Love to live in a world where events always run exactly to plan? Us too! In reality though, we know that the chance of an event failing is actually quite high. We would like to outline the top 5 reasons why events fail so that you can avoid them! Some fail spectacularly – prime example is Fyre Festival. Others fail to meet their event objectives or have minor mishaps during the event. Most event fails are caused by one (or more) of the below factors. To ensure event success make sure you have these elements all covered.
1. Lack of Organisation or Planning
Events are all about planning and organisation. That is why they call us Event Planners! The number one reason that events fail is a lack of planning. There are so many different elements & people that make up an event. You need to ensure that each individual element is perfectly organised. You also need to pull them all together into the one event. From pre-event checklists to run sheets, events are all about organisation. All possible outcomes need to be considered. Backup plans need to be prepared in case of any issues on the day. Risk Assessments are a MUST for event planning. Not only from a safety point of view, but also to help identify and potential issues.
2. Supplier Issues
Despite the best of planning, there comes a point where you need to rely on others to help you pull off your event. It only takes one supplier not turning up or not following the run sheet to throw out your entire event. We recommend selecting your suppliers carefully (see our Blog on selecting suppliers). Because you do need to put your trust in them. Yet, it’s not a case of briefing your supplier when you book them (can be months before the event!) and expecting them to remember your conversation and follow all steps. You need to remain in contact with your suppliers throughout the planning process. They need to be provided with a detailed brief and run sheet prior to the event. And in some cases also a supplier briefing on the day of the event.
If you ensure you have briefed your supplier well you have a much better chance of not having issues on the day. But notice we didn’t say it would definitely run smoothly? As per the last point you need to ensure you have considered all possible scenarios prior to the event. And have a Plan B ready in case you need it.
3. Poor Promotion & Marketing of the Event
No-one is going to attend your event if they don’t know about it are they? The promotion and marketing of your event (or lack of it!) can make or break your event. It is so important that your message is getting to the right people at the right time. They need to make the decision to attend your event over the hundreds of other offerings out there. When planning your event the first thing you do should be to work out who is your ideal attendee. Next is to consider how will you reach them. Think about the process of booking from your attendees point of view as well as ease of use for you as the planner. So many planners spend time and money on registration systems. Thes systems are designed to make life easier for them as the planner. But sometimes these can make it a terrible experience for their attendee. If you make it too difficult or time consuming for your potential attendee, they simply won’t register. We personally love to use Floktu as it is easy for the planner and the attendee to use.
What’s that saying – “Never work with children or animals”? We would like to add “outdoor events” to that list – oh the joys! There are so many potential things that can go wrong when you are running an event. But make that an outdoor event and you have just added a whole lot more! It’s not only being rained out that can be an issue. Other weather events such as wind can also play their part in the weather “havoc”. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold yount outside, it just means you need to be prepared and have a Plan B.
If you are planning an outdoor event you need to have a back up plan in case of weather. That may be an indoor option, a plan to reschedule or revision of activities. The weather can also affect indoor events. Extreme weather can hamper your attendees attempts to get to the event. And in really extreme cases can even affect your venue (i.e. flooding). When planning your event consider the time of year you are holding the event. Think about what the weather is like in that season. For example; you wouldn’t plan an outdoor movie night with slushies and ice cream in the middle of winter!
5. System and Technology Failure
Picture this. You have planned your event to involve interaction with your audience. Using an app which needs Wifi. Your registration system runs on internet. And your presenters have all turned up with presentations that need a live link to the internet. You haven’t had a chance to visit the venue prior to the event but the staff have assured you they have fantastic internet (don’t they all!). When you arrive onsite you discover that not only is their Wifi only designed to cater for 10people at a time. Their building is also in an area with terrible mobile coverage. Leaving you and your attendees with no internet. How successful do you think this event is going to be for your attendees?
Technology is a key area of concern for most events. If this is a key element of your event we recommend bringing on a tech partner. They can assist with your event and ensure things run smoothly. As per point number one, it is so important to plan your event correctly. If you are heavily reliant on a certain element (say internet) make sure you have multiple back up plans. Invest in quality systems and external help.
So how can we help?
Events are particularly susceptible to failure due to their large number of components. And the fact that you are forced to rely on a large number of people. I’d say this is why event planning is listed in the Top 10 most stressful jobs. It’s also why so many people prefer to outsource their event management to an event company. The above 5 reasons why events fail are all easily avoidable with a little forward planning.
The main thing you need to do to ensure your event isn’t on the “worst event” list is to plan. And then plan some more. If you have thought through all the potential issues and have a Plan B then your chances of being able to fix it quickly and smoothly will be much higher! However if the thought of all that planning and risk management gives you nightmares, then reach out to an event agency such as Events Outsourced to help you out.