Top 7 Mistakes Most Event Planners Make and How to Avoid Them

Darlene Lyons

Crafting a budget for an event is a complex task that requires meticulous attention to detail. Event planners must consider numerous factors – from venue costs to logistics. Here are some common mistakes that event planners make when budgeting for these crucial elements.

  1. Underestimating Wi-Fi Costs: In the digital age, a reliable Wi-Fi connection is indispensable and many consider it as necessary as air. Event planners often make the mistake of forgetting or underestimating the cost associated with providing high-speed, secure internet access. Failure to allocate an adequate budget for Wi-Fi can blow your budget and/or result in connectivity issues, negatively impacting attendee experience and overall event success.  

  2. Overlooking Audio-Visual Requirements: The audio-visual (AV) setup is a cornerstone of any successful event. Failing to accurately assess the AV needs and associated costs in advance can lead to subpar presentations, technical glitches and a diminished overall event experience. Gather as many requirements in advance from your management, guest speakers, entertainment riders and vendors/sponsors as possible so you can avoid the explosive rack rates that will destroy your budget for technical support, equipment rental, lighting and more. 

  3. Neglecting Rigging and Power Needs: For events involving elaborate setups or stages, rigging and power requirements are often overlooked. Rigging for lighting and stage setups, as well as ensuring ample power sources, should be factored into the budget from the outset.

  4. Underestimating Branding Costs: Branding is a key aspect of event success, but its costs are frequently underestimated. From signage to promotional materials, overlooking the full scope of branding needs can lead to last-minute expenses and a lackluster event presence. A comprehensive budget should include all aspects of branding, ensuring a cohesive and impactful visual identity.

  5. Ignoring Labor Costs: Event labor encompasses various roles, from event staff and security to technical support. Underestimating the number of personnel required and their associated costs can strain the budget and compromise the event's execution. Properly account for labor needs, factoring in overtime costs and potential additional support required during peak event times.

  6. Missing Talent Riders: Your guest speakers and entertainers normally have a rider, which is an addition to the contract that lists their needs. These can run from only green M&Ms , hotel suites, first class airfare, additional rooms, lavish meals, expensive instrument or equipment needs, and more. Be sure to review carefully what your talent requires BEFORE contracting them.  

  7. Misjudging Internal Team Needs: Event planners often overlook the importance of accommodating their internal team. Neglecting to budget for sufficient sleeping rooms and coordinating meals can lead to logistical challenges, impacting the team's performance during the event. Coordinating flights for the internal team is a critical aspect of event planning. Underestimating travel costs, failing to account for potential changes or booking last-minute flights can result in budget overruns. A thorough assessment of travel requirements, including potential changes or delays, is essential for accurate budgeting. Also, be sure to take a hard look at your needs on-site. You don’t need everyone from your headquarters to attend the event.  

Successfully navigating the complexities of event planning budgets requires a keen understanding of the myriad factors involved. By avoiding these common mistakes and taking a proactive approach to budgeting, event planners can ensure a seamless and successful event experience for both organizers and attendees alike.

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Are you looking to host your first event or just up your event game? Get in touch for a no-obligation consultation with an expert at T3 Events Group.  We wish you much success on your next event!

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