The road to planning a successful workshop or seminar is full of surprises, pitfalls and sometimes even some nightmares. Many first time planners make mistakes have disastrous results for their workshops. Their workshops are costly, don’t make a profit and sometimes even empty. As much as a well planned and thought out seminar can boost your business to the next level, a poorly planned event can set your business back and discourage you from ever trying to host a seminar again. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Planning a workshop without a strategy
Every successful event starts off with a vision of the outcome, an objective to meet and a strategy to get there. Now there are plenty of events out there that don’t have these elements in place. But remember the operative word here is “successful”. Now these workshops and events usually result in chaos. Although they could look OK from the outside, they weren’t successful, or at least not as successful as they could have been.
Without a vision, an objective and a strategy, you cannot host a workshop that is profitable. You have to start with a vision for your event and because that affects every part of your workshop, from where you host it to your marketing. You also need to set an objective that is realistic and achievable. Your objective is so important, because how do you know if your event is successful if you don’t know what you want to accomplish with it? With your vision and your objective, you can see the gap of where you want to be and where you are. Then you create a strategy that will bridge the gap.
Overbooking sleeping rooms
If you want to book your own hotel or venue, many people make the mistake of overbooking the rooms. When you do a multi day event, the hotel or conference center requires you to book sleeping rooms in order to get the meeting space free or at a reduced cost. The biggest mistake you can make is to book too many. Most people that plan their own workshops are so optimistic that they can fill their seminar that they overbook. But it is not easy to fill a large event room. If for some unforeseen reason your event doesn’t sell out, your attendees come from the local community and decide to go home at night or they book at the hotel across the street because they have a cheaper rate, you are still paying for those hotel rooms. This can easily add thousands to your event budget and take a profitable event into the negative.
Overlooking the details
The Banquet Event Order (BEO) is the document that details all the things you have arranged with the hotel or facility. It will tell you the room your meeting is in, what time you have the room for, the number of tables and chairs that are supposed to be in there, the way they are set up. Every little detail should be on your Banquet Event order, including your food and beverage orders, the times of your meals, etc.
Be sure you study and compare those banquet event orders with your own notes and requirements. If it is not on the banquet event order, it will not be in the room. Then you have to go scrambling at the last minute for the things that you thought you had ordered, but do not have. You can ask for it at the time of the event, but the added stress to scramble for those last minute details can undermine the success of your event.
Doing it alone
When you plan your own event, you are the point person for everything. The hotel will come to you when they need something from you or to ask you where exactly you wanted that table you requested. Your attendees will come to you when the room is too hot or too cold. They will also ask you where the bathrooms are and any other question that comes up. That is not going to give you any time to concentrate on your own presentation.
All these mistakes can be easily avoided by hiring a professional event planner and strategist. The right person will partner with you to create a strategy that will make your event successful. They have a trained eye to look at hotel contracts and can save you thousands of dollars on attrition fees. They take care of the details and know the language of Banquet Event Orders. This frees you up to concentrate on the important things: creating your seminar content and the irresistible offers you will be presenting. Your business depends on it.
Daphne Bousquet, CMP uses her 20+ years of event planning experience to create profitable event strategies and implementation to coaches, entrepreneurs, speakers and self employed professionals that want to quickly establish themselves as the “go to” expert. Go to www.eventstrategysolutions.com for more tips and information on attracting clients and profits with your own live event.