Every day, thousands of people plan parties for birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries, and professional producers are hard at work in the travel and event industries. No matter the venue, the guest list, or the occasion, there is one indisputable truth in the world of event planning: THINGS DO NOT ALWAYS GO AS PLANNED.
That is why, no matter your personality, there is one important characteristic that ALL event planners must possess. This one characteristic, whether learned or instinctual, is the ability to employ spontaneous decision making under pressure. Working under pressure is just a part of the job, whether you work in the office or out in the field. Initially, the necessity of making on the-spot decisions with little or no information will intimidate you, but it gets easier and less stressful the longer you do it.
No matter an individual’s level of expertise, every person planning an event will eventually face the fact that things can, and often do, go wrong. It is a sure bet that at some point, your event will come face-to-face with a potential or actual disaster. Approach each event with the intent of discovering what can go wrong before it happens. If you have all those bases covered, your rate of success will improve dramatically. When disaster does strike, here is the key thing to keep in mind:
“Your success or failure will not be measured by the incident itself, but by how quickly you recover from it.” Tweet This Quote
If you want to recover quickly, learn from those mistakes, and continue to impress your clients despite any mishaps along the way, there are three things that you must always remember:
1.The Devil is in the Details. When it comes to creating successful events, you must plan, check your plan, confirm, and reconfirm. The better the front-end planning, the easier the on-site execution will be—and that means you will avoid a lot of drama when it counts.
2.Have a Plan B (and C and D). Always have a back-up plan for some of the more common event planning issues. For example, if you’re planning an outdoor event, don’t even think about not having a rain contingency. It’s your job to make a successful event no matter what circumstances may unfold.
3.Be Loyal and it Will Come Back To You. Loyalty is always your best resource because when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, you may have to go to your vendors for help in the form of an instant resolution or a quick fix. Those vendors you have treated loyally and fairly will be there to swoop in and save the day. Don’t be the kind of planner who always chooses vendors according to a “low bid always wins” philosophy. Instead, nurture relationships. I have been using some of the same vendors for twenty years, through thick and thin. Together we’ve gone through big budgets, no budgets, and hurricanes—literally. When you need a favor (and believe me, you will), those are the people you can depend on.
The best event planners think on their toes and stay cool under pressure, and if you take these three important points to heart, you will be on the road to successful event production.
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