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We all make mistakes. Although we consider event planners to be slightly superhuman (you know, considering that they can fix any situation with the flick of a wand and can turn tight budgets into magnificent outcomes) – it’s important to remember that at the end of the day they’re just like us.

The world of events operates on a live and learn basis, and the only way to know what not to do is through trial by fire, or alternatively (and we recommend this method, trust us) by reading blog posts like this one.

So without blathering on any further, let’s get stuck into what we believe to be the 5 biggest mistakes every event planner should avoid.

1. Not grabbing your budget by the horns

Ah, the budget. Sometimes seen as a six-headed serpent and at other times as an early Bar Mitzvah present, it’s important to remember one thing: it is a tool, not a shackle.

The trick is not to limit yourself before you’ve even begun – this is counterproductive. Instead, adopt a train of thought that will seek to wow your client by telling them upfront about the weird and wonderful ideas you have floating about in that overworked brain of yours. If they like your ideas enough, they’ll make it work.

2. Being afraid of just saying NO

Yip, you read that right. Don’t let your mouth write cheques your body can’t cash, and more importantly don’t let yourself get bullied into doing so. Instead of promising your client something you can’t deliver on, just say no (you’ll thank us for this one later).


Remember, they came to you because you’re the expert.

3. Not coherently considering your venue

Your venue is more than just a roof for your guests to eat, drink and dance under– it is a strategic partner and an asset, and should be utilised as such. Like any partner, you must make sure that it is also ready for any situation that can arise at the drop of a nuclear power station… we mean hat.


In South Africa, venues with generators are vital.

4. Ignoring the need to nurture

This mistake speaks for itself – know your clientele. Maintain strong relationships with them and treat them with respect. Listen to what they have to say, make sure their experience with you is always an extraordinary one so they keep coming back, event after event.

5. Not properly briefing your clients and suppliers

This is arguably the most important process of them all. Make sure the brief you receive from your client is as detailed as possible. Relay this information back to your suppliers as coherently as possible.



Setting up a customised template for clients to use or for you to check against will help you guarantee that you have all the important information present.


Briefing all supplier teams in one email or meeting will give them a holistic view of the event. It will also ensure that they are all well informed of what each supplier involved is doing (each supplier needs to tie into each other).

Thank you for reading our revealing article. Keep an eye out for our next round of helpful industry related tips.