In the world of event planning, success can be hard to consistently predict. One thing that’s sure though, is that the industry changes anyone who starts as an event planner. The continual challenge of meeting deadlines and fixing problems that arise makes you think on your feet, makes the process interesting and gets your adrenalin flowing.

Having started an event planning business in 2004, I view some of the mistakes I made as the best lessons I learned. They all changed my approach and why I created Event Planning Blueprint™.

What Every Event Planner Needs To Know

Here are the seven things I wish I knew when I started as an event planner.

  1. Event planning takes more time than you think – Anything that involves people, resources, tasks and coordination takes longer than you think. It isn’t about developing patience, as patience doesn’t really help you keep moving forward. It is about being realistic in your planning and management and using the right tools to keep you on track. Don’t wait until the last minute to make your plansfor your event because there are many details that go into an event, and if one of those details goes wrong it can cause your entire event to crash.
  2. People will let you down – Reality check! This will happen in ways you can’t even imagine and it can range from people making huge mistakes during the event to your caterer not showing up. Always “Trust, but verify,” as President Reagan put it, because blind faith may kick your a$, which could ruin your event and your reputation. Educate and inform your team, giving everyone involved the proper information and timelines for the event.
  3. Good event planning staff are hard to find – An exceptional, well-rounded person can be difficult to find so when you do find him/her, figure out what motivates them, keep them happy and reward them for a job well-done.
  4. You will be lucky and unlucky – In event planning, you will be lucky and unlucky. And sometimes, things that appear to be bad will be good. Keep your eye on the event and stay focused on the purpose and event objective to be sure “luck” is on your side.
  5. Make an event checklist and check it often – creating an event-planning checklist helps keep the details in order. Bring a notebook to every meeting and take notes, and keep a 3-ring binder to house all of your notes, quotes, receipts and details. Keeping yourself organized is one of the most important things you can do in event planning. This way, you won’t forget the small stuff and you will be thankful for the reminder to call your vendors the morning of the event to be sure they have the event venue directions and are on schedule.
  6. Ask for help to plan the event – Have as many staff, volunteers and extra hands as possible available to plan, coordinate and execute the event as possible. Event planners are often territorial, but it’s much easier on everyone if you enlist the help of others throughout the event to handle some of the event details like organizing special transportation for VIP guests, bartending (if licensed), creating and putting together gift bags, setting up, and cleaning up after the event.
  7. Have fun event planning – If you don’t enjoy event planning, don’t do it! Take time to learn new products, get to know your clients and/or guests and enjoy the delivery of the event itself. The event planning industry can be very stressful, but also very rewarding. So have fun and learn from any mistakes you make so your next event is even more successful.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What tips have you learned that you’d like to add? Share your comments below and share this post with someone you know in the event planning industry or interested in starting as an event planner. Happy Planning,

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