Common Mistakes in Event Planning to Avoid

Everyone makes mistakes. After all, nobody’s perfect. However, even the slightest fault or oversight can lead to potentially costly setbacks, disrupting the budget, disappointing guests, or even damaging your reputation regarding event planning. But as the saying goes, errors don’t just happen—they’re also caused. And you don’t necessarily need to make a mistake to learn from it. Many others already have before you. With that in mind, here are some mistakes you must avoid when planning an event.

Not having a backup plan in place

In an event, many unexpected things can happen, whether it’s caterers pulling out at the last minute,  rain dampening an open-air affair, or entertainers falling ill and unable to perform. And if you fail to respond appropriately to these emergencies, you’ll likely end up with a lot of trouble. In the worst-case scenario, it may result in the event’s cancellation. While it’s impossible to predict the future, you can prepare for unforeseen problems that may rear their ugly heads by having contingencies in place.

For example, if you’re looking for entertainment for the event, it’s worth exploring your options and having a couple of replacements who can fill in just in case your first choice can’t make it. This will ease your party planning worries and ensure that the event proceeds as planned, no matter what.

Blowing the budget

Financial management is an integral part of the event planning process. Unfortunately, you’ll often have no more than a modest budget to work with, and if you don’t handle the finances carefully, you may compromise the event. For example, budgets tend to fall apart because of unforeseen expenses, such as hidden costs, permit fees, and additional charges for unincluded items. Another cause is poor weather; a bit of snowfall or a light shower can result in more expenses. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid breaking your event’s budget.

For starters, always explore your options before you make any financial commitments, be it with party planning suppliers, vendors, caterers, entertainers, etc. Also, try to negotiate whenever possible. It may seem like a lot of additional work, but it will give you more opportunities to keep costs low and avoid the pressure of staying within the budget.

Starting late

Time is a rare but valuable commodity in event planning. Depending on how big the event will be, you may need at least four to six months or more to be able to plan everything appropriately. If you begin too late, you’ll end up being pressed for time to plan everything out. As a result, you may make more mistakes that will negatively impact the quality of the event. Therefore, you need to start the earliest you can. In this way, you won’t have to rush to get everything done before the date of the event, saving you from a lot of undue stress.

Relying on verbal agreements

Parties that come to agreements without any documentation create verbal deals. As legally binding as these oral contracts are, they can still lead to confusion and misunderstanding. Thus, it makes sense to ensure that any agreements with third parties, internal staff, and hired talent are all put into writing. Having well-drafted contracts won’t just prevent any mix-ups and crossed wires. But it’s also an excellent way to manage risks and protect yourself in your event planning endeavours.

Taking the plan for granted

It’s easy to take plans for granted and oversimplify them. However, this is a mistake you must avoid at all costs, or it will be your undoing. Ensure the master plan is as accessible to everyone as it is detailed and aligned with goals and budget points. Include a checklist with tasks and timelines so that everyone is aware of how it’s progressing. Make it a habit to check the status of the plan every day too.


Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a first-timer, it’s easy to make mistakes when planning an event. However, by knowing where all the pitfalls are, you’ll be able to steer clear of them and avoid the repercussions that these errors can potentially bring to the event. So be sure not to make the mistakes listed above.

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