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4 common oversights when planning large events

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You’re organizing your next event. You’ve meticulously planned out all those little details to surprise and delight your attendees…

BUT have you missed something?

We caught up with some event planning experts who shared with us some common oversights in event planning which can easily be avoided. Check them out…


4 COMMON OVERSIGHTS WHEN PLANNING LARGE EVENTS

  1.  Not making the most of your event technology

  2.  Using resources inefficiently 

  3.  Having ad hoc or inconsistent processes 

  4.  Insufficient or last-minute safety planning


1. Take advantage of event technology

Young girl using tech which is an augmented reality device

Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

As event organizers, you go to extreme lengths to ensure that your events WOW attendees, but are you missing a trick to make your own life a bit easier?

You're already using creative, experience-enhancing technology to bring your vision to life for your attendees, so why not bring that same innovation to yourself and your team? 

While you're exciting the masses with augmented reality and other tech-powered engagement tools, remember that there is also mind-blowing tech out there, specifically designed to make the lives of event managers a hell of a lot easier.

How does it help you? By taking the leg-work (and frantic searching for the nearest radio) out of the information game.  The right information, accessible by the right people, when they need it and on their own devices, plus a hotline straight back to you if there's an issue... How does all that printing of manuals and and issuing of schedule updates sound now?

So, what sort of tech do you need?  What problems are holding you back that the right tech can solve? Who can you ask for advice? How much should you have to budget for it? 

Finding the right solution takes a bit of time, but the nice people at Event Manager Blog publish a comprehensive guide to event tech  every year, which is one place to start. Talking to your peers at conferences and professional groups is another. Even better, go and talk to the tech companies at the trade shows, and have a go with their products then and there.

To help you get started, we've got a handy resource that guides you through the technology you can use at each stage of the event lifecycle. Download our guide through the link below or talk to one of our team and we'll help you on your journey to a simpler way of operating.

2. Making the most of your resources

All large events require a wide range of resources to happen, and they especially need an army of people; from volunteers and suppliers to contractors and staff, people involved from planning to review, and those just there for a few hours or a day.

Too often event managers push themselves to near burn-out, trying to do everything themselves rather than using the many willing pairs of hands around them. Sound familiar? Well..I’m sorry to tell you, but no matter how much you want to be, you can’t do everything yourself (even if you're the only one who knows exactly how you want it done!). So spend a little more time training and informing your people, then let them help - you know they want to!

Match your staff and volunteers’ skill sets to the right roles and give them clear guidance on what they need to do.  That way you’ll be well on your way to delivering the event you dreamed of without staying up all night, every night.

Your volunteers can be your eyes and ears on the ground, if you let them.  Ensuring that all aspects of your event are covered is just good planning, so check out this article that provides some tips on getting the best out of them.

3. Having consistent processes in place

Event days are a whirlwind of activity.  When the unexpected happens we’re usually more focused on getting it sorted than unravelling how it happened, and why we couldn't foresee it.

If your events are seeing more and more of the unexpected popping up to disrupt the flow, maybe it's time to have a look at your planning and operating processes.  If you don’t currently have consistent processes in place to identify and assess the "what-ifs" or to spot, report and resolve the "might-have-happeneds", you're always going to be scrambling when things go wrong. More importantly, you're not going to have the information you need to stop them happening in the future.

It’s a no brainer to spend some planning time building consistent processes so that your operations run smoother, but don't forget to share them with your crew. Using technology like Blerter is a great way to ensure that your people have the information they need, when you're onboarding them, but also when things happen on the big day.  What's more, you'll have consistency in the way issues are reported and managed. And you can have confidence that your volunteers and crew are dealing with things just the way you planned.

4. Preparing for the worst

No matter how well organized you are, or how good the main attraction is, not every single thing will go to plan at events.

However, as Peter Ashwin, the expert in event risk management says, "hope is not a strategy". So, while things will pop up from time to time, chances are that a bit more planning and assessing ahead of time could have helped to minimize the effect on your attendees.

No one wants to imagine the rain on their parade, but as event organizers, that's part of your recipe for success - you need to imagine that rain, assess the impact it could have, and plan ways to make sure everyone gets home okay. 

It’s crucial to prepare for the worse by mapping out scenarios and putting robust processes and plans in place - and sharing them, don't forget that your whole crew needs to know what you want them to do in that moment.

To get started, read our top 10 safety risks every event manager should plan for - it's only a starting point though, every event is unique so make sure you and your core team put aside plenty of time to do your event risk management planning.

There you have it... 4 common oversights that you'll never make again. No excuses now, you don’t want to be the one left standing in the rain with no umbrella at your big parade!

If you’re planning a large outdoor event - and you're keen to avoid these oversights -  check out the "need to knows" and in our guide below to help you prepare for the unexpected.  

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