Sometimes, the most interesting stories come from the worst, most horrifying situations. And sometimes those situations arise from the best of intentions.
We spoke with dozens of event planners and share some of worst advice they’ve ever received.
“Be prepared. Always plan for the worst-case scenario”
As if being an event planner wasn’t stressful enough, filling your head with images of attendees running amok, speakers failing to deliver on stage and every piece of technical equipment malfunctioning at once, can be more than a little overwhelming.
Take it from us. It’s good to know what to do when things go wrong. But that doesn’t mean you should always plan for the worst. Learn to keep your cool when stuff happens and have some contingencies, just in case — that’s all you need. Don’t overthink the negative.
“Don’t worry, everyone has a mobile data connection”
While it may be true that just about every participant at your event will have a mobile phone – whether their mobile data connection is stable, is another thing altogether. In some cases, participants may have limited data plans and simply do not want to use valuable (and possibly expensive data) at your event. Or they could have flown in from overseas and are not yet connected.
The moral of this story? Provide Wi-Fi access to participants — especially if your event is powered by a quality event app that’s essential for participants to enjoy the complete event experience.
“Just go ahead, we’re in charge”
Here’s a sobering reality — whether you’re an in-house event planner, or from a hired events agency — you’re not the one in charge. Your client (or your boss, depending on whether you’re working in-house or with an agency) is ultimately the one who should have final approval of event details.
Even if you’re best friends with your client and feel that you know them like the back of your hand, always get approvals — you’ll never know if someone higher up in the command chain has any objections to your plans.
“Use your memory”
No, write it down. Even if you’re the world memory champion, you’ll want to put important discussions/approvals down on paper.
With hundreds of details in dozens of areas to take care of, can you really remember everything with crystal clarity?
Even if you can, your client most probably won’t be able to (remember). So write (or type) down what was discussed and agreed on, then email your client to make sure they can refer to all vital decisions made. This will improve communication between your team and your client.
Writing down details allows you to share them with your team. This way, you can get everyone on the same page effectively and accurately.
Have you received some ill-advised “advice” from well-meaning friends or colleagues? We hope not, but just in case you have — know that you’re not alone.
It happens to all of us. (But we still appreciate the good intentions!)