5 Things Event Planners Hate to Hear

Your event is important to you and you want it to go off without a hitch. The problem is that “things happen” and you need to be prepared for what to do just in case the unexpected occurs.

Event planners far and wide, from amateurs to professionals, hate it when an event doesn’t go on as planned. The truly prepared ones, however, are ready for when it does. Here are 5 things that event planners hate to hear (and how to deal with them).

The speaker hasn’t shown up yet

One of the worst things that can happen is to have a guest speaker or VIP running late or even worse, not show up at all. Hopefully this is a rare occurrence, but if it happens, panic sets in.

What should you do?

It’s always best to have a backup plan in mind in the event a guest speaker cannot attend. Have someone from your business prepare a short presentation to be used in case of an emergency. If you have other speakers lined up to talk, let each one go over their allotted time by a few minutes to extend the event and make up for the lost speaker.

Something is not working (computer, audio/video equipment, etc)

There’s nothing worse than having your high profile speaker show up with their presentation all good to go, only to find out it isn’t compatible with the equipment you have available.

What should you do?

Whenever possible, find out in advance if your speakers will need audio/visual equipment and what their specific needs are. Will they bring their own laptop computer? Do they need a projection system? Do they have an audio recording they want played? What about the lighting requirements? As much information as possible as you can gather in advance can go a long way towards heading off potential technology problems in the future. Whenever possible, always do a quick test to make sure everything is working before the event starts

The attendees are running late

Without your attendees, your event or conference is essentially nothing. If bad weather or god forbid a traffic incident should delay everyone, it can start the event off on the wrong path before it’s even begun.

What should you do?

If your event is reliant on the weather (such as an outdoor event), have a backup date in mind and booked if you need to reschedule. If thunderstorms roll in, there’s really nothing you can do to change that so make every effort to contact your attendance list and let them know that the rain date is going into effect.

If the event it still going to go on as planned but attendees are trickling in, it’s perfectly reasonable to delay the start by a small margin of time, however if you wait too long you risk angering your guest speakers and other attendees. Anything more than a half hour delay is starting to get unreasonable.

If you are serving food in advance of your event, offer the guests in attendance an extra round of coffee and dessert service and make sure some food is held back and available for the late comers. Consider offering those who were on time a discounted rate on a future event as well to thank them for their patience and understanding.

We’ve run out of take-home gifts!

You never want to run out of anything but of everything on this list, this is the most likely to happen. Whether it’s food, pamphlets, or merchandise it can be implausible to have “too much” of everything and still stay within your event’s budget.

What should you do?

When budgeting for your event, prioritize your needs and plan accordingly. If your event is being billed as a dinner event, then you need to make sure you have dinner for everyone. If you are promising everyone a take-home gift, you need to make that a priority as well.

Have a plan in place for what to do if you should run out of a certain item. In many cases, guests will be understanding to a point. If the item is something you can get to them at a later time such as a t-shirt or pamphlet, offer to mail it to them. Whenever possible, try to get firm numbers the day of the event and plan accordingly.

We didn’t plan for this!

Nobody likes a curveball being thrown their way but it happens from time to time.

What should you do?

It’s hard to plan for every eventuality but if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Look at your event from top to bottom, double-check your budget, confirm your venue, speakers, and caterers. Send a reminder email to your attendees the week of the event, check the weather, etc.

And when you’ve done all of that… do it again. Events are living, breathing creatures and no two are exactly alike. Do your best to have everything planned and you’ll minimize the chances of a wrench being thrown into the works.

Above all else, maintain your composure and take charge if something goes wrong. Sometimes your best customers are made not from when everything goes well, but from how adversity is met and handled.

Eventzilla Team

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