7 Common Challenges Event Organizers Face and How to Avoid Them

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7 Common Challenges Event Organizers Face and How to Avoid Them

Marketing & Sales Intern.
6 minutes read
August 08, 2017

Keep these pitfalls in mind when planning events

Planning events takes a lot of work, time and dedication. With guest lists, catering arrangements, or planning the decor of the venue, there are a million and one details that need to be coordinated and scheduled. Here are some of the most common challenges that event-organizers face:

1. Data, Data, Data

Data is the #1 currency in any industry and the Events industry is no exception. However, it's still a challenge to collect, read, and understand that data so that it can impact your event or future events. Here's some trending challenges that event planners have been facing over the years when it comes to data-driven event management:

Data Challenges in Event Management

2. Not Enough Time

Even the simplest of events have a million different moving parts. To prevent running out of time, create a timeline with clearly outlined action items. This timeline should include the months, weeks, and days leading up to your event. This way, you can ensure that the venue will be booked on time, all speakers are confirmed to attend, and that event marketing will be launched early enough to be effective.

Your timeline should lean on the side of caution because preparation time is often times underestimated. Most B2B companies spend 5-8 weeks planning an event. However, it’s extremely important to set aside extra time to plan your event. This ensures that you have the flexibility to deal with possible complications that might arise, such as having to reorder materials or find a new venue.

3. Not Enough Attendees

Event organizers often find effective marketing to be a huge obstacle because sometimes it can be difficult to reach out and engage with the right audience. Utilizing a CRM system or taking advantage of personalized email marketing will significantly help to promote your event. Currently, over 75% of marketers use email to promote their event, while 47% still use email invites.

There are various types of event management software available that event organizers use. By utilizing a personalized marketing software, you can schedule your email campaigns and automatically send out event reminders – allowing you to productively communicate with your target audience and achieve maximum turnout rate.

Reach your target demographic

4. Speaker Canceled!

Event organizers should always have a backup plan in case of last-minute cancellations or complications. Booking a venue, getting speakers or artists, and ordering supplies are essential elements to an event’s success. One common mistake that event organizers make is neglecting to prepare an alternative option. On the day of the event, an event organizer should be prepared to address anything that could go wrong. For example, outdoor events should always have another venue booked in the case of inclement weather. Many inexperienced event organizers optimistically hope for the best, but successful planners always will have an answer to the worst-case scenario.

5. Inadequate Budgeting

event budgeting

Too often, organizations simply track their spending during the planning process and assess along the way. This can result in overspending, and organizations might find themselves literally paying for it in the end. Working within a fixed budget is crucial when organizing an event. Because each cost item for an event can have numerous configurations and choices, an overall budget can vary tremendously.

Having a basic framework from which to sculpt the event ensures that an organization will stay on the right path. Glue Up platform’s finance module displays P&L and also accounts for the amount of money provided by sponsors, helping you to stay on the budget. Staying within the budget should be at the top of every event organizer’s priority.

6. Messy Registrations

How to get more attendees

The most dreadful thing an event can't experience is a poor registration process. It makes attendees and staff frustrated, it can delay the event, and worst of all it can turn away future attendees. The true way to solve this headache is plenty of set up prior to the event.

Make it so that visitors to your website or event platform page have the ability to register and purchase tickets, leaving more room to breathe at the front door of the event for staff to handle ticket purchases while other team members sign in pre-registered attendees.

Essentially you want to make a smooth motion of Online-to-Offline-to-Online situation.

You want to make sure you capture online registrants, register them offline at the event, then make sure you capture this registration online again for future marketing campaigns. Glue Up uses it's own CRM to understand when registrants sign in at events, but other uses similar methods, or allow for lists to be modified like on EventBrite.

On the day of the event, this is the best time to make the most of your set up. We suggest the rule of thumb of having 1 staff member registering attendees per 100 guests. If you're short on staff, split your lines online registrants only, where they can be quickly signed in (this will help incentive other attendees to register online next time), and another line for ticket purchases that go to their own sign in a stand. If your registration platform allows for it, we also suggest self-serve tablets where guests can sign themselves in, reducing the need for staff.

7. Travel & Housing

event travel arrangements

When it comes to international or long-distance events with attendees flying or traveling long distances to attend, it can get a little messy when it comes to how you take care of your attendees.

When it comes to international events, it's typically the responsibility of the attendee to plan and manage their travel. This does in effect make the marketing of the event more difficult as you can expect much less conversion rate on registrations as there’s quite a lot of hoops to jump through if the location of the event is politically unreasonable with visas.

For instance, in China, most foreigners will need a visa to enter with a certain degree of failed visas to be expected.

Now it gets tricky if you offer VIP tickets or inviting speakers.

This is when you’ll need to take care of them as now there’s an expectation that this invitee is special, and therefore the event should take care of their travel and housing. So work closely and work well with VIPs to make sure they get their visas. That means booking their flights for them, hotel, and so on.

Executing Your Event

Planning an event can be stressful and daunting. However, keeping each of these common problems in mind will ensure that your event is a success. A successful event organizer is always prepared for the unexpected.

Additionally, an all-in-one event management technology will keep everything from your membership CRM to your sales and marketing all in one place. This will allow you to manage large scale events much more effectively by centralizing crucial data and keeping various aspects of your planning in conversation with each other.

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