10 EVENT #FAILS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE BEST LAID PLANS...WELL, THINGS DON'T ALWAYS GO THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO. A LOT OF THOUGHTFUL PLANNING CAN GO A LONG WAY, BUT SOMETIMES THINGS ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL. AND WHEN THE WORST HAPPENS, IT'S HELPFUL TO KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT IT.
HERE ARE TEN OF THE MOST COMMON FAILS WE HAVE SEEN AT EVENTS—NOT OURS OF COURSE, (NO, OURS ARE ALWAYS PERFECT), BUT AT OTHER EVENTS...
Going dark. It's happened to all of us at one time or another—sometimes during important moments.
After all of your careful planning and massive expense, the last thing you want is to have a massive power outage in the middle of your event. Having a backup plan in case of power failure (either specific to your media or to the grid as a whole) is an essential part of your Plan B.
Make sure either your venue or your event production company (like, say, Blackstone Productions) has a generator or other alternative power source available for use just in case.
2. NATURAL DISASTERS
Some things simply cannot be avoided, but using good sense and savvy planning sure can help.
An elaborate outdoor event during hurricane season might be something you want to rethink.
Is it unlikely that you will get hit by a typhoon during your tech conference? Yes. Is it possible? Yes.
Do your best to consider the unexpected, but remember that Mother Nature can be a little moody. So consider things like transportation options, helpful gear available (branded umbrellas, anyone?) and indoor spaces available in case outdoor venues become useless.
Oh, and that weather app? It's about to become your new best friend.
3. GOING BROKE
Money, money, money. Money!
We trust you've thought through your budget before you plan your event, but just in case... we thought a little reminder wouldn't hurt.
Savvy budget planning is not only smart, it's essential. Focus on the "must-have's" first; hire an awesome, creative event production team that knows how to stretch a dollar, and say "no" to that last-minute "awesome idea" that throws budgetary caution to the wind.
4. EMPTY SEATS
What if NO ONE shows up to your event? That would be a pretty big fail, eh?
So, make sure you get the word out early and often. Get creative with marketing and promotions and leverage as much "free media" as you possibly can (i.e. social media, partner emails, etc.).
5. NOT GETTING necessary PERMITS
The last words you would want to hear. Dear god, it's the end.
6. BORING BORING BORING
Same speaker as last year? Same theme as two years ago? My god, the people will be bored stiff. Don't repeat even the BEST ideas because recycling shopworn stuff gets noticed more quickly than just about anything else. Attendees want to see / hear / feel what's new, innovative, original, ground-breaking and unique. Bring it!
7. NO wifi
Do we really need to tell you why this is bad? It's bad. Have Wi-Fi. And, in reference to our first point, have a backup. For some reason, we are all totally freakin' addicted to our connectedness now. More importantly, however, many event systems often depend on working WiFi, so it's kind of a big deal.
8. No technology
So there's the tragic situation of not having wi-fi (see above) and then there is also not taking advantage of ANY of the available technology that can take a conference from awful to AWE-INSPIRING.
One attendee of a recent conference said they actually tried to FAX her an agenda for the conference. What the what???
Don't bother with paper PDFs or scattered slides for your presentation. Take advantage of the many incredibly cool apps out there to run your conference like a BOSS. (PSSSTT>>> We collected FIVE of our favorite apps for you right here!)
9. NO information
There's nothing like many people gathered together with no flipping clue where they are supposed to go or what they are supposed to do and when. A huge herd of sheep comes to mind.
Keeping your people happy (and making repeat event customers) is ultra-essential to any event. Good signage, clear communication (here are some good apps!) and a compelling agenda are essential.
10. getting in over your head
Before you get too excited, try to remember the idea of scale. Be realistic about what you can handle, what your venue can sustain and what is most vital to your goal for your event. Stick to the purpose and the budget, stay focused on taking good care of your attendees and your support staff. Keeping things uncomplicated prevents overwhelm and helps maintain a calm atmosphere. We'd hate for you to fall flat on your face.
We trust that your next event will go off without a hitch, and we are sure you'll avoid all of these event production #FAILS. But if you need backup, we are here to help!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can be of assistance.
Consider it done.