Clients, vendors, staff and venues usually work to try and make our jobs easier, but on occasion, they can unfortunately make things much more challenging. During this exciting career there are many things we get to hear and see, some crazier than others, but there are a few things that we can all agree we dread hearing.

“Someone…is a no show”

The people important to the success of your event can range from speakers and VIP guests to staff members and important vendors such as transportation or caterers. Every event has key players that must deliver in order for your event to go off without a hitch. Whenever one of these people fall through or drop the ball, it puts tremendous pressure on the planner to think under pressure and come up with a viable back-up plan.

“Something… is not working”

Technical issues seem to always arise at the wrong time. From printer issues to WiFi service there are a number of technical items we rely on to make our events a success. We all dread hearing about an important tool or service malfunctioning. It isn’t always technology.

“Something… is missing”

Each event has so many moving parts and a large number of items that must fall into place and be ready at a moment’s notice. So when an item goes missing, all hell can break loose, especially if it is something important! Everything from a large item like a tent or a vehicle, all the way down to those tiny table tents that identify seating arrangements. If something is unable to be found we must scramble to come up with an alternate plan.

“Something or someone…. is already booked”

In this business you work with a variety of vendors and venues. Many of which book months and even years in advance. Some of the worst news you can hear as a planner is that your ideal venue or prefered vendor is unavailable on your event date. Do your best to confirm dates early and get on the calendar for your big ticket items.

“Something… is double booked.”

Not only is it sometimes tough to get a service booked, but occasionally someone makes an error and an important item on your event checklist becomes double booked. Unfortunately some vendors are not always the most organized people and, from time to time, they make mistakes (as we all do!). This is never a fun thing for a planner to deal with, but it can happen and you must adapt and find an alternative solution.

“Someone …has fallen ill or been injured.”

Illness and injury can happen at any event. Every planner dreads the thought of having to deal with a serious situation that involves the safety and well being of one of their guests, but you must be prepared for anything to happen. Having an emergency response plan and knowing how you will react to something serious happening at your event is important to prepare for. From experience, we all know that bad things can happen, but it is how you react and respond to them that will show your grit and professionalism as an event manager.

“Someone… has changed their mind.”

If only people could make decisive decisions quickly. Many clients have trouble making decisions and often times they change their mind at the last minute. This can be annoying and can wear any event professional down to their wits end.

“Someone…is being difficult to work with.”

You will work with challenging people at every stage of your career, but when you find of someone that is not fun to work with or has a bad attitude it makes your life very difficult as the person in charge. Sometimes this might be a staff member that you can replace, but other times it might be a client or a vendor that you are forced to cooperate and communicate with. Do you best to be clear and follow up to ensure everyone is on the same page during your event.

“Something… is non negotiable.”

Negotiation is key to many of the deals we make as event professionals. Without the ability to negotiate we are often limited in our choices and ultimately the ability to make a profit. Finding out that a line item on a contract or a price point is not up for negotiation can be a big setback in your planning process. Start early and work on negotiating prior to signing anything. Most vendors are easier to negotiate with when they are trying to win your business. Once terms have been agreed upon you will be left with less leverage in your negotiations.