How to Cope with Unexpected When Planning a Business Event

If you are planning an important business event, perhaps a popular conference or a fundraising gala, it is important to prepare for the unexpected. In order to ensure that you can cope should anything go wrong, it is vital to spend some time risk assessing and making a sound contingency plan. Look at all possibilities, including an unavailable speaker, or your car breaking down on the day; preparing for various circumstances can help ensure that the event will still run smoothly even if the worse-case scenario becomes an eventuality.

Be Prepared

Make sure that you have thought through some of the problems that could occur so that you have solutions at the ready. Do a risk assessment prior to the event so you know what could go wrong and how, where possible, to avoid it. For example, perhaps a speaker has transport issues getting to the event, and the car has broken down on the way to the event. In this case knowing the contact details of reliable tow truck services, such as Nashville towing service, can help you out of a sticky situation. Or what if your guest speaker just doesn’t show up on the day? Well, rather than pulling the event make sure you have a backup speaker in place, prepared to go on if needed. If you are relying on technology for your event, for example, there is an opening PowerPoint presentation, it is worth printing handouts and being prepared to go on without the PowerPoint should the tech fail you. Don’t rely on an internet connection as these are famously temperamental, so if your presentation needs examples found online to make sure you have them backed up already on a USB stick. It’s also a good idea to ask for the speaker’s keynote speech in advance and print off an extra copy, just in case, they forget theirs.

Update Your Attendees

Keep in regular contact with your attendees via social media or email in the run-up to the event. This has a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it will help build an online buzz and excitement around your event, and you can encourage people to share your posts and start online conversations about the event. Keeping in touch with attendees can also allow you to update them should the venue changes or the line-up move around.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Things do go wrong sometimes, even with the best planning in place, but when that happens, the important thing to remember is to keep calm and carry on. Your attendees will pick up on any panic you feel so try to present a sense of being in control. Most situations can be resolved in some way with a little patience and clear thinking, so make sure you have a valued colleague on hand to help ease the stress and together you can plan what to do.

Be Honest

If the guest speaker most people have booked a ticket to see is struck down with flu, be honest with your audience as they will be more likely to be sympathetic than if you try to fob them off with an ill-thought-out cover-up story. Remember they don’t want to see you fail, so keep them on the side and your event will be a success.