Seven Common Event Planners Misconceptions

6 02 2011

The web is chock full of suggestions for making events memorable, significant, and more cost effective. Most of these ideas look promising on paper, but on closer inspection are problematic. Always remember that there are, at the very least, two sides to every story. Here are seven “misconceptions” about the Events Industry that are bothering me right now.

1. Early Morning Motivation Seminars/Keynotes. Nobody should be entertaining, energetic, or overly enthusiastic early in the morning. Your audience needs more rest. Give it to them. Let them sleep. Don’t challenge them. Do not hire a polished sales huckster to pump up your attendees. Give them peace – they will thank you later.
2. Late Afternoon Seminars. By now, most everybody is awake and highly critical of your educational programs. Your audience wants to finish up the learning process for the day. Their brains are full. Reward them by scheduling seminars with tons of flash and inane fast talking speakers. The less content the better. The showier the better. Bewilder everyone – they will think you are brilliant.
3. Offer the Unique. “Be different” is the mantra of our age. Do you really have time to create new presentations? Steal other formats and ideas. Are you constantly asked to “think outside the box”? Climb in someone elses’ box and take it with you – it is much easier.
4. Script Your Event. Write your scripts for precisely 30 minutes shorter than the scheduled program – you don’t want to miss Happy Hour, do you? Discourage questioning. Let moderators/speakers know that you will never utilize their services again if they stray from your script. Your guests will appreciate the additional time to screw around, and you can start drinking earlier.
5. Schedule Webinars. Don’t have webinars – just schedule them (bear with me). This is so simple – invite your attendees to sign up for your webinar. Collect email addresses for all registrants. Five minutes after the scheduled webinar start time send a blanket email to everyone apologizing for technical difficulties AND award the requisite CEUs for attending. Your attendees will thank you for giving them credit hours without wasting their valuable time, and it costs you virtually nothing.
6. Speak To Your Audience. Just kidding. If your audience is not attentive, or just boring, find a new one. Don’t be content to jump through all of these planning and preparation hoops for a non responsive group. Hire or find a new group of attendees.
7. Get Certified. There are thousands of different letters out there to affix to your name (M.D., PhD., CMP, etc.) Most individuals and organizations never check your credentials. This will invariably force people to think you are much smarter than you actually are.


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