It was so simple in the black and white movie days. Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney would concoct some plan to help save the library or find the General Store owner find his dog and they’d stand up on a soapbox and announce to broad acclaim: “Hey kids, let’s put on a show!” The preparation for an event in our frenzied age is a bit more complex than it was in the monochrome celluloid world. There is always a potential that some inexplicable and fully unexpected absurdity will derail your entire event, but there are ways to fend at least most of them off.
The three most traumatic experiences in the world
Each event has its own absurdity collection
Be ready to act quickly
- Be ready to move the event. Have an alternative venue ready, especially if your event is set outdoors.
- Don’t spend the ticket money. You may be caught in a situation where you have no option but to refund, and if the money is gone you’re in big trouble.
- Have a backup for everything. That includes staff, security, presenters, even stars as you never know when the airport will shut down or the limo will get stuck in a three-hour traffic jam.
- Communicate clearly and quickly. All of the people involved in your event from employees to attendees will want to be rapidly informed as to what’s going on and what you’re doing to fix it.
- Don’t panic. As long as you’re still alive and have most of your body parts intact it’s a good day, so keep in mind that someday you’ll laugh about all this. React logically, calmly, and thoroughly and you’ll get through it.
Bands have refused to go on stage because they found brown M&Ms in the bowl, the power has gone out just as the keynote speech started, otherwise innocuous breakfast events have sent dozens to the hospital with food poisoning, and it wasn’t so many years ago that Denver got buried by snow in mid-June. Whatever the absurdity that hits you if you are able to react properly and promptly, the damage will be minimized.
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