Updated: Nov 24
Great event success doesn’t happen by accident.
Your dream event can be a reality when you plan it with the right amount of preparation.
I remembered 11 years ago, I was still a newbie in this event management industry. There were a whole load of things to learn. As a sales and marketing personnel back then, it wasn't a smooth sailing one, but thankfully I had a great mentor who is willing to guide and coach me every single day from handling client's enquiry to advising client which event setup would be best fit and learning how to setup the basic sound systems and learning to be a DJ! It was indeed an amazing journey for me, having the opportunity to learn so much.
While events are fun and entertaining, there are a lot of hard work and preparation before the event. We do understand the pain point of planning a large scale event especially. Be it for company dinner and dance, team building, company incentive trip, it's all about having a detailed planning and or seek advice from the professionals.
The biggest challenge we faced when planning our first events was finding an appropriate venue. Especially in Singapore, there's limited venue which can accommodate large group of 500 pax and above, and it is even harder to get a venue during the peak seasons. This is where we advice to get an event professionals to do the sourcing for you because they have a pool of contacts and resources on hand. When our company first started, we had no idea where it was headed.
We learned quickly that we needed to plan more events than we could handle, and our current capacity is barely enough to keep up with demand. We have had to turn down many potential customers and potential employees, and we are constantly operating at maximum capacity. Recently, we have begun to explore new ways to reach more people, but it is clear that we need to invest in our existing platform if we want to keep up with demand.
When we first started out, we were just a karaoke system rental company. We acted as a middleman, connecting our clients with top-quality karaoke equipment and speakers. Over time, we expanded our scope and began offering our clients other related services, such as background music and microphone options. Today, we offer a full range of event management services including planning , setup and teardown.
We have learnt a lot about how to run an event as a small business. We have also learnt a lot about how to run an event as an event organiser be it here in Singapore or Overseas. We have had to learn about everything from contracts to invoices and from budgets to timelines of the company events. We have also been able to learn about other small business owners' experiences, which has helped us to better understand our own customers and our own business.
Here's the 5 most common Event Planning mistakes which I thought of based on real life experiences:
1) Not Planning Early For Your Event
Planning an event is not a walk in the park, there are a lot of work to be done before, during and after event. So it's best to start planning event at least 2 months in advance, and for large scale would be 6 months to a year advance. Problems like venue sourcing, manpower, coordination, sending invites, we have put these into consideration as well.
2) Not Having A Backup Plans
Do understand that not everything we planned will go smoothly especially when comes to events, things may change anytime. We got to have backup plans incase things doesn't go as plan, we still have a backup plan to back it up. This way, we can minimise any unforeseen circumstances.
3) Skipping A Walkthrough
It does not matter if all had communicated well, by skipping a walkthrough before the actual event, is a no no. There will be something that we may missed out. It's advisable to do a thorough walkthrough from start till end.
4) Not Providing Refreshments
As much as we want to cut cost, the part that we should not remove is the food and drinks.
5) Ignoring Competing Events
Choose the date of your event diligently because if you choose the date that clashes with other festive occasion like NDP, CNY, CHRISTMAS, etc, chances to get a venue to host your event will be slim. Do plan the date in advance and also have an alternative dates too.
While, planning events are fun, it is also a complex task that requires a lot of communication and coordination. Even though I'm on my 11th year in this event industry, there will always be something new for me to learn from every event that I managed. I learnt that the biggest challenge with events is time management. So when you plan for an event, you need to be able to handle all aspects including location management, catering and logistics. And the crucial part is the budget, you need to keep track of the budgets especially when comes to event there will always be changes here and there, so its best to have more buffer.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you are planning an event, but with the help of people who have done it before, you can increase your chances of success by avoiding some common mistakes.
Some of you ask me what is the secret to run an event successfully? I would say, the secret is to plan ahead so that most of these things are taken care of before your event begins.