It should go without saying that planning an event at the very last minute should be avoided like the plague. Planning at the very last minute will:
- Make it hard to find venues.
- The chances are that the preferred venue is already booked.
- Rise the clients’ costs for hotels, resorts and airfare.
- Make you prone to errors.
- Make you overlook important details
All of this will put you under enormous pressure, and since many event planners accept last minute planning, it lists the job among the most stressful professions.
Here is some advice on how to avoid last-minute planning and save you some nerves:
1. Reach out to regular clients immediately and inform them of various options that may meet their requirements.
Why? Because it can encourage earlier bookings.
2. Learn to say “no.”
No one and nothing is worth as much as your health. Accepting to do work more than you can handle can take serious toll on your health and personal life.
3. Set your boundaries and make sure others respect them.
While it is important to be flexible, that doesn’t mean that you should bend to EVERYONE’S requirements. Set your boundaries straight and don’t let your clients’ problems become yours. If they decided to do everything last minute, that doesn’t mean that you should suffer many sleepless nights just so you meet their deadline and fix their mistake. So, choose your assignments wisely.
4. Compromise for realistic options.
Always review your client’s requirements carefully and identify which are realistic and which can be done only with a magic wand. If there are some requirements that you consider not too be realistic, compromise and don’t be afraid to set your foot on what can or cannot be done in the given time frame.
5. Create templates for all aspects of event planning from supplier requests to catering.
This requires a lot of planner-client communication, so make sure you have one at all time.
6. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for an extra hand and charge the client accordingly.
You are not a machine, so sometimes you will need some extra help and it will cost. But, you must inform your client about it. If they don’t want to pay extra, do not continue with the project. As we said before, your health is your number 1 priority.
7. Charge a premium.
If you really must plan a last minute event, charge it as a premium since that’s what it is. This can also make your clients to start booking earlier.
8. Ensure that you are paid in advance.
Never accept to be paid after the project is done especially if it’s the last minute one. Never. Because chances are you won’t be paid the agreed amount.
9. Build in downtime to re-charge after the event.
We all need recovery time. So, after a stressful last-minute planning, give yourself some time to recharge. Add some “you” time in your schedule.