If you have a company-wide or customer event or conference to organize, you may be looking to save a few dollars by handling the event internally. If you’re a small-to-medium business, it may be easy enough in-house: pick a local venue and coordinate with on-site staff. But it might not be so easy when you have multiple locations, sites, or people to deal with. “What could go wrong?” you ask.
Turns out, a lot.
Here are five reasons a DIY-meeting idea might not be the best option
1. There are only 24 hours in a day
Planning a conference, meeting, or launch event quickly becomes a full-time job in and of itself. There are so many aspects to consider: what location or venue? Have you sourced the hotel? Who’s attending? What’s the budget? What vendors are you using? How about contracts? Concessions and attrition clauses?
You also need to think about your audience, coordinating with the team, and how you can balance their needs while being mindful of cost. It’s no easy feat, especially if that’s not your only responsibility throughout the day.
2. Going over budget
If you’re planning and managing the event yourself, it’s easy to get lost in and overwhelmed by all the details. This has the potential to lead to confusion among employees and customers and – inadvertently – a blown budget. If you’re new to event planning, the little details add up. You may think you’re getting a great deal, only to find surprises in the venue’s small print which can add up to hundreds or thousands more in other fees and add-on costs you didn’t expect. Having relationships with vendors will help, but they will not necessarily help you find the best deals.
3. Problems at the venue
Even for seasoned professionals, it’s inevitable that something will go wrong once you’re at the venue – but it’s all in how you prepared you are and how you handle it. Since you don’t own the place, you can’t control every little thing – and this is where having a professional to take away those problems come in handy. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency plan in place, especially in terms of weather – what happens if the venue you’ve selected was hit by a hurricane just weeks before your event?
4. Disengaged employees
This is a fact. A Google search for “corporate” or “office events” shows hundreds of articles answering the question, “Must I attend that dreaded company event?”
Unless it’s a very well organized and engaging event, employees will find any reason they can to excuse themselves. Or if they attend, they may not participate at all. It takes experience and a good understanding of what motivates employees to put together an event that will keep them engaged and will help them come back to work re-energized and ready to contribute more.
5. Not seeing the forest for the trees
When organizers get into the weeds of organizing and managing an event, they often run the risk of forgetting who it is for. With customer-focused events in particular, you may be so focused on the details meant to make them feel welcomed and appreciated that you won’t have the bandwidth to connect in a personal way.
Customer appreciation events are a great opportunity not just to entertain but to listen and learn from your customers. What are some of the problems they are facing, what has changed, what are they looking forward to? Don’t miss this important opportunity to connect and show you care about them.
Done for you means less stress, happy employees – and your time back
At the end of the day, having an event planned for you instead of trying to manage it yourself is worth it for the stress reduction alone. And let’s admit it, no one wants to expend so much effort only to hear later, “I’m so glad it’s over.”
Having an experienced team to work alongside you to iron out the details will not only save you time and money but will also lead to a memorable experience your audience won’t soon forget.