The greatest event managers have a steady hand and a clear mind when everyone around them panics. A few important rules can improve the way you act and the way you are perceived as a professional event manager. Are you cool, calm and collected when things get heated up?
All event planners and managers have experienced it, even before becoming one. The planning for the important event has been on point, but when the day arrives a few delays can screw up months of careful preparation. Knowing what to do, will not only make you look more professional; it will also make the client and their guests feel like the event management was executed to perfection.
- Don’t let them see you sweat it! – This might be one of the most crucial rules in the rulebook for event managing during the event. If the client sees you feeling like a bundle of nerves, they will not only lose their confidence in you as an event manager; they might take their next event to your competitor who can make them feel confident and relaxed.
Take a deep breath, analyze the problem, smile, stay calm and fix the situation.
- Be quick on your feet – When a situation arises, be fast to address the problem in a manner appropriate to the situation. Don’t be afraid to think of alternative solutions to fix the problem. Has the cruise run on aground, and the client is stuck in another country? Don’t be afraid to do the impossible!
- Prepare for contingencies – There is only a handful of events, which were a huge success no proper planning. The true success of any event is in the details, and the best event planners are the ones who have a complete system for how they go about preparing an event, and they account even for unforeseen situations. Having an Event Emergency Plan can help you and the client in securing the event from any potential threats and risks. Know you cannot control everything, but be aware you can minimize the effect of the uncontrollable.
- Know your network – Last, but not least, having a reliable and trustworthy network of suppliers, colleagues and “solution-makers” will do wonders, when you are in a situation that needs immediate attention. Build a long lasting relationship with a good handful of people, and you will always have a backup when the coach breaks down with the entertainment for the gala dinner, or you need 50 tables with full decoration in less than 12 hours.
Behave like a duck
Event management is not for those who are quick to freak out and panic. Murphy’s law says “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”, but preparing for the unforeseen situations will prevent problems from becoming emergencies.
Learn to create breathing room and use your creativity or your network to find solutions. Being agitated only leads to your client and the event being affected negatively. So how do you stay calm? Study the event program until you can almost recite it by memory.
“Always behave like a duck. Keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like hell underwater.”