There’s no such thing as a mistake-free event, though some mistakes are bigger than others. Here are a few subtle tech blunders you might be making with your own events — you might not even know you’re making them.
Everyone makes mistakes — even the most seasoned event planner. The difference between people who succeed in the event management field and those that don’t isn’t that the former does things perfectly. It’s that they learn from their blunders.
Of course, you can’t really learn from your mistakes unless you know you’re making them. That’s why today, we’re going to focus on a few lesser-known, tech-related mistakes. See if any of the following sound like you:
1. Your Social Game Is Weak(er Than It Could Be)
You’re doubtless already aware that social media is incredibly important for event management. It’s how you connect with your audience. How you spread the word about your events, and generate excitement amongst attendees. Everyone knows that — but a lot of people still fall short on execution.
Remember the following advice where social is concerned:
- Tailor your messages. Who is your ideal attendee on each social platform? Write a unique message to each of them.
- Don’t just focus solely on paid messages, and don’t neglect the value of unpaid messaging.
- Establish a good hashtag, ideally one that isn’t easy to hijack.
- Use rich media like video and photos.
2. You’re Alright Relying On Your Venue’s Tech
Sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to assume the venue will have all the technology you’ll need. An event hall that regularly hosts business conferences probably will have some formidable a/v tech in storage, and likely as not the owner of that venue has a WiFi network they’ve tested extensively. But just because some venues are so on-top of their tech, doesn’t mean they all are.
Eventually, you’re going to need to order your own gear — and you need to do your research so you aren’t caught off-guard a week before your show.
3. You Skip The Stress Test
You’ve got some solid vendors on-board. You gave everyone enough time for setup and tear-down, and you’ve made sure all your tech works properly. You’re ready to host the trade show of your life.
Except…wait, what? The WiFi network is down. And one of the projectors is overheating. What’s going on with the AC?
It isn’t enough to turn your equipment on and then off to see if it works. You need to ensure that the stuff you’re using works for the specific task you’ve got planned. That means putting your WiFi network through a heavy traffic test, putting your A/V equipment through several hours of heavy use, and testing your sound equipment.
Ideally, these tests should be a bit heavier than the usage you’d actually be getting out of your equipment, to be absolutely certain they won’t fail under pressure.
4. You’d Rather Not Update Your Toolkit
You have an established way of doing things, and a crop of trusted vendors you’ve worked with for years. I get it. But here’s the thing — at some point, you’re going to have to adapt.
You’re going to have to bring in a new software vendor with a platform that helps you manage larger events. You’re going to have to bring in new technology vendors to help you adjust to the emergence of new showroom floor hardware. Just do your research, and you can avoid ending up with any vendors that are a lemon.
5. You Don’t Really Track ROI
With all the other stuff you need to keep track of as an event manager, it’s understandable that you might occasionally forget to measure the ROI on your event equipment — especially given that it’s not the most easily-tracked metric in the world.
But you’re spending time and money on this stuff, and you need to make sure that they aren’t both a wasted effort. Figure out your specific objectives, and that should help you figure out if you’re meeting them.
Always Be Learning
No one is perfect — even the best, most experienced event planners can make mistakes. It’s the capacity to recognize and learn from those mistakes that makes them the best. And now that you know some of the little blunders you might make with your event tech, you can aspire to stand beside them, too.