Yes, event planners need to change gears fast. You can plan and plan to your hearts content, but the bottom line is everything can change once you’re onsite for a program and you have to be able to think quickly on your feet. Also, there is only so much that you can plan and the you just need to get onsite an execute.
You can have contingency plan after contingency plan and still everything can change. It keeps everything exciting right?
As I’m writing this, I’m onsite in Cabo for an incentive. Yesterday we had an activation, it was a hat experience where everyone got to choose a hat. It was part of their gifting experience. We confirmed, double confirmed, triple confirmed – everyone knew the timing. The hats needed to be set up by 7:45am ready to go. I was downstairs at 7am prepared to help the vendor set up but they weren’t there. 7:15 passes and they aren’t there. I thought to myself, this is strange. I called my contact with the DMC who secured the hat vendor and they said their car broke down. TRUE STORY – I can’t make this stuff up.
I asked my DMC if they would send a car for them to bring the hats to the hotel. We had made an announcement the night before telling the spouses to come by either before the meeting which started at 8am or during the meeting. They were all up bright and early and came by, but no hats were there. We had to explain to them the situation and that the hats were on their way and to swing by in a little bit, but in the mean time, enjoy breakfast.
8:15am passes – no hats and the driver is coming from San Jose del Cabo which is about an hour away with traffic.
8:45am passes – still no hats
9:00am comes and we have some of the hats, but not all of them and not the ones we specifically ordered for the women.
9:15am passes and we still don’t have all the hats.
We had a small group heading out on an excursion and we had to push back the time a little bit because we wanted everyone to get a chance to pick their hats and get it in the proper size.
Finally 9:30am is here and the remaining hats arrive.
Was it the experience that we envisioned? It wasn’t. We were envisioning this.
Was everyone grateful for the hats? Yes they were.
It also helps that they are here on a vacation and enjoying time with their spouse or significant other and getting to know their peers better.
So the moral of the story, you can plan everything down to the tiniest detail, but to be a successful event planner, you have to be able to think and react quickly and calmly and be flexible with changes.
We will be launching the ROAR playbook in April and this is one of the subjects that we talk about. I share tips and tricks on how to prepare for mishaps that can happen. If you want to join the waitlist to hear more about our launch, click here.