Event planners at Southam’s award-winning Dallas Burston Polo Club have revealed their top tips for party planning – providing a helping hand to those organising a shindig in 2017.
The supreme destination venue is no stranger to organising events, with the impressive facility being home to some of the biggest and most successful conferences, shows and exhibits in Warwickshire. Now the local experts have offered to share their crucial advice to help party planners across the county avoid the many pitfalls of event planning.
DBPC’s Marketing and PR Co-ordinator Andy Thomas said: “Event planning is just like everything else – something can almost always go wrong.
“Whether you are putting together a big corporate event which has a guest list running into the thousands, or a more simple, smaller shindig for a select few VIP guests, there is always the potential to make at least one fundamental error. In fact all event planners can regularly find themselves navigating a minefield of sticky situations to ensure a perfect end result.
“We have put together a list of the 10 most common mistakes made when people try to organise an event – in the hope that the many pitfalls in event planning can be avoided.”
Andy’s top tips include:
1 Pre-event risk assessment
Safety is the most important issue of any event. Prior to any organising it’s vital that you sit down and go over your event plans to iron out any potential creases before they happen. Put measures in place and allocate budget, time and people to deal with potential mishaps.
2 Avoid tight, controlling itinerary
Rushing the event can ruin everyone’s day. While it is always important to have an itinerary to work alongside, don’t let it control every second of your event. Sticking to it rigidly can leave everyone feeling rushed and under pressure. Try to remember that people are there to have fun – so let them have fun even if it means changing timings on your itinerary.
3 No weather precautions
The golden rule here is never rely on weather forecasts, as you could well be caught out. Weather can make or break an event and every eventuality should be catered for. Any weather condition can spoil a day whether too hot, too cold or wet – so make sure there is plenty of cover to offer shelter or shade and cool break-out areas.
4 Late notice
The later you leave it to let people know about your event – the fewer guests you will have on the day. Make sure you give your guests enough notice, especially during the busier seasons when holidays and family commitments are a priority. In reality you will need three to four months to effectively get word out about your event, especially if you are planning to use the media to promote your activity.
5 Too much social media
Social media is all the rage these days but bombarding the public with too many social media posts can be a massive turn off. Social media is an internet extension of a person’s life, not something they want clogging up with endless adverts from corporations.
We all like the idea of bringing in a big crowd – especially when you have spent a lot of time and effort organising the event. However, if an event doesn’t have a capped capacity, the volume of guests is likely to overwhelm the organisers. No matter how popular you want your event to be, you must cap it to avoid an onslaught.
A lack of parking spaces can ensure a disastrous day even before the entertainment has begun. Nowadays, it’s highly possible that around 90% of your guests will be arriving by car and they don’t expect to be driving around endlessly trying to find a space, or worse still, having to park a mile away from the event location. Event planners must ensure there is enough parking for all their guests.
8 Over-reliance on VIP speakers and special guests
Everyone likes the idea of a star speaker and a famous name can ensure an even bigger and excited crowd. But try to remember that things can happen that are totally out of your control. It’s not unheard of for a celebrity/special guest speaker to cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan B to avoid any disappointment and being left with an empty space on your itinerary that can’t be filled.
9 Staffing during event
No matter how good your planning is, a small number of your guests may still encounter problems of some description. It is always important to ensure you have patient and competent supervisory staff to patrol the event and solve problems on the day.
10 Technical difficulties
And finally, technical difficulties. These have become something of a joke to event goers and a recurring nightmare for event planners. Technology is notorious for going wrong at the most inopportune times. Therefore it’s vital to make sure you have technical support and back-ups for your event to avoid any tech-based embarrassment.
Andy added: “People think event planning is a simple process, but they are wrong. There is a lot to think about when you are organising an event and at the Dallas Burston Polo Club we take great care to ensure that our conferences, shows and exhibits all run as smoothly as possible, which is not always easy!
“Hopefully with our help, others can learn from the many mistakes event planners make and 2017 can be full of happy and contented party goers.”