady stream of blog and video content and create an editorial calendar for your content with outlines, research, and deadlines to stay organized.
10. Underutilizing available technology
Finally, many corporate event coordinators don’t realize they’re not the most tech-savvy until it’s too late. Having technical difficulties on the day of the event can hurt attendee engagement—and be a little embarrassing.
Appoint an Information Technology (IT) team that is skilled and certified, and give them everything they need to produce your event. The tech team can power your presentations, music and audio, use lighting moods and effects, facilitate the transmission of information, and so much more.
Be sure that someone from the IT team takes inventory of charging stations, cables, monitors, and other vital equipment. Arrive at the venue early to examine the tech setup and make any last-minute provisions.
Avoid these common corporate event coordinator mistakes and pull off your best event yet
Did you know that the corporate event coordinator title is ranked as one of the most stressful jobs on the planet? It already comes with enough variables to mull over, so make sure that you’re controlling what you can by avoiding these 10 mistakes, then letting go of the rest so you can enjoy the hard-earned fruits of your labor.
Proper planning is your foundation, then stock up on all the supplies you need to enable convenience and success.
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