Each year the “bar of knowledge” continues to go up for event planners. We are expected to successfully execute an event, make them look amazing, and we are expected to identify potential issues and challenges before they occur.  Here are four of those potential issues that we event planners can proactively address to avoid the “blues” later on —

1. Music Licensing. If you are playing music at an event you are planning where your guests or participants pay admittance, you should check out the rules on ASCAP and BMI to ensure you are in compliance.  I make sure my company’s clients pay these organizations on an annual basis for permission to play copyrighted music at their conferences and trade shows. There are some instances where the band has already paid the fees.  Check it out in advance of the event to ensure you are in compliance. If you ignore these rules, you could be paying some hefty fines later on.

2. Event Insurance.  When it comes to events, all type of things can happen that could affect your company and/or your client financially. So, make sure that your client invests in event insurance for each of the events you plan on their behalf.  Also, make sure that ALL (yes, I said all of them) of the vendors tied to your event have professional liability insurance. If you don’t, you (the event planner) could find yourself financially responsible for the mistakes made by the vendors you secure.

3. The Event Budget. Create a thorough and realistic budget for your client’s event, then monitor it to ensure your expenses and potential revenue are on point. Whether you like it or not, event planners are judged on their ability to forecast finances accurately and they are judged on their ability to oversee and manage the overall budget for the event.

4. Dietary Restrictions. With EVERYONE requesting special meals to remain in shape, it’s pretty easy for an event planner to become a little jaded to the point of ignoring requests for special meals. But that can be a dangerous and costly choice. Why? Well, 1.) someone could get seriously hurt as a result and 2.) food allergies are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  So, if you ignore a request for a special accommodation of a participant, you could possibly find yourself getting sued. And, no one wants that!

So, tell me — What’s on your list?  What are some of the other ways event planners can avoid “the event planning blues?”


Photography: Shutterstock

Howerton+Wooten Events, LLC is a concierge-style event management boutique renowned for creating ultra-creative, “high touch” conferences, weddings, galas and special events. The company is based in Bowie, Maryland, but its award-winning team is experienced at designing and managing conferences, galas and celebrations throughout the U.S. The company was founded in 2007 by Kawania Wooten, CMP, an industry veteran in the meeting and event planning industry.