It's not always all roses when you look behind the scene! Here I am at an event getting multiple complaints from neighbours over our event taking all the residential street parking up!

The 5 biggest mistakes event organizers Make

After being in the event organizing game for so long, there were naturally some mistakes made along the way. Let me save you time and share them with you so you can be well on the road to success!

  1. Choosing the wrong venue: Choosing a venue either too small or with a bad location/ambiance. Lets dive into the first scenario: A venue that is too small can make your guests feel claustrophobic and overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with a small venue if it fits the size of your event. But truly consider how many guests are coming. Try and find photos of similar events in the same location to get a gauge or ask the venue what the maximum capacity is and what the comfortable capacity is. If you are selling tickets, the size of the venue will dictate the top revenue you can make. On the flip side, if you choose a venue too large it may feel too empty or cold if you do’t have enough guests! Bad location and lack of ambiance: It can be tempting to choose the cheapest venue. And sometimes worth it…but do consider the lighting, accessibility and amenities offered such as tables, equipment, use of a kitchen and clean up/set up staff. Sometimes the cheapest venue can end up costing you more in the long run if nothing is included!
  2. Not sticking to the budget: This is the biggest mistake of all! Too many times I’ve seen event organizers get way in over their heads and not stick to their budget. I always like to work in reverse to determine my budget. For example, once I have a concept in mind, I go over all of the costs and projected attendance and decide if the event is even feasible! For a deeper dive on a event budgets, check out my event budget cheat sheet!
  3. Poor advertising: Another big mistake I see too often…organizers hardly advertising and just expecting people to show up! If the event is a public one or for a target audience, do everything you can to get your marketing materials in front of them via social media, postering local coffee shops and/or joining relevant facebook groups in your neighbourhood and posting about your event! Do not assume that a few posters or one facebook post is all you need. Advertise as much as you can within your budget! Even $100 can go a long way for a few targeted ads and posters around town!
  4. Unclear event message: How often do you see a vague poster with a date and time yet no explanation for what the event actually is!? I would say more often than not. If you want more people to attend your event, create a clear and concise message of who & what the event is for, time, date, cost and location on all of your marketing materials! On that same note, I often see posters and ads with way to much writing on them! Keep it catchy, include all the important time & date info, ticket prices etc and keep it short and to the point!
  5. Poor execution: Time and time again we see events with the best intentions be poorly executed! This often comes down to a variety of factors such as lack of staff, ambiance, poor organization, lack of crowd control which creates long line ups and cramped areas. As an organizer, do your best to think through all of these elements before your event begins! Check out my article on event design here for more great tips!
Here I am at one of my favourite venues, Crystal Garden in Victoria BC. Rich with history and oozing with ambiance. However extremely expensive! I had to build the venue into my budget which was a challenge and well worth it!

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