Holiday Party Event Disasters – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff! Face It!
No event is perfect!
Planning an event can be difficult. There are a mountain of things to be done and not enough time to do them. You will be rushed and anxious much of the time. Remember, though, that nothing will ever be perfect. When planning a big event, assume there will be problems, and plan to accept and solve them with grace.
Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Event planning is no exception to this rule. Successful event planners accept the fact that there will be last-minute problems. Their plans include enough time and resources to deal with the problems that arise.
As when you go to the grocery store, you’ll always forget something. Even when you check and double-check your schedule and plans, something you didn’t think of will rear its ugly head at the most inconvenient time. The best way to meet this challenge is to allow extra time for quick fixes and identify people who can help you at a moment’s notice.
The first question you will have to ask yourself is: “Is it really that important?” Problems arising from an unfortunate choice of colors or a centerpiece that is just a bit too big may not be serious enough to bother with. When an issue comes up, ask yourself if it’s critical to the success of the event. If it’s not critical, perhaps you can afford to let it go.
One way to avoid these annoying issues is to make a comprehensive checklist. The list will include every action, every product, and every person you need to assure a successful event, in the order you need them done. As they are finished, you can get the self-satisfaction of checking them off your list. And the checklist will help others who are involved in the event preparations as well. If you’re not available for questions, they can consult the checklist.
Especially in those last days and moments before the event, you’ll have to be flexible and creative to solve problems. Again, ask yourself how important it really is. If you can let it go, let it go. Better to skip a small detail than to sacrifice something critical because you were involved with the little hitch. Keep your mind open to innovative and unusual solutions, too. And take advantage of the people around you. You don’t have to come up with all the answers to find the appropriate solutions.
If the event’s already underway, try to find a solution that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the event. Certainly, you won’t want to draw a lot of attention to a problem that might not have been noticed. Make a judgment call – will anyone be injured in any way if the problem isn’t solved? Does the problem have the potential to ruin the occasion? Is there someone available who could fix things quickly and quietly? Rely on your co-workers and friends to help you catch potential problems before they develop. And trust them to solve them. Don’t feel that you are the only person in the room who can do it. That’s simply not true, and maybe a very costly assumption.
The most important thing you can do when a problem pops up during your event is to keep cool. If you panic, you will be much less likely to find a solution. And if you panic, your guests will know something’s up. They may even become anxious or overly concerned. If you stay cool, calm, and collected, you’ll be in a better position to judge the severity of the problem. Is it something that will likely go away by itself? Is there, in fact, an urgent need for you to take action?
The biggest thing that you need to do when you see that something is going off course at your event is to not get upset. You want to be able to stay calm and use your resources that you have to fix the problem. Keep your perspective. One mis-step will not ruin an event. Don’t over-react. Relax and let your intuitive side take over. The answer will come, if you let it come. It’s really very simple. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Fix the big stuff. And have fun! The number one ingredient to a successful event is that the person hosting it has a good time!