Mad Dash to the Finish: 6 Common Event Planning Mistakes

Mad Dash to the Finish: 6 Common Event Planning Mistakes
November 11, 2015 Trace Kingham
Mad Dash to the Finish: 6 Common Event Planning Mistakes

6 Common Event Planning Mistakes

By: Trace Kingham, President & Chief Experience Officer, Kingham Signature Events

When you’re planning an event, does it feel as if you suddenly become overwhelmed with tasks that leave you rushing to the finish line? More than likely it’s due to six mistakes that most make leading up to the event.

  1. Not writing down everything you need to accomplish leading up to your event.

If you don’t create a check list, you are going to forget something, and end up at the last minute spinning to get it done.  This list will grow as you go through the planning process, by capturing all the tasks at the beginning of the process, you’re going to be in a better position a few days prior and not in scramble mode.

  1. Deadline setting.

Now that you have your list of tasks, it’s time to set deadlines. While this seems obvious, it’s the number one reason for getting caught in the weeds…and it has a snowball effect. Assign a deadline to each and every task, no matter how small.

  1. Not staying on task with the deadlines that have been set.

Sure circumstances happen to all of us, but you then need to reevaluate and refine you deadlines as you go. Make sure the new deadline doesn’t impact other deadlines or components of the event. If not, you’re in trouble.

  1. Tackle all of it at once.

Too often, I find clients trying to take on everything at once, and they become easily overwhelmed at the number of details. Next thing they know, the mad dash has begun and the planning is no longer enjoyable, but more stressful than ever. Be sure to create an incremental plan to planning. Break up the components of your event into manageable bites and don’t move to the next component until you’ve completed the tasks.

  1. Taking on more than their experience allows.

Turn to professionals for advice and help if necessary. The amount of time it takes for you to become an expert in catering or audio visual technology takes you away from you working the overall plan. Hiring experts frees you to manage the deadlines and assures that you’re not spending unnecessary time hiring a professional at the last minute.

  1. Don’t ask for help.

Large events take an enormous amount of work. Assess the amount of time you have to plan your event and be realistic on whether or not you can get it all done in this time frame, all while working a normal 8 hour work day. If not, ask for help—an intern, assistant, third party—they can help make phone calls or deliver invites to the post office, which gives you time to manage all the tasks that only you can do.


Don’t fall into the mad dash trap. Events are meant to be fun and if you’re planning with stressful energy, the event experience will suffer. Be honest with yourself and don’t make these mistakes as you plan your next event!