Many an event has been ruined by disproportionate allocation of staff. Allocating all available resources in the most efficient way possible is the mark of a good event manager and this is a skill that is unfortunately acquired through a series of mismanagement, misallocations and mis-hirings. From vendors to contractors to those working at the ticket booth – an event manager must take into account the significance of all these roles, thereby monitoring the hiring process to avoid the disastrous mistake of hosting an event that had every promise of being great, had its staff handled it better.
Rarely has an event failed for the want of more ideas but an event failing due to overstuffing of ideas is not unheard of. While organizing an event, there will be many ideas that seem great, even necessary. As the work progresses, it is not unlikely that news ideas will formulate and then there will be those, from sponsors to the interns, with their own set of unique ideas, each sounding better than the last in the blur of all the activity. The ultimate test for an event planner is to not give into these temptations. Sticking to the initial game plan usually has the best rate of success; perhaps that one idea is better, but an average well-executed idea is generally much better than a brilliant poorly-executed one, as the saying goes about one bird in hand.
It is not uncommon for event managers to think Murphy was handling an event when he realized that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Things go wrong in an event constantly, so much so that it starts to feel ominous when things go smooth for too long. The only way to deal with is to keep track of the changes happening all around from the weather to traffic reports to breaking news and everything in between. Planning may be the key, but success largely depends on the efficient execution of the plans and most importantly, sticking to the deadlines.
Having said that, flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations is just as important for all those times the deadlines will not be met due to circumstances beyond control. There will always be a lose wire, always a staff who calls in sick last minute; there will always be that guest speaker who sprains his ankle before the event and always a guest or two who pick a fight. In all the hustle bustle, an event manager must juggle it all and that is perhaps what makes the post-event euphoria so, well, euphoric. And let’s not forget, there is always something to learn from the mistakes of this event to make the next one a better one and there are always a brand new set of mistakes to make in the next.
Check in soon for new posts from Ronn on planning great events!