Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your First Event

event management Jul 28, 2023


I am often asked for advice from entrepreneurs who are considering launching an event. 

Amy Guy, Founder of The Nail Tech Org who produces MANI-Fest, the UK's largest event for nail technicians asked: 

What are three of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid
when they are planning their first event?

Honestly, I wish more people would ask me this. Here are three of the most common mistakes I see:

Mistake 1: Hosting An Event Before You Have an Engaged Audience 

As we all know, people buy from people (and brands) they know, like and trust. If you want to see ticket sales go bonkers from that first announcement, then you need to build, and more importantly, get to know, your community first. 

What do they want to hear about? What are their pain points? What would really entice them to spend money and time out of the office by attending your event? 

Unless you invest heavily in a speaker lineup so recognizable that sells your event for you, you are going to struggle on the ticket sale front without an already engaged audience.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to Consider Your Attendees’ Goals 

You are hosting this event for a reason. To accomplish a specific marketing or sales goal. Well, guess what? The attendees who will be buying a ticket have a goal in mind as well and addressing their goals will help you accomplish yours. 

While you’re footing the bill, it is not just about you. The better you know your audience, which relates back to Mistake #1, the more confidently you’re going to be able to design an event they will want to pay to attend. 

Mistake 3: Overcomplicating Your Marketing Campaign 

When it comes to marketing, don’t reinvent the wheel. All too often I see clients try to jump on every single trend out there and forget that the foundations of all marketing campaigns are the same. 

It always starts with the 5 Ws.  

Who is your target market?

Where does your target audience consume their media? I hope this goes without saying, but these should be the only channels you put time, effort and money into to promote your event. 

When are all of the industry and/or competitive events being held? Where possible, I always advise organisers not to clash with established events that could be considered a competitor.

Why should people care? Now I know this is blunt, but it’s important to ask. With more choices than ever, if you cannot identify your event’s “why” clearly and concisely, you probably want to reconsider its existence.

And for that final W, there are actually a few “whats” to consider… 

What is your event elevator pitch? 

What are the top 5-10 features that are going to excite attendees? 

What makes your event different to any other event in the market? And 

What problem does your event solve? 

Once you’ve defined your 5 W’s from the perspective of your target attendee, you will have the basis to create a targeted marketing campaign that will convert rather than getting lost in a sea of noise. 


If you are wanting to launch an event OR scale an existing one, and you have a question you’d like me to answer, please send it over to me and I’ll address it in a future post.


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