Mistakes Event Planners Make and How to Avoid Them

Organising an event is a real juggling act. The to-do list is a long one! A lot can go wrong, everything from overspending on the budget to dissatisfied guests. The stakes are high and mistakes often happen. As event production specialists, we’ve seen them all! Make sure they don’t happen to you by taking a read of the top blunders organisers make and how you can avoid them.


If you’re planning an event and you need audio visual, lighting or staging hire in Northampton, Bedford, Milton Keynes or beyond, Red Occasions can help. We are event production experts and AV hire professionals. Give us a call for all your AV event needs.


It’s helpful to know the common event errors and learn from other people’s mistakes, so you don’t have to make them yourself. Let’s go right into what they are…


Mistake 1: Trying to do it all yourself

Planning an event needs to be a team effort. You may feel like it’s your baby and you want to do it all yourself. However, you’ll struggle without help. There’s far too much to do, everything from scheduling, financial planning and promotion. Many hands make light work. Your event will suffer if you try to do it all yourself.


How to prevent it:  Teamwork is dreamwork. Create a committee of helpers and then delegate out the workload. Hire vendors or professionals to assist in areas you’re not confident in.


Mistake 2: Not giving yourself enough time to prepare

You need to plan well in advance and ensure you have time to dedicate to the event. Tasks will take longer than you expect and the event may turn out to be more complex than you anticipated. There’s nothing worse than rushing tasks and feeling under pressure.


How to prevent it: Don’t procrastinate! Book the venue well in advance. Research the speakers and entertainers and get them locked in as soon as possible. Your favourite venue or vendors may get booked up otherwise.


Mistake 3: Not hiring AV experts

Audio visual equipment can be complex and confusing if you’re not in the know. If you have no clue how to light up a venue space or what sound system is required, trying to manage the technology yourself is a recipe for disaster.


How to prevent it: Make sure you hire AV experts. They will have top-of-the-range equipment and all the know-how to kit out your event. If you’re looking for audio, visual, staging or lighting hire in Cambridge and beyond, Red Occasions can assist. Take a look at our website to find out everything we have to offer.


Mistake 4: Having an underwhelming or overwhelming schedule

You’re asking for trouble if you have a poorly prepared agenda. Don’t cram too much in. If the attendees are sitting listening to speaker after speaker with no comfort break or time for networking, they’re not going to be happy! Conversely, your guests will get bored if there’s not enough on the schedule or they feel uninspired by the content.


How to prevent it: Create a well-prepared agenda. Plan out breaks for refreshments and allow your guests to mingle and move around. No one wants to be sat at a chair all day long.


Mistake 5: Outdated or unreliable technology

Technology plays a vital role in event success. If visuals don’t work, the sound system fails or there are any other technical issues, this reflects badly on your company. Opt for newer technology to rouse and inspire your audience.


How to prevent it: Hire a reputable AV company. They will have all the top-of-the-range equipment to impress your guests and ensure everything goes smoothly.


Mistake 6: You blow your budget

With everything involved in an event, from catering to décor, costs can add up quickly. If you plan early, you’ll have more options of available vendors allowing you to compare quotes and pick the most budget-friendly choice. Track every expense, even the smallest, to ensure that costs don’t snowball.


How to prevent it: Prioritise the most important things to ensure they’re covered first in your budget. Hold back 10-15% of the budget to cover unforeseen costs.


Mistake 7: Not testing equipment before the event 

Technology can go wrong so you need to make sure that everything is working well ahead of time. You should never leave it to the event day to test out the technology.


How to prevent it: Test ahead of time! A dedicated AV team can carry out rehearsals and sound checks for you, if you don’t feel confident in how the equipment works. They will always be on hand for any technical glitches too.


Mistake 8: Not having a contingency plan

A lot can go wrong when it comes to event planning. What if there’s bad weather? Can you move the event inside? What if the speaker doesn’t show up? Do you have a backup to step in? It’s not nice to think about the worst-case scenario but you need to consider what could go wrong so you have a plan B in place.


How to prevent it: Minimise nasty surprises. Come up with solid backup plans to overcome each potential problem.


Mistake 9: Poor communication

Miscommunication is a common issue with event planning. There are so many people involved that it’s easy for things to be missed. Make sure everyone knows what’s happening and inform all stakeholders of any changes.


How to prevent it: Communication is key. Have regular catch-ups. Communicate early, often and well with both suppliers and attendees.


Mistake 10: Understaffing

Calculate how many people you need for the event to go without a hitch. Consider where you will need staff, whether it be people checking in the attendees or helping behind scenes.


How to prevent it: Ensure you have enough staff to support on the day. Hire professionals to help ease the burden. If you need sound or lighting hire in Cambridge and beyond, Red Occasions are a reliable AV partner and we’d love to work with you.



With a lot of planning, communication and quick decisions, you can pull off a successful event. Keep in mind all the mistakes we’ve outlined and you’ll sidestep the biggest pitfalls. The success of an event affects your reputation after all. If you’re planning an event and need help, Red Occasions provide event production support as well as lighting, sound and staging hire in Northampton, Bedford, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and beyond. Give us a call and we can discuss how we can help to make your event run like clockwork and avoid any of those common event mishaps.