Ahhh – the wonderful world of events. Logistics, marketing, and a million mini-fires that need to be put out – at the same time. Yet somehow, we love what we do. We live and breathe it and we would be lost without it. Admit it, event planning is one of the most fun and challenging careers in the world. We make the list of most-stressful jobs nearly every year lately, but the industry is growing rapidly because there is a life here that people sense from far away. We love our jobs, but that doesn’t mean we love everything about them. And every once in a while, we have to let off a little steam. So – the LKE team has put together a list of our top event pet peeves. Some of these are things we’ve experienced directly and others are things we see at other events. In any case, here are a few things we would love to see disappear from the events industry:
I’ll be honest. If you told me that I would still be talking about paper registration at the entrance of an event in 2014, I would not believe you. All of the apps that allow iPad check in at the door make it so easy, I can’t believe people are still using paper registration at the door. It slows down the experience, it does not allow for the last-minute changes that inevitably happen with every single event, and it’s just plain odd to me. Using an app to check in your attendees is incredibly simple and I’m sure if you give it a chance just once, you would realize that it’s never worth going back to paper.
Lack of sponsor respect/communication
How many times have you sent out a $10,000 sponsor proposal just because your budget said you needed to bring in 10,000 more dollars? That is never the way to put together a proposal. Instead, put together packages for your sponsors that really reflect their marketing goals and are true value for the things that you were offering. And, once you’ve signed on a sponsor, make sure you communicate with them regularly and give them respect. Sponsors are the backbone to great events and too many event planners don’t give them the time of day. Once you get their cash, you run. Think of how much more money you could bring in if you treated your existing brands better.
Yep – we said it. Now of course we don’t dislike all event organizers. We like the ones who are passionate, detail oriented, and really care about the event experience. However, there are not enough of those out there. I’ve always said that the low barrier to entry that we have in our industry is one of the best things and worst things that we have going for us. It gave people like me an in when I didn’t have a ton of experience, but I was hungry to learn. On the other end of the spectrum, it gives a lot of people an in to an industry where they literally do not belong. This industry is not the place for you to come and make a quick buck by exploiting sponsors and creating under-the-table of events. Get the proper licenses, work with your partners to really develop strong events with a great brand and always force yourself to learn new things and hold your events to new standards.
No single point of contact
Whether it’s a vendor or a venue or another event planner, having multiple points of contact is simply too confusing. We know that you work with teams, but various aspects of the event can be broken down by single point of contact. If we need to know about a permit at the venue, we shouldn’t have to email 10 people before we find the right person to talk to. Either assign a single point of contact or make sure your entire team knows the answer to every question (much more challenging!)
Bringing the fires to the guests
I have yet to go to an event where everything happens seamlessly. Because events are people focused and people tend to change… a lot… our events shift as well. However, it is not okay to bring the fires that you experience in front of the guests. Too many event planners lack problem-solving skills and a strong philosophy on guest management. Don’t try to solve problems in front of your guests. And, even worse, don’t try to bring your guests in to help you solve the problems you couldn’t fix.