So you’re going to put on an event and everything is going to go smoothly, right? Wrong.
Like so many things in life, Murphy’s Law has a firm grip on most events. This old adage, “Anything that can go wrong, will”, is so strong that if you’re not preparing for it, you’re really not prepared.
While Murphy’s Law, almost by definition, is not completely avoidable, there are some things you can do to reduce its potential impact:
- Conduct a risk assessment. And do it early in the planning process. Outline the big and small things that could derail your event and develop a plan to mitigate them. As part of this process, don’t be afraid to clearly outline “plan B” (and if necessary, plans C and D).
- Get everything in writing. Chances are your event involves hundreds, if not thousands, of details. And often these details are flying at you from all sorts of different sources, including presenters, vendors, attendees and others. Be certain to get any requests — from presenters’ audio/visual needs to vendor agreements — in writing. Organize them in a notebook or file folder by category so you can reference them when making your pre-event checklist, or in the case of a dispute.
- Create an emergency kit. “Always be prepared” may be the Scout’s motto, but good event planners understand its importance, too. An “in case of emergency” kit with all the little items that you might need if (and when) Murphy’s law kicks in is a must. Pens, pencils, extension cords, multi-tool, paper, pushpins, flashlights, tape (gaffer’s, duct, Scotch), electronics chargers, thumb drives… you get the picture. The best way to not have a problem is to prepare for the problem.
To help every event planner in their quest to create the perfect event, we’ve put together an e-book that we would love to share: “10 Big Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Event (and how to avoid them).” Contact us and let us know if you’d like a copy!