In the twenty plus years we’ve been in the event industry, we’ve been given some priceless pieces of advice. We’ve also heard some real humdingers. We’ve rounded up the best, and worst corporate event planning advice we’ve heard so that you don’t fall victim to these well-meaning, yet potentially disastrous, pieces of advice.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”
This may be a great piece of advice to follow if you’re prone to overthinking everything under the sun until the early hours, but when it comes to corporate events, you can’t afford to ignore the details. Paying attention to every single facet of an event – however small – is what event planners get paid to do. As we’ve written before, all it takes is one overlooked detail to derail an entire event.
“Talk to the duck”
One of the greatest pieces of advice we’ve ever received was to “Talk to the duck”. We’re not using this phrase literally, instead, we’re referring to the practice of verbalising a problem, instead of trying to muddle it through your own mind. By talking through a problem from beginning to end, you’re forced to re-evaluate it. The best part of this practice is that you don’t need a human audience to benefit from it. Whether you grab a colleague or simply mouth off to a picture of your dog or an inanimate desktop decoration, verbalising the situation is often enough to identify a viable solution without having to resort to escalating the issue.
“You don’t really need a plan B”
Much like the first gem of an insight in this blog, this is one piece of advice that flies in the face of the essence of corporate event planning. Planning for any and all eventualities is nothing less than crucial. We’ve witnessed the importance of a plan B first hand, many times over, and if it weren’t for a backup-up plan, some of the events struck by unforeseen circumstances would have ended up as full-blown disasters. As laborious as setting up safeguards can be, this is one aspect of the job that you can’t afford to leave off your list.
“Double check. Then check again”
You can never be too conscientious about dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s. It’s often only in the final run-through of a set-up that an overlooked issue comes to light. There are countless people involved in the orchestrating of a corporate event, which means that human error can, and does, happen all the time. As such, checking and re-checking that everything is in place is essential.
“No one will notice x,y or x”
Corporate event planning is a detail-orientated industry. Clients are finicky (often, for good reason) and guests – no matter how seasoned an attendee they are – always notice the little things. Unfortunately, guests tend to hone in on mistakes right away: the misspelled surname, an ignored dietary request or the fact that they’ve been sat next to the restrooms. If you think that sloppy work will go unnoticed, this isn’t the industry for you.
“Never so say no to clients”
Many of the issues corporate event planners face stem from the client side. Super-tight deadlines, tighter purse strings and outlandish demands call for a strong resolve. And while we’re loathe to turn a client down, sometimes the only thing to do is to say “No”. While corporate event planning entails a great deal of client service, it shouldn’t entail bending over backwards to such an extent that all other priorities (and your sanity) go out the window.
We’d love to hear the worst – and best – pieces of advice you’ve ever received about planning or running corporate events. Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter!