Mistakes are a part of day to day life, whether in business or in your personal life. However, some mistakes are more costly than others, which is why organizing events is no easy task. Any production can become a headache for even the most seasoned planner, as many of the mistakes that are made are very common. To avoid them, one must be very thorough when planning.

If you’re thinking about organizing an event, take a moment to think about whether you’re making any of these mistakes, so that you can avoid them at any cost. If you’ve already organized events, you’ve probably made some common mistakes, which is why it might be a good idea to read about them so that you can avoid making them for a second time.

What to avoid when organizing events

1. Not starting early enough

Time is your number one enemy. Not starting early enough is one of the most common events planning mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. It can cause a series of problems along the way. So, as soon as you’ve chosen a date for the big day, you should visualize the general scope of your event and your budget.

You should also book the hotel or venue where you wish to have the event ahead of time, because if you don’t do this you’ll be limiting your options, and unfortunately you’ll be stuck with any available space. Other elements that must be booked ahead of time include entertainment and guest speakers. If needed, always get a signed contract right away.

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To avoid complicating the situation and to take control of your time, it’s ideal to use an event organization checklist. As you identify each step of the planning process, you can determine when it will need to be completed by and develop a timeline for each part, which will serve as a valuable guide while getting started and along the way.

2. Not checking the calendar

If you’re about to choose a random date for your event, STOP RIGHT NOW and go get a calendar. Another common planning mistake is choosing the wrong date. There are many factors that can contribute to a particular date not being a good choice, such as:

-The date of the event coinciding with a competitor’s event
-Bad weather
-A high profile sporting event
-Part of the highway or road being closed, making access to the location difficult

Therefore, do your due diligence and check if there are any conflicts with other events before it’s too late. Once you’ve decided on a date, get confirmation from your guests.

3. Not confirming with suppliers

Each signed contract is invaluable during the event planning process, so find a way to obtain these contracts and always have a copy for safekeeping. A contract signed by a seller is a legally binding agreement, and it gives you something in writing that makes the seller responsible for the services they must provide on the day of the big event.

The following rule is essential for event organization: CONFIRM WITH EACH SUPPLIER TWICE RATHER THAN ONCE.

Yes, twice. First you must confirm the receipt of the signed contract once both parties have agreed to the terms. Then, confirm again before the event itself. This is not just the conversation you’ll have about the details of food delivery or decoration, it’s a specific follow-up to ensure that your event is still in their agenda.

Remember, you aren’t the only one organizing an event in your area, event suppliers are booked for multiple events and it’s very easy for paperwork to get lost.

4. Not choosing the right venue

Don’t let yourself be fooled, just because a venue is spacious, well known, and visually attractive doesn’t mean that it’s the right place for your kind of event. These are some of the factors that may mean a space isn’t right for you:

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-The space is small and unable to accommodate the expected number of participants.
-The space is too large (such as a space designed for up to 700 people when you’re expecting 50 guests).
-The space is too generic (such as a high school gym).
-The space has a pre-existing theme that isn’t compatible with your type of event.
-The space is lacking in essential elements that you may need, such as a separate meeting room or a VIP lounge.

5. Not having a plan B 

You have to be prepared for ANYTHING. Not having back-up plans or alternatives for each and every part of the event can cause big problems. Of course, it’s never easy dealing with issues when things don’t go as planned, but it will be much easier if you’ve thought about solutions beforehand. Trying to find solutions once the problem has already arisen is a very bothersome task.

Some of the issues that you should have a plan B for include uncertainty about weather, especially for outdoor events. Another issue is power outages, which can be resolved by having a generator on site. Ultimately, there’s a long list of possibilities, and planning ahead of time and developing alternative scenarios can avoid some of the most costly planning errors.

Although event organizing can come with many ups and downs, a lot of these can be avoided. It’s essential to plan for all types of risks that can arise during the process. Even though it might seem like a lot of work, if something were to go wrong, you would be happy to have a contingency plan on hand.


We wish you the best of luck with the organization of your next event.