Top 8 Event Management Mistakes & How to Learn from Them

They say it’s important in business to learn from your mistakes. I’d rather avoid them altogether and learn from others’ mistakes.

While planning how to organize an event, most people are following patterns or doing it the way they’ve always done. They may no longer be up-to-date about better ways to do things. In this article, we’re going to cover some event planning mistakes to avoid


Basic Principles for Creating Successful Events

If you decide to include events in your marketing strategy – you are halfway there! Event management is a responsibility with several potential pitfalls. Don’t worry – even the best event organizers make mistakes at times.

We asked event management expert Jakub Kozioł to share some of the mistakes he has made in the past, as well as the lessons he has learned from that experience. First, however, Jakub shared his basic principles for creating successful events.

“When building our events, we follow a very simple principle. We believe that if we provide strong and interesting content, it will attract event participants who are willing to pay for this knowledge. At the same time, if there are participants, there will be partners who will be willing to talk to them about cooperation. Finally, if there are attendees and partners, there will be funds to build an event and provide a great user experience so that the event is interesting for all of them. We strongly believe in the value of education, so content is a key factor for us. It is also what strongly distinguishes our projects, and our conferences are aimed mainly at the IT industry.” - Jakub Kozioł


Common Event Management Mistakes & Challenges in Event Management

Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes for in-person events, virtual events, and hybrid events.


#1 – No Marketing Strategy

Many event organizers scramble to put an event together. When rushing and failing to put together an event strategy, it’s easy to forget the main goals; they are organizing events blindly with no connection with their bigger marketing strategy. As a consequence, they are not satisfied with the brand impact they have made, and event participants fail to connect an event with your company.

Yet, the opportunities are bountiful. Are you reaching the full potential of your events? Are you optimizing your lead management potential?

New leads will build your brand awareness and image, so take the first step and align your event with your marketing strategy and brand message.


#2 – No Measurement & Tracking

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

A lack of measurement is one of the biggest mistakes event organizers could ever make. Almost every action done during the event marketing and event execution can be measured, and should be measured. To meet your final goals, you need to define the micro-moments that add up to your overall goals, so you can track them and optimize them.

For example, are you running a paid campaign on Facebook or Google Ads? Are you just looking at a growing number of visitors or really going deeper into details? You need to be clear about your objectives and measure what matters. Without measuring, you cannot prove the value of your actions. Otherwise, you run the risk of your CEO calling your event a failure unless there’s significant revenue that can be traced back to your event. When you clearly define your objectives and measure progress against those goals, however, you can demonstrate a better ROI.

When you organized your last event, did you learn anything from it to use (or avoid) in future events? It’s definitely tough to answer that question if you haven’t tracked your objectives.


#3 - No Feedback

If you don’t get feedback, it’s extremely challenging to know what part attendees liked or disliked. Let yourself learn from each project and gather feedback from your attendees. There are always some things that can be done in a better way. 

Always do a debriefing.

One way to get proper feedback is by asking post-event survey questions. Find out more about what questions are valuable to ask and which way you can get to your target.

Once you have collected the responses, analyze them, and find the most important focus areas that need improvement. Nothing can help you as much as constructive feedback. Plan a long-term improvement, measure your marketing value, and avoid event failure.


#4 – Bad Ticket Sales Policies

People want events that are worth their price. They won’t be afraid to pay more for great value; but at the same time, they will be happy to find some great deals. As you can probably guess, one of the crucial mistakes event organizers make is setting ticket prices too high or too low.

Early birds are one of the possibilities to convince your potential event guests to buy your tickets right away, but you need to offer them a special price or a bundle. Nevertheless, what will make people truly interested in your event is the value offered.

If your event has nothing valuable to give them, nobody will want to attend it, even if it’s a free event at a virtual venue. Setting ticket prices too high will simply scare people off, especially if your event is relatively new and hasn’t established itself yet. Nobody will want to pay a lot of money for a wild card.

On the other hand, do not lower your prices too much. Giving true value costs, so selling tickets really cheaply may suggest there isn’t much to gain from your event. It is all about balance.


#5 – No Value Presented

One of the more common event planning mistakes is not giving people a reason to buy a ticket. You have to attract them to have them! When you are selling tickets, allow your potential attendees to see the speakers and agenda (and be sure it is worth their investment).

