young professional event planner ruin event planning career

8 Ways to Ruin Your Event Planning Career

No one wants their event planning career to spin madly out of control, but do you know what to avoid? Stay on track by knowing what can ruin your credibility, and how to stay well away from these mistakes!

Facing challenges is a huge part of an event planner’s job, and knowing how to handle them is your main priority. For the inexperienced, this can be a daunting task!

Don’t stress – we’ve got you covered with 8 things you should never do if you want to success in the events industry!

1. Blame vendors

large event vendor making burgers to serve
The easiest way to ruin your credibility as an event planner? Blame your vendors for things that go wrong during your events. Caterer doesn’t show up? Not your fault. Wrong number of centerpieces? The florist should have used a calculator. Why should you throw yourself under the bus when it’s clearly not something you can control?

Well, it actually is your fault. It may not be entirely your fault, but you are in charge of planning the event – and that means you’re in charge of the vendors! Using a vendor that you don’t know well or that doesn’t have any credible references is your call, but it can lead you down a dangerous path. Make sure you learn how to deal with vendors is a professional manner.

If anything goes wrong with your vendors, be sure to take responsibility. Not only does it show professionalism, it will give your clients a sense of sympathy rather than anger or outrage.

2. Miss appointments

Wedding planner working with bridal client

Ah yes, the best way to lose business! Missing appointments is a huge no-no for event planners. Whether it’s with your clients, vendors or other event planners, there’s no excuse for being late or completely missing appointments.

Think of it this way – if you miss a job interview, are you likely to get the job? Same goes for finding event planning contracts. The main mission of your business is to give people flawlessly smooth events. How can you plan successful events if you aren’t organized enough to attend a meeting?

Just don’t do it.

3. Don’t make a timeline

You know when everything is supposed to happen, so as long as you’re at the event it will run on time…right?

Wrong. Even though you’re running the event, you need to have solid details planned out to share with vendors and clients. Without a timeline to refer back to, you can end up serving dinner at 11 am or hosting a wedding ceremony while guests are still puttering around outside. Okay – these are extreme examples, but they make our point!

make a wedding timeline for the wedding you plan

It’s not only you that needs to be on track. Your vendors need to know exactly when and where they need to set up. Their reputation is on the line as well, so they want to be prompt and ready to go!

Having a timeline from the start will also give your clients confidence in your planning skills. They’ll be in the loop with how the event is going to run, and know that you’re in control of each minute.

4. Blow the budget

Tempting, but a career killer no doubt! Small budgets can be a challenge to work with, we know, but this doesn’t mean you can simply tack on some wiggle room. If the budget is too small to fulfill your client’s dream event, let them know upfront. You can lay out some budget-saving solutions or alternative options that they might love!

If you’re itching to work with bigger budgets, try your hand at luxury event planning. You’ll be planning high-end weddings and events without risking a budget meltdown…

small wedding budget a certified wedding planner can be creative with

5. Patronize your clients

If you want to be known as an event planner who insults her clients, go right ahead – but we have to warn you that this will ruin your credibility as a professional planner. No one likes to be patronized. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re working with a client who challenges your decisions.

You can lay out the reasons why they’re vision isn’t feasible, but you need to do this carefully. Being respectful of your client’s wishes is super important for an event planner. Most of the time, this event is huge for your client. You want to give them the best event possible, without risking any of their less-than-thrilling ideas.

Level with your clients and simply explain your reasons. Be straight with them, and tell them your perspective or experience of why their vision won’t work. They’ll be thankful that you caught these flaws up-front, rather than having them live through the horror on the day-of!

6. Fall out of touch

wedding bouquet that is tossed and left alone during wedding reception

You heard us – falling out of touch with clients and vendors is one way that your event planning career can suffer!

First, you risk losing referrals. If you’re not on good terms with former clients and vendors, they won’t think to mention you to their friends and customers. Keep your brand in the forefront of their minds by sending out periodical letters and emails.

Don’t bombard people with reminders of your event planning business, but a simple “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Merry Christmas” can send good vibes to your industry connections.

7. Don’t test your website

Yes, allowing your clients to book consultations with you directly through your business website is a good idea. You know what’s not a good idea? Letting clients book a consultation that doesn’t get through to you…

Whenever you launch a new feature on your website, you have to test that it works! This is such an easy step in making sure you land clients. If someone sends a request for more information and you never get it, you can pretty much kiss that contract goodbye. They’ll move on to another event planner whose website does work!

So, ask your friends or family to test out your website. Make sure your links work and every form gets through to you. If not, don’t run the risk of letting potential clients use it. Call in an expert and get yourself a useful, professional website.

8. Forget your charger

charge your professional business phone and laptop always as an event planner

As a professional event planner, communication is your first line of defense. Be sure to ALWAYS have your phone and charger on hand. You never know when disaster will strike, and you’ll need to be in constant contact with your event planning clients!

Being an event planner is no piece of cake (pun intended), but there are a lot of life-saving solutions to help you plan the perfect event. Get your event certification and build up your army of resources – you’ll thank us later!

Don’t miss our expert event planner’s tips on what you WON’T learn in your wedding and event planning course!


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