You plan for months and months to make sure everything runs smoothly for your event . You are in regular contact with your speakers, you have worked with the caterers for many years and know they are reliable, and your guest list has far exceeded your expectations. So what could go wrong? Even the most experienced event planners have to deal with problems that arise during an event. But there are ways to plan for issues in advance.
1. Review Your Event With Someone Uninvolved
It's always a great idea to review your event's plan and schedule with someone completely removed from your event. A fresh set of eyes can do a lot of good because that person may notice something you haven't. As an event coordinator, you are trying to juggle a lot of the event's moving parts, so someone who knows nothing about it might come up with a fresh idea you never even thought of, and it might even improve your event.
2. Schedule a Walk-Through a Few Weeks Before Your Event
Sit down with everyone (colleagues, vendors, etc.) who has worked with you to plan the event, and run through the day's activities. While reviewing the schedule of the day(s)' events, brainstorm a list of everything that could possibly go wrong. Make up scenarios of problems that could arise, and solve them ahead of time. In the event that any of these issues come to fruition, you'll be glad that you've already created a plan for solving them.
3. Be Generous and Think MORE, Not Less
There will always be people who fail to show up for your event, even when they said they would. But for every person who doesn't show up, there may be two more people who do show up (even when they said they wouldn't ). Plan accordingly, keeping in mind that a lot of people decide last minute to attend an event they may have heard buzz about for months. When ordering food, giveaways, chairs, and other accommodations, order more than you think is necessary. You might spend a few extra dollars, but you'd rather have more than enough to ensure all of your attendees are happy and your event runs smoothly.
4. Monitor Twitter for Any Problems or Complaints
During conferences, people love tweeting about presentations and content. Unfortunately, they also love tweeting their complaints about the event's venue, food, or even speakers' presentations. By keeping track of these tweets during the event, you may be able to eradicate any significant problems on the spot. Designate a hashtag for your event and monitor its stream of tweets as a way to keep track of any issues that arise. By immediately solving problems as they occur, you could be saving your event from even larger problems that might escalate and become potentially damaging to the success of your event as a whole.
5. If the Event Is Annual, Take Surveys and Use the Feedback
You may have many creative and innovative things planned as part of your event, but attendees will always prefer some event features over others. For example, they may have liked more time to network and meet speakers, or perhaps they would have preferred a different venue. Surveying attendees and using their feedback to plan future events will not only encourage people to come back in the future, but it will lead to positive feedback about your event .
What else do you do to prepare for problems that might arise during an event?
Photo Credit: profholtz