Putting events together is a mammoth task and anything can happen at any time. Although we can not prepare you for every unfortunate, unpredictable circumstance an event can throw at you, we do hope this list will help at least a few common event disasters from happening.
Here are our top 20 most common potential event disasters that can be avoided just by knowing them and being as prepared as you can be.
#1 Backups For Everything
To avoid running around like a mad chook on the day have a back up plan for everything and I mean everything, anything can happen and although no one will be 100% prepared for the unpredictable to happen we can give it our best shot, have backups for weather, MIA vendors, MIA products or hire items, extra cords and chargers, on the day emergency kits, first aid kit even a change of shoes
#2 Always Check Inclusions
Take the time and know what is included. Don’t just assume or you may be running around a lot on the day.
Make sure you leave plenty of time when ordering online, especially if from overseas as delivery isn’t always exact. Not all online shops are as good as they may seem, things may not be exactly what you saw in the picture, things may not be the right size even if you pull out the measuring tape.
#4 Work Together
An event is only as good as its weakest link bring together a good team and work out all the details together it is a mammoth task for just 1 or 2 people to put together a successful event, share the workload, brainstorm, offer different opinions and prospectives, get professional assistance when lost, always stay connected and updated with each other and delicate tasks that suits each team member.
#5 Cheaper Is Not Always Better
Find out why it’s cheaper. If it’s an online purchase, will the shipping cost make it more expensive then ordering locally? With events you pay for quality in most cases, the more expensive vendors are that way for a reason. A good example of this is cake makers and catering – does the cheaper vendor have the correct licenses and insurance? Do they have a clean and appropriate cooking/baking space to make and sell edible goods? Food poisoning is serious and your guest won’t be pleased.
I know this seems to be the cheapest option to start with, however, when you add up all the smaller costs and redos after the trial and error process and the “I change my mind now” scenarios, most cases you would have paid more than getting a professional to start with. Not to mention it’s very time-consuming. Imagine the work hours you are going to lose and on top of that it’s very stressful as you will have so much on your plate. And frankly yourself, your guests/bridal party/workmates would rather just turn up and enjoy the event and not spend several hours or even days working their bottoms off to get it done. I’ve seen it in the past where the host doesn’t have time to get ready and they are still getting the event together and it’s about to start…
#7 Be Organized
Send a clear timeline and checklist out to everyone involved in the event as soon as you have it and keep it updated. This will help everyone a lot and make your event run a lot smoother, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.
#8 Be Aware Of The Time Crunch
Some venues only allow a short time to set up and pack down. Keep this in mind as you may not be able to go so big some stuff may not get completed and you may have to pay more for extra staff to try and get as much done as possible.
#9 Booking The Right Venue
Some venues could be disastrous! For example, even if you pay for a piece of council land they do not have staff holding your spot for you so anyone could set up a birthday party right where you have paid for your luncheon to be and they are not easy to get ahold of on weekends. Plus, random people may walk through your ceremony at a park you have paid for! That’s right, there are some rude people out there that will refuse to walk around. When hiring a hall, find out what’s included. Not all halls will have the correct amount of tables and chairs you may require. There are also venues where you may need to put your own light bulbs in or bring in loud industrial fans because of the lack of or not functioning air conditioning. The staff may not be what you would expect at a venue also, so look into your venues closely and decide what you require for your type of event.
#10 The Space
This is a common one to keep in mind is the number of guests you are expecting when choosing your venue. There’s nothing fun about squishing 300 people into a room made to only fit 100. Also, for the bigger events like concerts, be mindful of the maximum capacity when organizing ticket sales. Having a squished crowd will lead to bad reviews.
#11 The Stationery
Whoever you get to do your stationery will only use what you provide, so make sure all spelling, grammar, dates, and quotes are all correct on your end prior to sending. Don’t just assume that sending “Mick” for short when you want it to say “Michael” is what they will do because it’s not. Proofread everything before sending and again when you receive them as occasionally there may be a bad typo and it might be too late to fix it.
