Stop the Setbacks: Event Planning Problems (and Solutions) You Should Know

Organizing the perfect event can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Nothing is more satisfying than watching all of your careful organizing come together after weeks or months of effort to create a memorable experience for attendees. 

However, unforeseen challenges can sometimes derail even the most carefully coordinated event. For instance, a glitching video platform can shut down an online conference, while a thunderstorm may spell disaster for an outdoor festival. 

Fortunately, a little advance preparation can help you anticipate and prevent many issues that might otherwise disrupt your big day. Keep reading to learn about common event planning problems and solutions that you can easily implement to make sure that your function runs smoothly. 

Common Event Planning Problems

When you plan events, you’re bound to run into unpredictable and unusual challenges, such as inclement weather, malfunctioning equipment, or medical emergencies. While you can’t possibly anticipate everything that may go wrong, you can prepare for the most common issues in event management. These strategies will increase your odds of coordinating a successful function. 

Problem #1: Lack of Event Budget

Most events include basic components like decorations, entertainment, food, staff, technology, and a venue. The costs for all of these services and supplies can quickly add up, straining your wallet. 

Expenses can be even higher for special events that include costly items and services like bounce house rentals, formal clothing, and photographers. For instance, the Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study reports that American couples spend an average of $38,000 on weddings with over 100 guests, and approximately $15,000 for weddings that include fewer than 50 guests. 

Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to save money while still creating an unforgettable event experience. 

Solution #1: Find Innovative Ideas To Save Money

Creating an event budget should be one of the first tasks on your event planning checklist. This budget should include estimated costs for items, staff, and venues. Once you have a preliminary budget, you can start exploring innovative options to generate additional income and cut costs

These strategies include: 

  • Advertise the event using free digital event promotion strategies, like email marketing and social media. 
  • Choose less expensive drinks and meals. 
  • Create homemade decorations using low-cost materials like pinecones and recycled paper.  
  • Get creative with venue ideas. Can a friend loan you their backyard? Can you rent a public park instead of a fancy indoor venue? 
  • Negotiate with other event professionals for reduced prices. For instance, a caterer may give you a discount if you agree to use them again for your next event. 
  • Offer tickets for an online livestream to allow more people to participate and boost revenue. 
  • Reuse decorations and supplies from previous events. 
  • Sell VIP tickets that offer extra perks. 
  • Use a mobile app for programs, schedules, and other materials to save on printing costs.  

Problem #2: Unexpected Issues With Weather

Outdoor spaces are often ideal venues for hosting events. For example, a carefully selected beach, garden, or park can provide benefits like: 

  • Ample room for activities and guests
  • Cost savings over more expensive indoor venues 
  • Increased flexibility to arrange the space
  • Minimal need for costly décor   
  • More informal setting 
  • More options for photographs 
  • Natural lighting
  • Reduced risk of transmitting illnesses like COVID-19 
  • Room for guests to explore the environment 
  • Scenic backdrop
  • Unusual settings, like a farm or a winery, add excitement and novelty 

For outdoor functions, however, the weather can play a big role in determining event success. Most people don’t want to attend a music concert or run a 5k in freezing temperatures or pouring rain. More extreme weather like blizzards and lightning can also endanger guests, potentially requiring you to cancel or postpone your event. 

To some extent, you can increase your chances of avoiding bad weather by choosing the timing of your function wisely. Pay attention to weather patterns in your local area and plan to hold your outdoor event during months when the weather is generally mild and pleasant. For instance, if you are coordinating an outdoor festival in Michigan, you will almost certainly have better weather if you schedule your event for May instead of January. 

Even with the most strategic planning, however, inclement weather can occur. This challenge is even greater when you are coordinating an event that will happen several months or years in the future. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that you can use to minimize the impact of weather on your function. 

Solution #2: Have a Backup Plan Organized in Advance of the Event Day

If you choose to organize an outdoor event, you should create a backup plan that you can quickly implement if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. 

Smart strategies for coping with unexpected weather include: 

  • Be willing to cancel or reschedule the event if the conditions are dangerous. While it may be disappointing to cancel an event that you invested time and money into, it’s more important to keep your attendees safe. 
  • Choose a venue with both indoor and outdoor options, so you can easily move the event inside. You could also reserve an inexpensive indoor space at another nearby location as a backup plan. 
  • Consider shifting your event online. For instance, attendees may be able to tune in through a livestream instead of coming in person. 
  • Purchase weather-proof gear like ponchos and umbrellas ahead of time for events that must take place outside, like marathons.  
  • Rent tents ahead of time so that you can shelter attendees if necessary. 
  • Use communication tools like email and mobile apps to keep attendees and vendors informed. If people don’t know that you have a backup plan for inclement weather, they may choose not to attend your event. 

It’s important to note that you should develop these alternative plans well in advance of your event. If you wait to act until you see the weather forecast a day or two before your event, you could be left scrambling to find a new venue or hunt down an available tent. 

Of course, developing contingency plans can add even more expenses and labor to the event coordinating process. Some event planners choose to avoid the extra stress by organizing an indoor-only function from the very beginning. However, if you would prefer to hold an outdoor gathering, creating an effective backup plan will ensure that you can still host a successful event regardless of the weather. 

Problem #3: Choosing an Event Space

Selecting a suitable venue is one of the most crucial aspects of event planning. The space that you choose will set the tone of your event and dictate the types of activities and setups that you can include. For instance, hotels often feature conference rooms and technology, making these locations ideal spaces to hold conventions. 

However, it can be difficult to choose the perfect event space, especially if you only have a few options or if you have a limited budget. Keeping a few key ideas in mind can choose the best location for your event. 

Solution #3: Consider the Type of Event and How Your Venue Adds Value

To select the best venue, you should take into account the type of event and the ways that you hope to use the space. A great space adds value to your event and doesn’t require you to significantly alter your plans. 

Factors to consider when selecting a venue that fits your event type include: 

  • Accessibility for attendees: If you anticipate having a lot of out-of-town guests, it can be helpful to choose a venue near hotels and a major airport.
  • Available amenities: For instance, if you plan to offer food, you will need access to a kitchen space. 
  • Cost: If you overspend on your venue, you will have a smaller budget for the rest of your expenses. 
  • Parking for guests who will arrive by car
  • Suitability for your planned activities: For instance, a park will likely provide more space for a 5K race than a church property. 

Problem #4: Not Enough Manpower for Event Management and Planning

Even if you have strong event planning and organizational skills, you may find yourself without enough help or time to manage and plan your function. Contacting vendors, marketing, and other tasks can consume many hours of time and make it difficult for you to concentrate on the most important details. 

Solution #4: Invest in Event Technology

Fortunately, event technology can save you effort, energy, and time. Consider investing in two event planning tools: 

  • Event Management Software: This technology can help you manage every step of your event, from checking in your attendees to selling merchandise. These tools also generate data that can help you adapt to your attendees’ needs and improve your next event.
  • Event Marketing Software: Simplify your life by using event marketing software to advertise your event and provide services to attendees. This software makes it easy for you to create promotional materials, make informative web pages, sell tickets online, and more. 

Reap the Rewards of an Event Management Software

By implementing these easy event planning solutions, you can ensure that you will execute a memorable and worry-free function. The right technology can make the event planning process even more efficient and seamless. Visit today to learn how our affordable Events Management Software can improve your next function and take the stress out of event coordinating.