5 Nightmare Event Scenarios and How to Avoid Them
Nightmares. They’re a common occurrence for a lot meeting planners. The scariest are usually the night before an event where the worst case scenario comes true. We’ve all been there. You’ve overslept and run down to the meeting room in grubby pajamas, wild hair and dried drool on your face. It’s only a bad dream, but you never know when some of those nightmare scenarios might become a reality. Lucky for us, technology is making things a lot easier with easy solutions available at your fingers tips.
Picture this: you’ve just arrived at the event venue and everything is looking FANTASTIC. You’re about to set up and realize your packages haven’t been delivered. You check the tracking details and realize your packages are stuck in transport several states away! But you are saved (phew!), once fire up your smartphone and see you can replace almost all of your critical supplies with trusted retailers. As part of the Amazon Effect, many big retailers, recognizing that time constraints of today’s workers, offer same day delivery service on everything from paper and pens to food and alcohol. Stores like Walmart, Target and Staples even offer free delivery in most major cities. Also, make sure to plan ahead and download apps like Postmates and Uber Eats.
Night of the Last Minute Attendees
A large group of people register for your event last minute, but you haven’t brought any extra name badge supplies to accommodate them. FedEx is closed and the business center at the venue is straight out of 1992. What do you do? Many tech savvy meeting planners are now investing in software and various technologies which mitigate the need for printing and shipping these materials in advance and allow event managers to format and print badges on the spot.
The Missing Speaker
Registration started and you get an email from your second presenter staying they’re stuck on a train and won’t be able to make it on time for their presentation, but can be there later. After a brief moment of panic, you click on your event app and fire off a few rapid messages to the other presenters to see if anyone would be available to swap presentation times. You find a generous volunteer and simply need to rearrange the schedule. Score!
This Agenda will Self Destruct
The agenda has changed and you need to communicate this to all attendees so everyone is on the same page. You’re onsite and it’s too late to have your graphic designer update the files, and you’ve already printed copies. You decide whether or not you should run away and catch the next flight home, but then you realize this is why you have an event management system. You update the agenda in real-time and also send a push notification to all participants acknowledging the change so there are no surprises.
A Dark and Stormy Day
You receive a text from an exhibitor later in the day stating that they won’t be able to make it to give their product demonstration, as their flight has been cancelled as a result of a pending storm, and they have no other way of making it to the meeting. A great solution to this is to see if they’re available to present via WebEx, GotoWebinar, or a free screen sharing service like Uber Conference. A good tip is to make sure you have a account with one of these services prior to the start of your event.
Using innovative technologies, particularly those such as meeting apps and event management software can be invaluable for quickly solving onsite predicaments. The life of an event manager is stressful enough. Familiarize yourself with these new technologies to make it easier and to better manage your overall event. Sweet dreams.