Event planning has been ranked as one of the most stressful jobs out there for consecutive years. There are a lot of factors that play into this scenario, one of the major reasons being the hassle in multi-tasking.
Event planners are required to manage a lot of tasks simultaneously with deadlines getting shorter by the day. There are multiple pain points in the process of event planning and management.
On the bright side, there are many solutions to these pain points as there are problems.
For example, with evolving event tech, the events industry is on the verge of multiple innovations with a focus on simple and efficient event planning and management process.
In this article, we will discuss a few biggest pain points of event professionals and a few solutions that can make the job simpler:
1. Budget and Overspending
Coordinating the overall client budget, big or small has always been a major pain point for event professionals. For instance, many times planners do not account for hidden expenses such as room drop out charges, early-check-in charges for hotel, resort fees, etc. and additional costs in venue bookings, accommodation bookings for guests, etc.
Overspending on account of a lack of proper system in tracking expenses, logistical requirements, etc. is another major problem. The main factor for budget constraint here is accounting for small but significant factors such as an increase in meeting lengths, an increase in cost per attendee owing to optimizing event experience, etc.
Events need to be better while there is little or no change in the budget. This is what event planners need to tackle.
The Solution- There are a lot of tools and online event budgeting formats that planners can utilize in order to keep track of expenses made along every step of planning. This can help them keep up with the spending and alter the overall budget if and when needed.
While calculating expenses, leave a small sum aside for unpredicted expenses. Another way to save additional costs is to use event technology tools for event planning and management. There are a lot of event management tools that provide multiple solutions from event registrations and ticketing to event feedback under one umbrella at a more affordable cost.
This can help planners cut corners by reducing spending on multiple vendors for different tasks. In case of an insufficient client budget, you can also target more sponsorship opportunities. Event sponsorship can help you balance the requirements.
2. Shorter Lead times
Event lead times are becoming shorter by the day. Event lead time is the duration of time in between handing over of the event to an event management professional by a client to the actual e-day.
Many events and meetings these days have much shorter lead times than before, often even just mere 30 days. Coping with such shorter lead times and getting quality work done for impeccable event execution is a major challenge for event planners.
The Solution- Time is money. It is necessary for planners to map out the entire event execution plan within the lead time provided and delegate tasks accordingly with a solid deadline. Furthermore, event planners can also utilize event automation tools in order to speed up certain event planning tasks.
Event automation tools help event planners in completing multiple tasks including creating an event website, an app for registration, event ticketing, setting up event marketing campaigns, etc. in half the time.
Set up daily meetings with your team or utilize team management tools in order to ensure that things are on track. Either way, always have a back-up contingency plan that can be executed in case of unforeseen circumstances to avoid further delay.
3. Venue Booking and Management
Event planners face multiple challenges in venue booking that make it a significant pain point in event planning. An increasing number of events and shorter can lead to a lack of good, available event space within your timeframe.
For example, according to AMEX’s 2019 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, the expected rise in Meetings activity in is 1.3 % in North America and 1.5 % in Europe. The expected increase by planners in the meetings space, on the other hand, is approximately 0.7%.
This leads to a scenario where planners may need to shell out more in order to book a good event space, putting more strain on the budget.
Event planners must also make sure that the facilities and the overall space available at the venue are on par with the event requirements.
The Solution- Event planners can utilize digital venue booking tools in order to get good deals on available meeting space. Many venues offer discounts or loyalty deals if booked through certain platforms. Venue booking software also makes the process of venue scouting and booking much easier.
Planners can also get a venue map and virtual details of the layout and facilities of the space through the software along with details on services such as audio, security, Wi-Fi availability, etc. beforehand.
Furthermore, while booking the venue through a trusted platform, the details of the venue are all listed clearly. This helps in avoiding any unpredictable, hidden expenses to a great extent.
Pro tip- Read through reviews and research before zeroing in on a venue.
4. Hassle in Attendee Management
Efficient attendee management is always a major concern for event planners. Keeping proper track of event registrations and ticketing, keeping a note of no-shows, attendee check-ins to attendee feedback at the end of an event, it can all be a major hassle for event planners.
The Solution- Event management software can be used for multiple purposes including setting up event registrations and ticketing, event check-in app as well as feedback. You can set up your event registration and ticketing website.
The data gathered from the same can be directly uploaded to your event check-in app. The check-in app can help you manage attendee check-ins hassle-free using QR code or similar identification keys as well as have a digital record for no-shows for future reference. You can also create an event app whereby you can gain accurate attendee feedback through an online survey.
The event app can also have an event feed where attendees can post about their experience. This can help in tracking what is being talked about your event and what aspects need to be worked on further.
5. Attendee Engagement and Retention
Attendees are the pillar of any event with a major impact on the overall success of an event. Attendee engagement and retention is one of the key contributors to event ROI. One of the major challenges for event planners is to maximize attendee ROI and engagement.
In the day and age of social media and the increasing importance of event experience, it is difficult to engage attendees using traditional formats that include simple sessions and lunch hours.
Event planners must innovate in order to have attendees talk about their event for days to come and even gain a few loyal attendees that would love to sign up for your event the next year. How do you do that without compromising on your budget?
The Solution- Apart from informal ice-breaking sessions, you can leverage the power of event technology in order to engage your attendees. You can facilitate an event app that can help attendees network during your event and gain valuable business contacts, thus maximizing their ROI.
Apart from this, you can also utilize the power of event gamification through contests, quizzes, etc. You can gamify aspects such as attending sessions, event networking, visiting exhibition booths, etc. by allotting those points for the same through a mobile app for your event.
Attendees with the most points gain the top position on your leaderboard. You can then allot a prize to the leading attendee(s). You can also run a scavenger hunt to have them explore your event venue. This can help drive traffic towards less visited exhibitors or stalls at the venue.
Similar contests using social media and your event hashtag can also be run. Apart from this, planners can also opt for more advanced event tech tools such as artificial intelligence or VR if budget permits.
6. Event Data Collection and Analysis
In the age of event tech, event data holds great importance.
According to a study by Freeman, 88% of respondents had utilized event data for marketing and other decision-making purposes.
However, according to the same study, lack of effective data analysis (46%) and access to complete and comprehensive event data (37%) were major challenges in utilizing data to its full potential. Collecting relevant data in effective formats is a major pain point for planners.
The Solution- Utilize complete event management suites with good support teams and detailed data reports. There are a lot of great tools in the market that helps sort out event planning and management processes from event registrations, event marketing to feedback and provide detailed reports to boot.
These reports are available in the form of comprehensive data reports as well as graphs for better understanding. This data can then be used to strategize the related aspects of the event.
For e.g. you can set up an SEO optimized event website using an event management software and get detailed reports of website flow, traffic, audience demographics, etc. You can then use this data to drive more people towards your targeted landing page, run ads, etc.
Thus, these are just a few challenges that event planners face in the overall inception and execution of the events. These can thus be simplified to a great extent through proper planning and just the right tools.