Sometimes being an event planner is a bit like being a doctor. Once people find out what you do for a living they immediately say, “let me ask you something…” insert event question. While we are not diagnosing the general population’s ailments, we are helping people of all sorts avoid mishaps and pitfalls BEFORE they occur one event at a time.

Here are some novice mistakes and pointers from a planner’s perspective:

  1. Always, always, always order more than you need if possible. This goes for food and beverage, chairs, linens, graphic design materials, etc. Keep it to inexpensive items-there’s no need to hire an extra band! But, people spill, items get lost and things get damaged. Anything you can do to give yourself a little wiggle room will result in a better event.
  2. Don’t forget the spouses and significant others for social events! When creating your guest list remember to include spouses or guests of those people you are inviting. It’s polite to allow guests to bring a date so they do not have to attend alone.
  3. A second pair of eyes never hurts. Even the most seasoned editor misses things once in a while. Ask a colleague or friend to review a plan, strategy or printed piece before finalizing it and they may notice something you did not.
  4. Think ahead. Keep a list of phone numbers handy. Map out a plan B and discuss worst case scenarios so you are prepared if and when things don’t go as planned.
  5. Be flexible. Try to be open minded with your vendors and they will do the same in return. The result will be a team effort that shines through on event day.