In 2017 FORBES Magazine named Event Professionals and Event Planning in the top 10 most stressful jobs. I think it’s important to support each other and be able to laugh or relate to each others experiences so we don’t all go crazy from stress. If you're a meeting planner and reading these makes you want to tell your story, share it with me and I'll send you a special gift to help relieve your event planning stress! Here are a few event "uh-oh moments" from Greater Lansing event planners - who asked to remain nameless - you may either relate to, or think, “wow, I really hope I never experience that…” Enjoy!
A Sign of the Apocalypse?
My best story was when I was planning a conference in San Antonio and a few days before the event, dead birds were falling from the sky for no apparent reason! It was happening within about a ten block radius and the host property (of course) was smack dab in the middle of the dead bird drop area. It lasted for a few hours but attendees were calling asking if we were going to still hold the event given that there was an unexplained dropping of dead birds. I could only imagine the horror as the keynote speaker steps to the podium only to have a big dead bird fall from the sky right onto his notes. Thankfully that didn't happen. We took a risk and did the event but we never got an explanation of why the birds were falling from the sky.
Nothing to See Here...
I was managing an Ignite session in which I had to get on and off stage multiple times. As you can guess, one time I tried to move too quickly and fell flat on my face. I got back up, wiped up, straightened up and tried to move on like nothing happened, even though I could have just died inside. There were about 110 people in the audience.
Uh-oh, Looks like Rain... or is it?
At a summer board meeting and the group was enjoying after dinner drinks and coffee outside while the kids roasted their smores on the fire pit. I heard a “click” and a knowing “whirr” and then I saw the sprinklers as they started to spray across the lawn and rain on all the attendees. Funny thing is the adults ran from the sprinklers and the kids ran towards them. The resort had forgotten to turn off the sprinkler timers for my outdoor event.
Let's Play Musical Chairs!
At last year's annual conference, we started to run out of seating for our attendees. I panicked thinking that I shorted my count somehow and there were more guests than expected. Turns out, the venue staff didn't set up the number tables and chairs we requested. My boss scolded me and asked why I hadn't counted the chairs the night before. I had never even thought about counting the chairs; I've always relied on the venue staff to get it right. You can bet the bank, I'll be counting chairs the night before the conference starts from that day forward.
Not all that funny, but a lesson was learned.
Look Out! Injured Meeting Planner Coming Through!
This might not be funny to others, but my staff was in stitches.
It was the night before our three-day convention when I fell off a curb and sprained my ankle (There was possibly a margarita involved at dinner - another story). The hotel kindly gave me a scooter for the remainder of the convention. Not being familiar with driving a scooter, I ran into the wall of the elevator a few times and over the feet of… more than a few people. Needless to say, it was a fun (at my expense) convention.
Um...I Didn't Mean to Say That!
I was at a conference and the keynote was talking about his students having success at the academy and accidentally misspoke and said something like, “we are excited about our students having sex…” This raised a few eyebrows and puzzled looks. He tried to go on but everyone in the crowd was so unraveled by his mistake he decided to pause and turned to his boss off-stage and asked, “did I just say sex?” He quickly back peddled and corrected his statement, creating a chorus of laughter.
We appreciate you meeting planners and would love to hear your funny stories. We also care about YOUR stress level so respond to this blog and we’ll send you a stress kit! Please contact me on my custom page or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your complimentary kit full of stress-relieving surprises.