Written by Alihan Ozbayrak on December 04, 2017
Most event planners agree that there is no “typical day” in an event planners life. In event planning, you should always expect the unexpected. Because event planners are held solely responsible for coordinating and arranging all of the pieces that need to come together to make an event successful, they need to pay attention to all of the details.
As an event app expert here at Socio, I work with thousands of event planners every day to make their lives easier. We constantly talk about their problems and try our best to come up with solutions for them. The focal point of every conversation we have is pretty simple. What can we do to help you rock your event!?
Working with thousands of event planners, I have personally witnessed how they continuously face problems that are unexpected. I am left fascinated by how they solve these unexpected problems time after time. With that in mind, I have compiled a short list of common problems I see come up, and the best ways to overcome them.
The more I work with event planners, the more I realize a common pattern that makes event planning successful. Event planning involves a bunch of decision making. An event planner is constantly making crucial decisions. Some of these include the venue, speakers, catering, sponsors, etc. In most cases, the success of the event itself can be measured by the sum of all the outcomes of these decisions.
As a result, improperly allocating resources tops the list of the most common event planning mistakes. For instance, last week I was working with an event planner who was using Socio as her event app. She went ahead and easily uploaded the entire agenda into her event app. However, she was still worried that her attendees, coming from an old demographic, would not adopt the event app. So, she also printed 700 hardcopy agendas for all of her participating attendees.
Not long after the conference had started, she realized that she improperly allocated her budget. She was left staring at two thirds of the agendas that she had printed out. Most of her attendees downloaded her event app, not needing a hard copy at all. And those who did take a hard copy initially, ended up returning the hard copy to her or throwing it in the garbage in a matter of minutes after downloading the app. So it should come as no surprise that for her next event, she actually eliminated that printing aspect completely. She relied 100% on her event app and the results were fantastic.
Jessica Jackley, a famous entrepreneur once said, “as all entrepreneurs know, you live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest.” Being an entrepreneur myself, I really do agree that you win or lose depending on how good you prioritize. Entrepreneurs are really similar to event planners. You do need to wear multiple hats and are constantly juggling an overwhelming amount of tasks. At the end of the day, if you are not working on “What’s Important Now”, you won’t last long.
So who determines if an event planner is successful? Most of the time it comes down to the attendees and their level of satisfaction. To satisfy an attendee, event planners need to consider the number one thing they care about when participating in events. It is obvious, yet event planners sometimes oversee this. Attendees care most about absorbing the content being pushed, and networking. In fact, a recent study found that 86% of attendees stated that the number one reason that they are attending events is networking.
In conclusion, knowing that networking is a major focus of your attendees, you should make this a priority for the planning of the event as well. Socio’s Shake & Connect feature has been particularly successful lately. It allows attendees discover the right people around them and connect / follow up with them with ease.
One of the most common mistakes people make, is not learning from the mistakes we do make! Mistakes will teach you a lot more than your successes. When you have an unsuccessful event, instead of blaming other people, or the vendor, or the venue, or even your attendees, look at the overall picture and try to identify what you could have done better. Now, that is much easier said than done, but will prove critical for constant improvement. Some things are going to be out of your control, but, there are always ways to improve your processes.
It is of the utmost importance, that you track everything that happened in your event. So later on, you can evaluate what exactly made your event successful / unsuccessful. That way you exactly know what to continue to do, and what to avoid. One of the best ways to collect data on your event is through surveys. Now that inherently comes with the challenge of actually getting people to fill them out. So what are some good ways to do so?
Using Socio will grant you the ability to send out surveys through its powerful push notifications that have more than an 80% open rate, you will be able to analyze every single interaction that happened during your event. Socio will collect everything for you. Who is attending which sessions, who is connecting with who, who is using which social media platform, and much more!
These are just some of the common pitfalls that I have seen lately trapping my fellow event planners. If you are coming across any of these challenges yourself, I suggest trying out some of the above solutions other event planners have done to ensure these pitfalls don’t trip them up. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it, and if you are interested in implementing an event app in your events…
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