What To Do When Something Goes Wrong

Let's face it, if all events went off without a hitch, life would be perfect!  But that's in a dream world.  Down here on the planet Earth, something usually goes wrong on the day of an event.  When things do go downhill, you need to keep your cool. Here are some great ways to keep things under control and be ready for anything that could be thrown at you.

The first step, BREATHE! It will be hard to think fast on your feet if you're not calm, cool, and collected. The second step, refer to your contingency plan.  The Girl Scouts knew what they were doing when they prompted the motto "Be Prepared".  When planning for an event, it is a MUST to have a contingency plan. When planning everything out, take time to sit down and create a two column list:  in the first column, list all the major things that could go wrong; in the second column, create a solution for all those pesky problems.

Possible Problems That Can Occur

Sound System Failure:  The sun is shining, you didn't spill coffee, everything at the venue is looking great.  But wait!  The A/V equipment isn't working!  I cannot stress this enough, always make sure to have back up A/V!  If you're using on site equipment, communicate ahead of time with another local company that you would love to have them as a backup.  Work out any possible costs ahead of time so that you don't have to deal with that headache on top of the sound system failure. Also make sure you have an extra something to keep the guests entertained while you work out the technical difficulties.

Missing Keynote Speaker: Nothing is worse than getting a call the day of an event from your keynote speaker informing you they cannot make it.  What is a corporate event without a keynote speaker?!  With the risk of sounding like a parrot, HAVE A BACKUP!  Snag someone ahead of time who is local. This helps prevent any further costs for rooming and transportation. Communicate that they will be the so-called "understudy"; but have an extra thank you gift for them even if they do not speak, this way they still feel appreciated for making time.

 

Weather Woes: When you wake up the day of an outdoor event and the sun isn't shining, you might be panicking.  Most outdoor events should have onsite tents for situations such as this.  If not, when booking the venue make sure to research local vendors who can provide weather-proof tenting and have their business card in your pocket the day of.  Tents aren't your cup of tea?  From the start of planning, research venues within the vicinity.  This way, you can literally move your entire event to a more structurally sound venue and your guests can enjoy themselves without worrying about muddy floors and high wind velocity.

Vendor Cancels Last Minute: I hope you know what I'm going to say: have a backup!! Always, always, ALWAYS have backup vendors.  I can guarantee you will be kicking yourself if the linen company gets caught in a blizzard and you are forced to leave your tables naked.

You can almost count on a hiccup at any event.  With back up plans upon back up plans, a great team, and a high lung capacity, you should be able to tackle any issues that come at you.  Now go out there and be amazing!

 

Sachiko Nuila

Irvine, CA 92618