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5 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Planning an Event

There are a million details involved with planning an event—from booking the venue in advance to sending thank-you notes to your guests. However, with so many moving pieces to manage, it’s easy to overlook a few crucial details.

Specifically, there are five major—yet easily avoidable—mistakes you could make during your next event. Making these mistakes could cost you attendee engagement, exposure and awareness, donations, or ROI.

If you want your next event to be a smashing success, then you’ll want to prevent the following mistakes from ever happening:

Not including a testimonial

For non-profits, you must have someone who has benefited from your program speak at your event; donors love to see what their money is going towards!

One of our clients, the National Guard Youth Foundation (NGYF), uses testimonials to show donors how their program helps high school dropouts get back on their feet, increase their skills, get their GED, and change their lives for the better.

For corporate events, invite a customer to speak about how a new product or service impacted their life for the better. Planning an external party, discuss the benefits of the product is much more enticing to attendees than listening to an employee’s subjective opinion.

Extra long speeches

Long speeches bring the momentum of any event to a screeching halt. Avoid this by discussing speech length with your speakers and offer to give them cues when they’ve reached a certain minute mark.

A long, cumbersome program

Another way to slow an event’s momentum is if the audience is barraged with a long program.  It can be cumbersome for attendees to sit through several speeches, an awards ceremony, and live entertainment, only to be followed by an auction. Be mindful when planning your program of length to avoid losing the attention of the crowd.

No social media presence

Far too many organizations overlook having a social media presence—a big mistake! You should always offer an event hashtag and have someone on your team interacting with users throughout the event. This will allow attendees to continue the conversation and networking online long after the event ends, but it will benefit you, too. You can monitor the hashtag’s usage to see who was actively engaged in the event and use this information to add to the building of your Golden Rolodex to use for the following year.

Having the wrong speaker for the audience

Organizations often assume that having a big name celebrity speak at their event will draw huge crowds and lots of donations or ROI. In our experience, however, we noticed that this is not necessarily the case. While celeb speakers may draw big crowds in the DC area, they might not peak as much interest in areas like Los Angeles or New York City.

Remember, it’s not so much about who you can get to speak to your audience; it’s about who your audience would prefer to see. Put yourself in their shoes and try to figure out the type of entertainment that would excite them.

Providing attendees with a fun and enjoyable experience at your event is a sure-fire way to increase donations, boost profits, and get everyone engaged in your company and its mission. If you need help along the way, let us know!

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