Challenges in event planning will always exist: Some will come and go with time, some will be more persistent. But either way, getting ahead of them will allow you to come up with strategic solutions before the challenge turns into an outright problem.
That’s where survey results like this come in. A group of meeting planners and hoteliers identified what challenges are on the horizon for 2019: Do they align with yours? Probably so!
These challenges would resonate with any event planner, regardless of your industry. We put together some tips and resources for you to get a jump start on overcoming them:
Challenge #1: Budget
Always a constraint, right? But survey respondents noted a couple of interesting things in particular: Rising costs while budgets remain stagnant, and having to spend money to accommodate the needs of millennials and Gen Z (more tech, more engagement).
- Pad your budget with additional sponsorship dollars.
- Get creative with low-cost ways to really woo your attendees.
- Look at the big picture when trying to save on event purchases.
Challenge #2: Lack of time
Another persistent constraint, but lack of time comes with especially dire consequences for event planners. Your tasks are very time-bound to your event dates, and you have external forces (aka, attendees) to tend to.
- Make sure your registration page is in tip-top shape before making it public, so you don’t have to waste time fixing it.
- Write an effective FAQ page so you won’t get caught answering the same questions over and over (and over).
- Use attendee feedback to help make quicker decisions moving forward.
Challenge #3: Keeping up with technology
Advancements in technology are moving fast and revolutionizing every industry. Your attendees (especially, again, millennials and Gen Z) are learning the tools quickly and expect you to stay up to speed. But you want to be smart about what you add to your event planning process:
- Use solutions that integrate with each other for a seamless and impressive attendee experience.
- Do your research before introducing any type of technology.
- Thoroughly vet providers before partnering with them.
Challenge #4: Lack of creativity
According to survey respondents, it’s not a lack of creativity on the event planners’ part, but constraints when it comes to what venues will and, more likely, will not allow them to do. This can be a difficult one to overcome (policies are policies), but being intentional with the space you have can go a long way:
- Create different spaces for different types of people.
- Play with your room layouts, keeping engagement top of mind.
- Lean into networking lounges when it comes to creating a space that’ll stand out.
Challenge #5: Increasing complexity and rising costs of food & beverage
Awareness of wellness and different diets are on the rise, especially over the last few years. You want to provide attendees with a great experience, but how do you accomplish that with a large group and many needs?
- Stay educated on different diets people keep with – for both health reasons and specific allergies.
- Get creative with your sponsors and ask one to cover food and beverage, giving you more flexibility.
- Underpromise, but overdeliver: Surprise attendees with multiple options for dietary needs, even if you don’t ask them about them in advance.
There’s always a solution if you’re proactive! And part of that is keeping your wits about you as you go through the event planning process. To help make sure you don’t miss a beat, we put together a free guide – check it out!