9 Event Planners Share Their Biggest Frustrations

Originally published at: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog/event-planning-frustrations-ds00/

Organising events is hugely rewarding, but can also be stressful. Discover the frustrating things these 9 event planners wish they could put in Room 101.

What’s the one thing in your role that really frustrates you? Lack of time/last minute changes? Suppliers/stakeholders delaying? No shows? Trying to show ROI? Budgets?

How do you overcome it?

My biggest frustration has been expending huge effort and money and then suffering poor turnout. Admittedly I’m an amateur at this sort of thing but my events are all fundraisers and from that perspective they are successful as we’ve raised tens of thousands of pounds in our time.

But when we do free events in pubs for example, no shows and low turnout hurts; it impacts what we can raise, it can kill atmosphere and I hate failing the acts by not giving them an audience.

I’m determined to get better at what I do to partially put this right, but I do also think part of the problem is a dying pub trade and a reluctance for people to spend during these times of austerity.


Finding good sponsors, it would be quite useful to have a crib sheet on the best way to approach potential sponsors.

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Hey @h10k not sure but this template might be of help to you:

There’s also some good points made in this thread by @LouisaMD and @NatashaGiller about finding ways to demonstrate the value that sponsors will get, and finding out what success would look like for them.


Its mostly been last minute requests by client - How I get around that is making sure the client has signed off on the original plan. Anything outside the scope of work will cost them extra… Sometimes clients forget that and gently need to be reminded and in most cases are happy to pay extra for any additional work. This is frustrating from a project management stand point as you need to tweak things around to keep the project running smoothly…

@Mill_Darby1 that must be frustrating. It’s good to be firm on what is included within the initial arrangement and what is extra though - i think this can be a particular issue for freelancers.

I read something lately where an event agency’s major frustration was working out the correct amount of ideas/creativity to put into a pitch so that they could win the work, but without running the risk of just having their ideas stolen by the potential client. The danger is you’re giving away a lot of good ideas, without any guarantee of business. Has anyone had experience of this kind of thing?

I work with alot of freelancers so its my job to educate the client right from the start who is responsible for what,why and when its expected to be completed in a project cycle. Most freelancers (particularly creative one’s) prefer to have a gate-keeper. Client’s who don’t understand how most creative’s work which can really cause a bit of disharmony throughout the project.

Regarding pitching idea’s in a proposal - it is a hard one to try and protect. I would love to know what anyone else has to say about that. Even my mentor says its hard to protect your idea’s and probably the best way to pitch an idea to a prospect is to simply make contact & build a relationship first. Gain some trust and work it from there.

Interesting article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2013/11/18/7-simple-ways-you-can-protect-your-idea-from-theft/2/#5c4a37de6ede

Which is the most annoying thing when planning an event on a tight budget?

You might find this thread on having a small ticket cost to reduce no-shows useful? What's the best ticket price to encourage max. attendance?

I agree it’s very difficult because you have to share enough to demonstrate your difference, but you don’t want to put all your cards on the table. Building a relationship first seems like a good idea, if at all possible.

balancing need v expectation v budget v user experience v time!


Sounds like a complicated equation! :confounded:

Last minute costs and working with ‘friends’! This year our festival nearly cancelled if not for a backup fund due to our stage sponsors pulling out. Nearly cost us an extra £2,000 which is around 20% of our budget so it was touch and go. Fortunately we have a very good crew and we managed to patch things up for under £1,000 extra. Last time I do a handshake deal with ‘a friend’.

You know what they say, never mix business and pleasure. Doing business with friends always has the potential to go wrong.

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Indeed and a lesson well learned! Although my fellow directors are my girlfriend, my best mate and his wife.

Oh, ha ha! Let’s hope you all stay on good terms then!

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