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7 Event Planning Pitfalls to Avoid for Your Next Event

December 11, 2021

Do you want your next event to fail? No! We didn’t think so either. When it comes to event planning, failure to plan is planning to fail. Your guests might not notice when things go well but will see when something goes wrong. 

That is why delivering an outstanding experience means attending to your event’s details from the beginning to the end. Having a foolproof plan is a large part of your event’s success, no matter the kind of event it is.

Ensure you avoid the following pitfalls to make sure your conference, meeting, or trade show succeeds.

Event Planning Pitfalls to Avoid

1. Failure to Effectively Allocate Resources

The success of your event in the planning stage largely depends on creating a comprehensive budget because having a planned and thorough budget helps the event planner allocate the funds appropriately. It also ensures that there’s the elimination of wasteful and unnecessary spending. 

Technically, having a budget offers critical insight into what is viable and what is not. When you carefully allocate each resource for easy reference, the event planner will always refer to the budget.

2. Not Setting and Adhering to Event Key Performance Indicators

Another pitfall you could avoid is failure to use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Therefore, whether it is the planning phase or post-evaluation after the event, an event planner needs to use KPIs to establish whether the event was a success or not, which applies whether the event is simple or complex, large or small.

The purpose of using key performance indicators (KPIs) is to gauge marketing and event performance. Some of the KPIs an event planner can use include:

  • Gross revenue collection from the event
  • Overall attendee satisfaction survey
  • Total costs for every acquisition gained
  • The level of engagement for the audience or attendees
  • The check-in process to the event
  • Sponsor partnerships
  •  Conversion rates on the website
  • Sales numbers by the marketing team
  • Event registration numbers

Since there are different types of events, you can use a different combination of KPIs. The KPIs depend on the kind of event and the event’s set goals. The feedback received from the key metrics is then used to develop more significant milestones in the next event.

3. Failing to Offer Strategic Value to the Attendees

There are many events to choose from, and attendees will always be selective of the event they wish to attend. To increase an event’s attendance and promote event engagement, an event planner needs to find the event’s unique selling point. Luckily, there are plenty of crucial strategies to use, such as the use of innovative technology.

For example, an event planner may tailor a mobile application the attendees can use. More specifically, the app may help the attendees with networking opportunities and so much more. Interactive experiences ensure the attendees feel involved.

Planning a virtual event? Learn our 8 Simple Steps to Increasing Attendance at Virtual Events here! 

4. Poor Management of Vendors

There are different types of events, and all of them need products and service vendors. Consequently, effective vendor management has various elements such as sourcing, securing, and coordinating the most suitable vendors to offer the best products and services.

High quality is a critical aspect to keep in mind when identifying vendors, and therefore you need to pick the vendors that come highly recommended. Also, poor vendor management is a pitfall since there are chances that you will have different vendors catering to different event needs. 

To avoid getting caught up in a mess, receiving written confirmation of the essential details and staying organized is critical. This info includes the time, date, collateral, and personnel involved.

Thus, you need to contact the vendors before the event day to confirm everything is in order.

5. Lack of a Contingency Plan

Even the most competent event planners know that sometimes things might not go as planned. That is why you need to have a contingency plan to avoid a catastrophic event failure. Hence, an event planner should always perform a risk assessment of the event beforehand. 

After that, create a contingency plan using the evaluation results and go ahead and brief the team in event management about any situations that may arise.

6. Failure to Delegate Responsibilities

Event management and planning is a team effort and will require delegation of responsibilities. Failure or refusal to delegate may cripple the event planning process and lead to epic failure. Therefore, an event planner should delegate tasks to their team members, such as customer service, dealing with vendors, and even post-event activities.

7. Not Doing an After-Event Follow Up

A lot of energy and time goes into the planning part of an event but performing a follow-up after the event is equally important. After all, this is crucial because you will not only know whether the event was a success. In addition, it will help you improve on the next event. 

Proactivity and seeking feedback post-event helps prepare for the next event.

Also, take the time to appreciate the attendees and generate their interest by informing them of the other upcoming events. Additionally, it’s vital to reach out to the vendors after the event. Thanking them for their effort and work will create a connection and pave the way for networking opportunities in the future.


1. What are the pitfalls in event organization?

  •  Poor resource allocation
  • Not setting key performance indicators
  • Failure to offer strategic value to attendees
  • Lack of a contingency plan
  • Poor vendor management

2. What are some common mistakes in event planning?

  • You fail to make plans in good time.
  • Not having a complete event project plan
  • Failure to get vendor confirmations in writing
  • Not anticipating no-shows

3. What are the 5 W’s in event planning?

  • Who – Who is the target audience?
  • What – What is the main takeaway from the event?
  • When – When will the event take place?
  • Where – Where will the event take place?
  • Why – Everything you will do for the event has a purpose

Key Takeaways

Meticulously planning for your event is critical to avoiding the seven pitfalls we’ve stated above. Though mistakes may occur, when you plan carefully, you will prevent an epic event failure.

If you’re looking for a professional event planning insights and rentals to help you with your event planning process, Centric Events & Rentals will take your events to the next level! Learn more about offerings for different types of events today!