One common problem in event management is that organizers are often working right up to the last moment and preparing the agenda very late, so what should make clients interested?

Try to arrange nice, attractive descriptions about your speakers. The better they look to potential attendees, the more attractive your event will be. New event tech is making it easier to attract people with content, so you can prepare promotional videos to make it more entertaining and interactive. An effective strategy is using video clips and reels highlighting the fun and excitement of your last event.

A big part of the value of events is the contact people can make and the potential sales opportunities. Make sure you focus on what attendees get when coming to your event.

“While organizing the event, we noticed that the late publication of the agenda with simultaneous high price thresholds doesn’t result in an increase in the number of participants. What’s more, a poor agenda for example, with too much selling content is a problem that makes people discouraged from participating in subsequent editions. On the other hand, incredibly strong content or a very famous speaker means that even higher participation costs are not an obstacle to take part in the event.” - Jakub Kozioł


#6 – No Customization

One of the challenges in event marketing is making sure every event is unique. Taking a homogenous approach to planning is one of the things that can make your event a failure.

You need to establish the goals of your event and think about your targeted group. Your attendees can be different in their professions, interests, or age. That’s why you should adjust the event to customize the content for your target audience.

If you are organizing an event for nurses, speak a medical language to them and customize your virtual venue in a way that makes it clear this is for them. This is not the same as what you would do for programmers or artists. That’s the point. Try to make them feel comfortable with all the details such as venue, gadgets, food, and language in communication.


#7 – Multiple Tools

The most effective events are using technology to communicate with people, update changes, and measure the impact. Your event will reach a bigger audience if you are visible on a website, social media, event search engines, and also mobile applications.

When you are using a website and application separately, it is very hard to implement all the changes on time. The right event tech integrations will allow you to make live changes and observe the event from one tool while distributing information to every marketing channel. When you make a change on a website, it is updated on a mobile app – that’s how integrated software works. This is especially important when using a virtual event platform or virtual event solutions.

People are coming to your event to get knowledge, but to make new business contacts and interact as well. Give them the ability to chat. You can also be proactive and help them connect if you provide them with engagement tools to plan meetings.


#8 – Poorly Prepared Agenda

When you rush to put together an agenda or wait until close to the event, your agenda can look sparse in your marketing materials. A rushed agenda is a big mistake, but a poorly prepared one is even worse. We’ve seen way too many agendas that look like this:

    • Registration
    • Opening Ceremony
    • Session 1, 2, 3
    • Lunch
    • Session 4, 5, 6
    • Networking Party

Doesn’t seem very exciting, does it? Let them see what they can benefit and experience, put interesting titles and names on your agenda, and demonstrate the value at every step.

While planning your event, take into consideration the order of sessions and then give participants a reason to participate in the entire event. If you put all the most famous speakers on the first day, for example, don’t be surprised if, on the second day, your venue will look empty.

When we talk about a poorly prepared agenda, this also applies to the way you present it. Using a PDF or an image is a big NO. Don’t make users download a new document or zoom into a pixelated picture. Make it dynamic, so they can easily see the changes in one mobile app.

“In the case of late publication or low content level, it’s hard to talk about getting out of a given situation in a short time. Content requires inviting important speakers, and they often have busy dates, even a year or two away. So, while building an event, you need to think about it early enough to take care of the agenda. At the same time, you should try to avoid introducing marketing and sales-related presentations that do not serve anything other than the promotion of a given company and are often part of a partnership package.” - Jakub Kozioł


Preparation is Key

If something is going to go wrong, it will probably happen at the very last minute, or during the event. That’s just how things go, similarly to social media where crises usually burst over the weekends. Do the event risk assessment at the beginning of your planning and think about what might go wrong.

Prepare “Plan B” to calmly extinguish the smoke before it becomes a big fire.

Engage with your customers through event marketing and always tie it to your larger goals. It will not only improve your event performance but also improve your marketing as a whole. Hopefully, the tips shared above can help you avoid common mistakes event planners make to create more sustainable events.

To learn more about 6Connext event products and solutions, request a virtual event platform demo with one of our experts today.

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