Congratulations are in order. You’ve not only started your own event planning business, but you’ve also managed to land your first New York event to plan. You’re brimming with energy and enthusiasm. You’re itching to get started.
However, now more than ever, you can use some words of wisdom from veteran New York event planners. There are common mistakes to avoid during your rookie year in business. And with your first event client on the line, you need to deliver a dynamic experience without mistakes. To ensure you do just that, here are some of the most common rookie mistakes the veterans will tell you to look out for as you embark on your first event planning journey.
Overdoing the Enthusiasm
Of course, your clients expect you to bring a higher level of energy to the event planning process. After all, you’ve sold them on the idea that no one creates memorable experiences like you do. And it’s definitely going to take every ounce of energy and a great deal of effort, strategy, and planning. However, beware of overdoing it. While you’re eager to make an enthusiastic first impression, it’s also important to remember the element of customer service, which is rooted in your ability to be a good listener.
Share your ideas when it’s time to do so and avoid overwhelming your client with unnecessary details. Be helpful, match their level of engagement, and keep it professional. You can be energetic without being over the top. Ask great questions and provide precise answers to their inquiries. Solve their problems and create a roadmap to an event that matches exactly what they have in mind.
Speaking of Questions, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
When you’re just starting out with your first event to plan, you might be intimidated by requests or preferences your clients have. Don’t guess your way through it. If you have questions, ask for clarification. Making assumptions in the event planning business will only lead to miscommunication and less-than-impressive results.
It’s a rookie mistake to presume that by asking questions, it makes you appear unknowledgeable or incapable. On the contrary, it signifies to your client that you are careful to interpret and understand every request and detail to the letter. It will also put them at ease to know you aren’t afraid to ask if you’re unsure. Remember, your client wants you to be successful, too. Taking the steps to clarify only solidifies your ability to create an incredible event in line with their requests.
Don’t Oversell Yourself Beyond Your Capabilities
Every New York event planner has certain strengths and weaknesses. The key to success is knowing yours. A big rookie mistake is being that event planner that says “yes” to every request, even if it falls beyond your expertise. Over-promising and underdelivering will only lead to disappointment. If there is something you’re not confident in handling, be honest about it. Share that you can certainly explore those tasks but be transparent about your experience in doing so. Not delivering what your client expects will only break trust and will make t nearly impossible to recover from after the event is over.
Don’t Forget Anything
Whatever you have to do to follow up on every detail, do it. Calendar reminders, to-do lists, and task management apps are mission-critical in the life of a New York event planner. Unfortunately, many first-time planners make the rookie mistake of overlooking small steps, like confirming contracted vendors prior to the event date or arranging for payment on event day. Don’t let your excitement of having a great first client overshadow your responsibilities for every event planning detail.
Having a Backup Plan
In a perfect world, every event you plan will come off without a hitch and without incident. But in the real event-planning world, you need to prepare for the worst, whether it’s rain, vendor cancellations, or poor guest attendance. Not planning for contingencies is a common rookie mistake to avoid.
Take the necessary steps to lay in a contingency plan for every phase of the event you’re planning. And share those plans with your client, so they know you’re ready to transition with any unforeseen pitfalls. It will also signal to your client that you can be ready for anything, a trustworthy and reliable trait they’ll rely on for future events with you, too.
Keeping with the Budget
Your first client likely outlined a budget they had in mind. And you’re diligent about keeping with that budget. But in your attempt to create a stellar event, you might accidentally overshoot the budget or, worse, blow it out altogether. And that would be a huge mistake, considering you might have to dip into your own profits to compensate for it.
With each planning phase of the event, communicate with your client about budgeting and expectations. You can present more expensive options as you go, but ultimately, it’s about getting the spending approval before doing anything extra. They’ll appreciate your ideas for improving the event experience. They’ll respect you for keeping them in the loop on spending and budget approvals.
Not Asking for Help When You Need It
As a New York event planner, your success will depend on your ability to grow and groom a strong network of colleagues, vendors, venues, and entertainment. You’ll rely on those resources when you need to call in favors or need help. Don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming that you can’t ask for help if you need it. To really deliver the wow factor and memorable event you’ve promised, you might need to bring in some assistance to help, especially when it’s your very first event with so much riding on how well you impress the client.
Again, congratulations on your first event planning client! Be confident and take the steps you need to ensure every detail is managed. And consider these rookie mistakes that many first-time event planners make so you know how to avoid common pitfalls. And if you really want to be a sponge and immerse yourself in the expertise of the event planning experts, you have to come to The Event Planner Expo 2022 & 10-Year Anniversary Celebration. The absolute best of the best will be in attendance, along with incredible guest speakers, network-boosting vendor exhibits, and business-changing networking opportunities! Get your tickets today!