When you are hosting an event, we know you want everything to go perfectly. However, events have a lot of variables and with Murphy’s law, you can bet something can always go wrong. This isn’t to say your event is going to fall to pieces and you should just avoid having an event altogether, though. If you plan well enough, you may not even have anything go wrong!
However, the odds are there will be a few bumps along the way, no matter how prepared you are. It could be something as small as the flowers arriving a bit late or a minor mix-up with what the caterers are serving. It could be something worse like equipment or power failure. Whatever happens, try not to worry. Below are our tips on what to do if anything at your event goes wrong.
You need to keep calm when things start going wrong. This is absolutely essential. The moment your client or guests see any panic on your face, they will begin to worry as well. And the more worried you get, the less clearly you will see! The solution to your problem may be simple but if you are in a state of panic, you will not be able to think clearly enough to find the solution. So, keep a positive attitude and stay calm – no matter what!
Stay In Control
When you are in charge and the event goes wrong, all eyes are on you. You need to stay in control and take charge of the situation. The faster you fix the problem, the quicker you can get on with your event. When a problem is brought to your attention, attack the problem and take charge. You need to focus on finding a solution and fix everything as quickly as possible. Do not let anyone else take control – you are responsible for resolving the issue.
Bring Backup Equipment
This is a must for all event vendors. If you are an event professional (be it a DJ, audio technician, lighting engineer, photographer, florist, and beyond), you must bring backup equipment to your events.
This way if anything does go wrong we have backup on-site to fix anything that could potentially malfunction so the event production will still go off without a hitch. If you have backup many times a problem or malfunction will be completely unnoticeable to your guests or client because you can fix the problem immediately and seamlessly.
Strategize A Plan B Beforehand
Planning an event involves doing some risk assessments. What is the probability that something will go wrong at your event? Strategize a plan B in advance. That way, you won’t lose what matters the most: the trust of your attendees. If you have an effective crisis communication plan and a COVID-compliance strategy, attendees will be much more forgiving. Be honest and clear with them. Depending on the audience, you can present it in a humorous way to lighten up the mood. But whatever you do, don’t show them you’re anxious or lacking control.
Have Knowledgeable Staff
When your event goes wrong, you should be able to lean on your staff to handle the situation. They should be trained for unpredictable situations, which is something that you should keep in mind during the hiring process. Not only does staff need to know how to fix anything that goes wrong with the equipment, but they must also be trained in how to handle an event crisis from a customer service standpoint. Our event production staff is trained in both our equipment servicing and customer relations, so they are prepared to handle any issue that could occur at an event.
To sum up, the underlying message is to always be prepared. Always be aware of variables that could go wrong and prepare a solution on how you would address the situation at hand. It is always best to be over-prepared and ready for anything than unprepared and unable to save an event!
Having a reliable partner by your side can make all the difference in case your event goes wrong. Feel free to talk to us, the Einsteins of Events – we’re experienced and keep calm even in the direst of situations.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted in 2014 and updated on August 19th, 2021.