Hopefully South African event practitioners will be appalled to learn of the outcomes of a survey undertaken by Park Crescent Conference Centre and reported in the online Meetpie newsletter recently.

Over half of the 300 secretaries, corporate and event bookers surveyed in the UK admitted to booking a venue that had never been visited.  The other revelations reported from the survey indicates that a number of event practitioners in this well-established island nation viewed event planning as something the venue would handle and could easily be dealt with on the day of the event.

The research, which examined the top errors committed in the industry when selecting a venue, found that 50% of those surveyed who ran events that didn’t go to plan made the mistake of assuming things would ‘just happen’ at a venue.

On the list of top blunders, 57% revealed they didn’t read the small print, while almost half of those surveyed said they knew someone who had arrived onsite without a plan. 40 per cent admitted they were not diligent enough when looking at a new venue, while over half (6%) admitted they didn’t focus enough time on the format of their event.

Admittedly the event complexities or capacities do not appear to form the basis of the planners surveyed and it is possible that the types of bookings could be mainly for board meetings of around 10 to 12 individuals.  The MICE Academy sincerely hopes that this could be the reason for such high percentages.

Although ‘taking a chance’ on booking an unseen venue for a board meeting of decision-making executives may be regarded as not a prudent decision and could be career limiting  – it beats the prospect of a few hundred people arriving with a planner trying to figure out what to do next.