Turn a Chamber of Horrors into an Amazing Event by Facing Your Fears!
Hey event professionals, while it's for sure "your party" and you can absolutely "cry if you want to" - it really shouldn’t come to that. Yes, planning an event is scary. There is a lot on the line and, at times, there are major components that are outside your control, especially if you've done a good job delegating. Start by being honest with yourself. There is a lot that can go wrong, even for a person that's super organized, and for super organized people, that's SCARY. You should, however, be able to go into your event feeling strong and confident if you face your fears early and come prepared for anything. What are some common event professional fears and how can you face them like a big girl or boy? Read on...
1 - Is your phone your answer for everything? Treat that phone RIGHT!
Relying heavily on your phone is okay but for crying out loud - treat your hand-held helper with some respect! When you rely on your phone for so much you can’t risk losing your phone or having it run out of power at the wrong time. A smart event pro will only wear clothes with pockets and use a retractable lanyard for his or her phone, and also carry a charging stick in his or her pocket. Been taking pics left and right? How's your phone memory? It is possible your smart phone will run out of space as you attempt to take photos for social media, or a key grip and grin with the keynote speaker. Upload all of your photos to Dropbox before the event and delete everything you don’t need.
2 - Do you have vendor baggage? Let's get it out in the open...
Planners know how important vendors are for a great event. For the fear that vendors won't show up to do their job, the solution is to send along the schedule of the day to everyone, and to take it a step further, send confirmation emails requiring a response. Send it a week in advance, follow up the week of the event, and then call if needed. Also, always collect the cell phone numbers of all vendors well in advance. This may seem controlling but until you've got a proven and established track record with a vendor, stay on top of them to avoid disaster.
3 - You are what you wear! Don’t be a coffee stain...
You are probably not Janet Jackson, but you can still have a wardrobe malfunction. What would you do if your shoe strap broke in the middle of an event? What if you have a day of appearances to make and you get sauce on your tie or blouse at the keynote breakfast? Always have an extra full outfit in an office or car trunk somewhere. If not a full outfit at least a tie that matches, spare shirt, shoes...Meh, just make it a full spare outfit.
4 - Who's coming? It's your job to know.
Many planners biggest fear is the unknown, specifically relating to your attendee list. Not being able to control when, or even if, guests arrive can be a planner’s biggest challenge because it can take a well-planned event and make it look bad due to the unexpected shortage or unexpected overwhelming amount of guests. The best solution is to create R.S.V.P. accountability by reconfirming guests' attendance (like with a well-designed eBlast) or, if applicable, charging a small admissions fee to insure the guests are following through on their commitment.
5 - Does your event have a big outdoor element? Have a solid back-up!
Okay, maybe you're an optimist, but you also want to keep your job. No matter what the weather says, if your event has an outdoor element, have a back up that will still impress attendees. Yes, it’s a bummer to have an amazing outdoor plan and have to retreat to a mundane ball room due to weather but mother nature rules. Do something to turn it into fun by having mini umbrella’s as giveaways. If you’re bold and your attendees are good sports, scrap your back up plan and stay outside in the rain, just hand out rain ponchos that say YOLO on them.