The New York Institute of Art and Design offers online event planner courses and because we do, we like to provide free tips for wedding planners. Enjoy!
One of the best ways to learn flawless event planning skills is to ask seasoned professionals what they wish they knew when they got started. Considering that, we asked our wedding and event planning mentors what they felt were the most common (and easily avoidable) mistakes made by industry amateurs. Here’s what they said:
- Understaffing- In order to execute any perfect event from start to finish, it takes a team of experienced contributors to help out and collaborate. From bartenders and wait staff to florists and caterers, a veteran event planner knows that all tasks must be distributed to capable professionals. Many amateur event planners make the mistake of trying to accomplish things themselves in an effort to save money. Instead, shop around, interview several venders and use your experience in allocation to effectively distribute the budget you were given to find helpful pros your client can afford.
- Disorganization- All of our mentors will tell you that when it comes to any large scale event, plans change throughout the planning process. The number of guests originally anticipated shrinks or grows, the photographer originally hired is no longer available – the list of things that can change is large and constantly growing. This is where your organizational skills are crucial. Too many event planners assume they’ll remember all these slight changes on their own, but things add up. Keep an archive of notes about every function you’re planning, and always be sure to add even the slightest updates to your list.
- Hoping For the Best- Although this seems optimistic, it’s unprofessional (and unrealistic). The best event planners, in fact, do the complete opposite- plan for the absolute worst case scenarios. Could it thunderstorm? Make sure your outdoor venue has an indoor plan b alternative available. Might the photographer cancel? Keep the contact info for their assistant/ understudy just in case someone else needs to step up and fill in.
- Poor Vetting- This goes hand in hand with mistake number one. The best event planners understand the importance of thoroughly interviewing all vendors they book with. If you’ve never done this before, check out this guide to learn How To Interview Event Vendors before you hire them.
- Lack of Communication- For too often, clients wind up dissatisfied because they had different expectations than you thought you were fulfilling. Therefore, it’s always crucial for you to make sure you and your clients are on the same page. A well-defined and collaborative event plan helps ensure that you know exactly what your clients are expecting, and similarly, they know exactly what you can deliver.