There is nothing more thrilling for an association event manager than the excitement and hustle involved in curating a great event. But along with the thrill can come a moment of “Oh No!” when something does not go as planned. And it can happen to the best of us! Things like bad weather for an outdoor event, shipments being delayed due to border issues, etc. The following Top 5 Tips will help guide you through the good and bad and help you to achieve your event goals with ease. So only you will know the “Oh No” moments.  

1. Stay Calm and Collected 

Panicking will not help! It is best to remain calm and collected when something goes awry. You will want to focus on finding the solution, and not the problem because there is always a solution. First, analyze the situation and identify the resources available and then decide on a plan of action. 

2. Delegate Responsibilities 

Creating an event can be stressful for all those involved. Stay focused on the key tasks at hand and delegate things like catering, entertainment, room set up and take down, freight, and safety to your team and let them show some of their event strengths while you focus on yours – managing the whole event. If there is an issue during an event, do not try to manage it on your own. Delegate responsibilities so you create a bigger buffer of time to fix it. 

3. Communication to the Delegates 

When an unforeseen issue occurs, apologize right away. It is not their fault that the event is not running as advertised, but it is your responsibility to ensure they have all the information regarding the why and how the issue occurred and to be assured that it is being fixed in a timely manner. If there is nothing you can do to fix the situation, it is always better to apologize to your delegates/guests rather than give excuses. That is how solid relationships and trust are built. See my colleague, Karina L. Shaw’s recent blog Strong Communications is the Foundation for a Successful Association Event 

4. Be Flexible.  

You need to be open to all ideas in such “Oh No” situation. The ability to think on your feet is a gift, especially when managing such conditions. It is also important to filter information that is not in your area of expertise. Some unforeseen issues require extra hands to help solve last-minute challenges. Being flexible and open to having others step up and volunteer their time outside of the hired team is important. It is important to meet with everyone prior to delegating tasks and offer ways that they can improvise when the need arises. 

5. Preplanning for the “Oh No” 

You can avoid a possible “Oh No” by laying out your ideas in a What is your plan A? What is your plan B? and What is Plan C format? Most event venues or planners do not have the time to do a run-through as they are occupied with other important tasks. In this case, you can seek help from others and ask them to develop the right plan for you and your team. Good delegation, right?  

Some final pieces of advice: do not forget to have confidence in yourself! If you are unsure about the logistics, or if the weather will not cooperate, there will be enough food. If the location is in the right spot, follow your instinct and prepare the back up plans. Follow up with the caterer, and keep a handle on weather and logistics. Listen to the concerns of your coworkers and believe in yourself! 

Limit stress by choosing a dependable team to support you in managing and making your event a success.  

With all this in mind, it is no wonder that event management is one of the most stressful jobs out there. But it is also one of the most rewarding – as we love to see the satisfaction on our client’s faces when we have made their event vision come to life and a huge success for all those involved!