#12 Always Check Documents
This includes every single invoice, terms and conditions and contracts. Make sure that every invoice is current with what you are needing, always read the terms and conditions as sometimes these can change but only if stated in the original. Before signing contracts be sure to read what you are signing, what’s in these documents can make or break your event. Does your hire item include a backup if it suddenly breaks down? Do your vendors allow for last-minute venue changes in case of unfortunate circumstances.
#13 Know Your Guests
Are there any guests with allergies or special dietary needs that you may have to account for on the menu? Will you need to have wheelchair access? When hiring dance lighting, make sure your guests are not prone to epileptic fits with flashing lights. Are any of your guests allergic to flowers or plastic because you may have to make alternative arrangements and it’s good to know this early on in the planning process.
#14 Boring Events
If you want your guest to stay tuned or even just stay, make it enjoyable. If you have a, what seems to be a never-ending, speech or lecture be prepared to have snoring sounds and people walking out. Play some games and (only if you can pull it off) make some jokes and refrain from long boring powerpoints. Try hiring some lawn games for the adults and inflatable attractions for the kids. Kids will get easily bored at any event even if there are colouring book and crayons in front of them. See if your venue has a kids room or hire an event childcare or pop up kids room.
#15 Try Before You Buy And Hire
Trial runs and samples are a must for any event to avoid on the day disaster. Test the speakers and lighting, sample the food and cake, test your vendors skills, have a hair and makeup trial, meet with all vendors in person (not by phone or over an email). It is important that you trust and are happy with all the vendors and suppliers you choose to make for a great event. Always ask for samples or check out previous work from your chosen vendors (that cake might look fabulous but tastes awful).
#16 Oops The Music
Although you think I’ll skimp on the music and play straight off the smartphone, iPod or laptop one of the biggest and most common oops moments is because the phone can ring midway through a song, iPods die quickly, laptops are forever having tech glitches, and you will be forever be changing songs as you forgot to take out the songs with the bad language or random voice audio you accidentally added in or kids decide to play DJ. It’s not just the self-service that can cause big problems, some DJs and bands may not be up to scratch for certain events, so choose wisely and ask for sample work (not just I played around in my garage at home or played a few songs for my friend’s party). Another thing about the music is the playlist, choose carefully to suit your crowd.
#17 Choose Quality Over Affordability
Sometimes when you go for the affordability over the quality you can have a disaster just waiting to strike. For example chair hire, I have lost count the number of events I have attended where the cheaper chairs where hired just to have people falling through them. Thankfully they escaped with a few minor scratches but could you imagine someone breaking a bone just because you wanted to save a few bucks? I’ll tell you now, it can potentially work out much more expensive in the long run. This also goes for a number of other areas surrounding your event, food is a big one and so is stuff like stage lighting, trusses, and other suspended items if not done by a qualified professional could fail and squish your crowd. It’s not just disastrous, but also can be dangerous.
#18 Where Are All The Guests?
To save embarrassment and disappointment there are a number of factors to prevent this from happening. Invite more people as chances are there will be quite a few that can not make it. Choose a good date by avoiding school holidays and public holidays as this is when families have booked their holidays. Avoid event clashes, if there is another event on the same date expect less of a turnout. Work days are not so great as you’ll need to give people time to get time off work. Keep on their case regularly and ask guests to RSVP by the deadline, set up a social media page for the event to get a good insight on estimated guest numbers.
#19 Bad Crowd
Keep in mind when you work out your guest list that everyone on the invite list won’t cause dramas at your event. This goes for weddings and business-related events mostly. We know you want everyone to be there but is it worth a disastrous event? If there are people good on there own but not so fun to have around when another particular person is there, to avoid fights during the planning and after your event don’t invite both parties. There’s also the person that can cause a scene when they have had a few too, who may not be a great idea to invite unless you somehow have a genius plan to keep them away from the bar.
#20 Precious Memories
You decide to get Uncle Sam to take the photos just because he has a nice camera (these are your memories and keepsakes you can not turn back time and it will cost even more to get them fixed in the long run), are you willing to risk your precious moments for the sake of saving a buck?